July 29th, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in News   Comments Off on EDUCATION RACKET IN AUSTRALIA?
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The billion dollar Australian Education industry has been in the news for the last three months for all the wrong reasons. Earlier, in late May and June 09 thousands of Indian students demonstrated in Sydney and Melbourne chanting ‘we want justice’ – ‘we want justice’. They were complaining against racial attacks on Indian students and absolute police indifference. They went to Australia to study.

A blatant revelation by ‘Four Corners’ programme on ABC TV Channel last night exposed the exploitation of helpless Indian and foreign students in Australia by unscrupulous businessmen who have set up training schools which render diplomas which are worthless.

Thousands of Indian students go to Australia to receive higher education each year. The ABC news expose reveals how some are cheated by immigration and education agents, many were told if they enrolled in cooking and accounting courses they would not only get a diploma but they could also qualify for permanent residency in Australia. But the diploma they would get after completion of such courses is worthless, it was revealed.

An Indian journalist was attacked after she went undercover to expose migration and education scams which try to defraud international students of thousands of dollars. The woman, who was working with ABC TV Channel was threatened while making the programme ‘Four Corners’ and beaten up on the weekend..

The scam which came to light after ABC TV channel programme Four Corners exposed migration and education agents duping Indian students, Aerospace Aviation College which provides commercial pilot training, was alleged, exploited international students besides ill treating Indian students. There were unscrupulous agents who were using unethical business practices to rip off foreign students seeking legitimate qualifications in Australia

Under their aviation course, students have signed up for a commercial pilots’ license course which costs USD 43,500.   Students studying in the Aerospace Aviation run by Sue Davis, must record 200 hours of flying over 52 weeks. Many students alleged that they never received enough flying hours due to lack of facilities and unavailability of instructors.

 ABC quoted, the mother of a student revealed that she had already paid $43,500/- on her son’s training and still there is no outcome. She and her son Prabmeet also met the visiting high level delegation of Australian bureaucrats, police and academics visiting India who promised to take a follow up action.

“It is a fraud. We were shown so many rosy pictures about the school and it is not what it is really, it was just a scam. I think the Government should be more alert in these types of matters because it is the career of the children which is at stake,” said Prabmeet’s mother.

Another student Surendra Egalapati got only 130 hours of flying time and when he complained this to Sue Davis, she filed a false affidavit against him blaming him of violation of airspace during a training flight which was a month prior to his sitting in the pilot’s seat as a trainee. This case went against Aerospace Aviation which is being run by Australian couple Sue and Zane Davis. This flying school is using unqualified flying instructors and could probably be closed down, the press said.

“My parents are asking me to come back”, said another student. He did not want to return to India after wasting 16 months in Australia.

 They neither have the required number of planes, nor the requisite number of instructors, said a student. “It was definitely derogatory the way they spoke to them, the way they treated them,” he added.

However Sue Davis defended the training and questioned the level of commitment and dedication among the particular students.

Regarding ill treatment meted by Indian students, the spokesperson of the Australian government said a week ago that ‘these are petty crimes’. Extorting money from helpless students by the universities there is a ‘petty crime’? How come? It is the question of their career, their life, their future which depends on the degree or diploma for which they have already wasted two or three years of their youth – which are irreversible.

Interestingly, after breaking the scam on the TV telecast, there were raids at the offices of Indian migration agents, who according to Australian police were involved in providing fake documents to students.

As per details revealed in Four Corners, two immigration agents who were providing forged documents to International students after charging them exorbitantly, have been exposed. The license to carry on the business as immigration agent of one of them has since been cancelled.

Sanjay Deshwal was reported as the “go-to man” for fake documents. He said that he could arrange for a work certificate for $3000 to $4000, as told in this programme.

Four Corners asked another immigration agent Sam Tejani for an interview but he refused. In a written statement he denied the allegation and stated that he never offered to sell the English language test to anyone, though it was with his connivance, that the answer sheets of a student taking a test were changed.  Mr Tejani has now removed the registered migration agent and solicitors sign from his office.

It is a fact that everything appears rosy from a distance. All that glitters is not gold. I think that we should check and recheck before plunging our kids into an area where the road is less travelled and perhaps more hazardous as compared to the one’s we have seen and traversed.

 Students desirous of studying in Australia and their parents beware and please take note.
Ravi Matah

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  1. Purti Kathpalia Says:

    yeah thats true!! its all become super professional! i really think ppl shud think twice before risking ther future n carrier….People ther do take advantage of their power to sue and especially wen it cumz to Indians.
    thanks 4 d awareness!!

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