Nov 29, 2012

Vietnam - Stripped of seal, academy shuts down courses

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Hundreds of Ho Chi Minh City students have been left scratching their heads for more than a week as a training agency under the Ho Chi Minh City University of Fine Arts suddenly ceased operations, explaining that it had had its seal withdrawn by the parent school.

The students went to the Polygon Academy of Design on Monday to demand that it ensure their interests after all of its courses were abruptly closed on November 20.

Le Khac Quang, who had been studying graphic design at Polygon since August 25, said he had paid VND25 million (US$1,200) in tuition for an 18-month course there before the shutdown.

Quang complained that Polygon refused to give him a refund and didn’t tell him when the course would resume.

“Academic staff told us that the closure was due to the absence of its seal,” the enrollee complained.

Quang’s classmate, Le Quoc Mai Anh, said that the academy must inform course takers of the date when it starts operating again so that they can make arrangements on their side.

“They must make a full refund of the tuition if the stoppage is permanent,” Anh insisted.

More than 40 course enrollees have already filed an appeal for a refund from Polygon.

The academy was running graphic design, 3D game artist, and events specialist courses with 450 students.

Enrollees’ interests will be protected

Ho Si Minh Tuan, Polygon’s director, admitted that the parent university had stripped Polygon of its seal, and the academy’s operations have been troubled since November 15.

The bank account of the academy had also been frozen at the request of the university following the withdrawal of the seal, Tuan said, adding that it had to stop running the courses because Polygon now has no money to pay lecturers and staff members.

Le Van Dan, vice president of the university, blamed the problem on Tuan, saying he refused to comply with instructions from the parent school.

“The president has written to Tuan that he must carry out necessary formalities in order to resume the operations of the academy, but he has yet to do so,” Dan said.

Polygon will restart the courses soon and all of the enrollees’ interests will be protected, university president Truong Phi Duc asserted.


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