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Indian students struggle for Oz refunds

Unable to return to Australia because of the collapse of several colleges, refusal to renew student visas and the violence against the Indian community there, students are fighting to have millions of dollars in fees refunded to them.

world Updated: May 04, 2010 01:19 IST

Unable to return to Australia because of the collapse of several colleges, refusal to renew student visas and the violence against the Indian community there, students are fighting to have millions of dollars in fees refunded to them.

Colleges have either closed because of a federal government crackdown or are still open but face financial constraints due to a downturn in student enrolments, particularly from India.

The Sydney Morning Herald has quoted Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, as saying: “I am aware there is a problem. This is an issue that we will take up in the joint working group, which has been set up at the official level. Certainly we will talk to [the Australian government] and find out the facts.”

The Kevin Rudd government has refused to reveal the total amount of prepaid tuition fees sought despite the fact that data relating to prepaid fees and visa refusals are recorded on an electronic government database.

Ravi Lochan Singh, the managing director of Global Reach, an education agency that represents Australian universities and colleges in India, said cash-strapped private colleges were withholding refunds.