Instant Shut Down of Well-Renowned Universities
Around 2,000 foreign students, the majority of whom are from Punjab and are studying online or on study visas, have been left in the lurch when three private institutions in Canada's Montreal city abruptly closed their doors.
All three universities have filed for creditor protection, according to CBC News in Canada. The universities blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for some of their financial woes in their court petition. Other legal conditions were also not satisfied by these colleges, according to a Canadian MP.
The names of colleges are as follows :
Collège de comptabilité et de secrétariat du Québec (CCSQ)
College de I’Estrie (CDE)
Firstly, the colleges announced long winter vacations and it started from November 30, 2021, to January 10, 2022. Then suddenly, just before closing, the colleges asked students to submit the remaining fees of college within one week. This amount of money ranged from Canadian $ 15,000 to 29,500, which come to between Rs 9 lakh and Rs 17.70 lakh.
While some students managed to pay the hefty fees, many could not.
Among the 2,000 impacted students, 1,173 were enrolled in one of Montreal's three private colleges. In Punjab, 637 students were pursuing their education through online classes from the comfort of their own homes.
The students range in age from 18 to 22 years old. Some are from Haryana and Gujarat, and they have been excitedly awaiting the start of on-campus instruction.
Views of different post-holders
Rachna Singh, a member of the Surrey Greens Timber MLA, offered her support for the youngsters. "I believe the Quebec government should investigate how these three colleges obtained their licenses. In Canada, federal government regulations differ from those of the provinces, which have their own set of rules. "I'd also like to urge parents to exercise caution while sending their children overseas," she added.
Randeep Sarai, the British Columbia MP for Surrey Centre, stated that he discussed the subject with Anju Dhillon, the Quebec MP for Dorval-Lachine-LaSalle.
"The Quebec government suspended these colleges' licenses after it was discovered that they were English Language Schools rather than French-language institutions." During the investigation, it was discovered that many universities had misused monies, while others had filed bankruptcy and left. The provincial government filed a lawsuit against them. "The Quebec government ordered a judicial review, and the kids were stuck," the MP explained.
Sarai suggested that in this circumstance, the students file a lawsuit as a group and employ a lawyer, or they should submit individual claims with the provincial government. "The final alternative is for the students to retake the IELTS exam, pay the costs, and enroll in a different college, which is not a viable option," he stated.
Protests and disagreement showed by Indian students:
On January 29, 2022, students held a rally at Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar at LaSalle in Montreal demanding justice and prompt solution in their case and they protested under the banner of ‘Montreal Youth-Student Organization’ (MYSO). Students handed a formal letter to the Minister of Education of Canada, the Indian Ambassador to Canada, the Montreal MP, and various ministers of the opposition in this regard.
Students at the rally demanded visa refunds for those in India, fee refunds, the opportunity to complete studies for students in the three closed colleges, graduation of students with the Certificat d'Acceptation du Québec, a mandatory document for students to study and work in Quebec province, study permits, and hassle-free travel for students who have obtained study visas.
Also, they threatened that if their issues were not solved at priority, they will intensify this protest to the next level.
Words of a former professor of sociology at Panjab University in Chandigarh
"This indicates how, over the years, both state and Union governments have devastated Punjab," said Manjit Singh, a former professor of sociology at Panjab University in Chandigarh. Governments are unconcerned."
Manjit Singh, in requesting involvement from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Canadian government, stated that it is a painful fact that India lacks both excellent and inexpensive education as well as work possibilities. "Students demand value for their education, which they don't get here," he says.