Singaporean firm's license revoked over illegal tertiary courses

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Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have ordered a Singapore-owned education company's license to be revoked after it was found enrolling students for unauthorized courses.

According to the order issued on Thursday, the HCMC People's Committee also asked the city's police to prevent Hwong Kee Hong, director general of Raffles International Vocational Training Ltd., Co., from leaving the country until all affairs related to affected students are settled.

Earlier, the Raffles center in HCMC promised to return fees paid by students who had enrolled for its bachelor and master courses which were suspended in January. But, nearly 200 people who had turned up to get the refunds on the designated day, March 19, got nothing.

This prompted parents to lodge complaints with the city police, accusing the center of fraud

Besides promising to pay refunds, the company also planned to send those students who choose to continue their courses to its colleges in Singapore, Sydney and Phnom Penh, Reuters reported.

It is estimated that around 960 students at its two training centers in Hanoi and HCMC will be affected by the suspension.

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The company was licensed to offer short vocational courses in English, marketing, business administration, accounting, and tourism.

But at the time of suspension, it had already operated its college and postgraduate programs for seven years at its training centers.

According to the Reuters, after Vietnam's authorities rejected the company's appeal for resuming the programs on March 19, shares in Raffles Education Corp Ltd fell 3.1 percent.

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