Foreign business school closes down, leaves students in lurch

VietNamNet Bridge – The Singapore-owned Melior Business School Viet Nam in HCM City has suddenly closed down, leaving around 150 students in the lurch.

The Singapore-owned Melior Business School Viet Nam
 in HCM City closed down,
. . .

In May the Ministry of Education and Training fined the school VND67.5 million (US$3,200) for its illegal affiliation to foreign colleges and offering undergraduate courses in business management, tourism and hospitality management without a licence.

A licence Melior got in 2009 allows it to offer only short-term courses in business management, tourism and hospitality management, and English.

Last month the ministry again fined the school VND10 million ($470) for similar violations, and also advised the city People's Committee to withdraw the school's licence on October 21.

Even as the city Department of Education and Training was awaiting opinions from relevant departments and agencies about cancelling the licence, the school closed down, Pham Ngoc Thanh, the department's deputy director, said.

. . . leaving around 150 students in the lurch. (Photos: VNN)

On Monday hundreds of students and their parents gathered at the school at 97 Nguyen Van Troi Street in Phu Nhuan District to meet its representatives after being informed about its closure.

But they could not meet its Singaporean director Cheng Sim Kok or any other official.

The students and their parents told the media that just a few days earlier the school had demanded tuition fees for the illegal courses, and many paid up to US$10,500.

Nguyen Thanh Hiep, head of the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs's Vocational Training Division, told Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper that his department had asked the People's Committee on Monday to resolve the problem.

It sought measures like freezing the school's bank accounts, sealing off its campus, and prohibiting Cheng from leaving Viet Nam, he said.

It also wanted school representatives summoned for resolving the problem and returning fees or otherwise protecting students' interests, he said.

Last month the ministry had also fined several other schools for offering courses illegally affiliated to foreign institutions.

They included the Oriental Research Development Institute, Institute of Financial Administration, Sai Gon University, and Singapore Informatics and Business Management School Viet Nam Co. Ltd.