Nov 16, 2012

Vietnam - Schools offering Singapore programs to be scrapped

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Ho Chi Minh City will close down private schools offering Singaporean training programs for running unlicensed courses, said Vo Phuoc Nguyen – vice head of the vocational unit of the city’s Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs.

He added that the department will today issue a decision to revoke the license of the Melior Business School (MBS), which actually closed its operations yesterday. The legal representative of the school, director Cheng Sim Kok, fled before the closure.

The department will also report to the People’s Committee of HCMC about the closure of other similar schools in the city to ensure the legal rights of students, according to Nguyen.

Besides MBS, at least three other schools, including the Singapore Informatics and Business Management Education Company (SIBME), ERC Institute Vietnam (ERC), and the Institute of Finance and Administration (IFA) will be stripped of business permits. While only allowed to run short-term vocational programs (for less than a year), they enrolled hundreds of students in unlicensed undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs that last longer than a year.

Relating to the closure of MBS, Melior International College (MIC) has sent emails to students of the school’s unfinished syllabus denying its legal involvement with MBS. MIC said in general that it would create conditions for students to follow their studies at the MIC in Singapore.

Meanwhile, in Vietnam, the students are waiting for refunds from MBS for their unfinished curriculums.

In fact, MBS sent emails to students confirming that those studying hotel operations will be transferred to Hoa Sen University in HCMC, and others in business administration will be sent to Singapore in July next year.

Do Sy Cuong, vice headmaster of Hoa Sen University, admitted that MBS representatives contacted his school about the transfer, but no agreement has been reached.

A representative of the Singaporean Consulate General in HCMC said private vocational schools established in Vietnam are obliged to conform to Vietnamese law as they are granted certificates by Vietnamese authorities.

And those schools set up in Singapore are under the control of the Council for Private Education (CPE) in Singapore.

The official advised Vietnamese students to take caution in enrolling at schools set up outside Singapore with advertisements offering Singaporean programs or connections with other units in Singapore.


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