Protection file

protests after Quebec colleges seek protection from creditors

The protesters are seeking to raise awareness of a range of issues facing Indian students, including housing shortages and financial hardship.

Earlier in February, dozens of students organized a demonstration in Brampton, Ontario, to support their colleagues in Quebec and gather support. They chanted, “We are here to demand justice and we will not stop until we get justice.

Quebec’s three colleges entered creditor protection just weeks after requiring students to pay their tuition in advance. The institutions are Collège M in Montreal, Collège CDE in Sherbrooke and CCSQ, which has campuses in Longueuil and Sherbrooke. Indian students make up 95% of the 1,117 students in the three colleges. Rising Phoenix International, a Montreal-based associate recruiting firm, also filed for creditor protection in a January 7 court filing.

Manpreet Kaur deposited $14,000 in tuition for M College and was awaiting the start of his early childhood education classes.

“It smells like a scam”

“But on January 6, the students received an email saying the college was bankrupt. It looks like a scam,” she told the Canadian Bazaar newspaper. She had already obtained a master’s degree in computer science before coming to Canada.

The High Commission of India in Ottawa warns students to check the credentials of institutions before paying tuition fees. Indeed, there is a huge difference between publicly funded colleges and universities and private for-profit educational institutions. This distinction is not always clear for Indian students who enroll in programs while still in their home country.

“Please request a certificate of recognition by the Canadian/provincial government from the institutions and verify that the selected institution is on the list of designated learning institutions published on the Government of Canada website.

“Students should not make any payment or reveal their personal information to any unverified person/institution offering student visa for payment,” urged the High Commission for Students.

“Brand Education Canada will be affected by this in the short and long term,” said Sushil Sukhwani, founder of Edwise International, adding that the news had been widely covered in the Indian press, online and was also circulating on social media.

“There has been news about the Indian government also asking students to connect with them as well as Quebec authorities to help with tuition reimbursement.

“On the Canadian government side, there needs to be closer and regular oversight with the Designated Learning Institutes process. This may need to be stepped up for private institutions,” he told The PIE.

Sukhwani also warned that under the current ecosystem, officers are generally not aware or equipped to perform due diligence with institutions.

Some agency networks primarily look at commission paid by institutions and not quality, rank and facilities, and another network of sub-agents “have little or no knowledge and don’t care” .

“It’s not easy to control agents and sub-agents and it gives other quality agencies a bad name.

“On further audit, one would realize that the big, reputable agencies would not have placed students in these institutions,” he said. A body such as the AIRC should monitor the quality and processes followed by agencies, he proposed.

“Another effective example of agency quality and service monitoring can be found in Australia’s education system which follows the ESOS Act,” he said.

“Students around the world must be educated to recognize such certifications by governments around the world.

“It happened in many other countries too”

“Currently, other institutions are stepping in to allow the transfer of academic credits. It is good for students who have been blocked. It is just a shame that such incidents occur. many other countries.

International students are expected to have sufficient funds to pay for their own travel – the Canadian government does not provide any support.

According to Statistics Canada, the federal data agency, the average undergraduate tuition in the country is $33,623. Before issuing a study permit, the Department of Immigration requires students to have $10,000 to cover the first year of living expenses.

As most educational programs last more than a year, many Indian students quickly run out of funds. “A lot of these students don’t come from wealthy backgrounds,” said Uday Rama, a Globe and Mail reporter who has written a series of articles on the challenges facing students in this country.

With a study permit, international students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week. However, they often find that this is insufficient to cover tuition, housing and living expenses. Many are turning to cash gigs delivering pizzas and packages. They have to juggle between their studies and work many hours each week to make ends meet.

Some get jobs in businesses owned by Indian immigrants in Canada. However, a number of these companies refuse to pay the minimum wage provided by law or withhold student wages.

Indian students also struggle to find affordable accommodation. There is a housing shortage in many parts of Canada and some landlords are reluctant to rent to international students here temporarily on a study permit.