Education institutions fined for unauthorized courses

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The Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training has hauled up four educational institutions, including a Singaporean one, and fined some of them for illicitly offering degree and higher-level courses though they are not licensed to do so.

Raffles in Vietnam, a member of the Singaporean-owned Education Corporation, is permitted by the Ho Chi Minh City Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs Department to offer short-term vocational diplomas in fashion design, interior design, graphic design, and multimedia design.

However, it was found to have enrolled 396 students for advanced diplomas and bachelor's degrees from Raffles College of Higher Education Singapore and bachelor's degrees from Raffles College of Design and Commerce Australia, Nguyen Huy Bang, the ministry's general inspector, said.

Raffles has been ordered to stop illegally advertising, enrolling, and training for these courses and fined VND75 million (US$3,600).

The degrees awarded by Raffles will be not recognized in Vietnam. 

ILA Vietnam Company Limited and Education and Research Vietnam Company Limited too have been ordered to stop offering unauthorized business administration courses and fined VND65 million VND80 million respectively.

The ministry told the Institute of Accounting and Business Management to put an end to its agreements with Malaysia's NSSDC Education Services, International Association of Universities, and American InterContinental University.

IABM is only permitted to offer short-term courses in finance and accounting but was found offering bachelor's and master's degrees and doctorates in business management.

But since the last courses finished in November, it is too late to fine it under Vietnamese law.

The four cases are being investigated further, Bang said.

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