Singapore-owned educational institutions among 4 to be shut down for illegal courses

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The Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training has urged Ho Chi Minh City authorities to revoke the licenses of four educational institutions, three of them Singaporean-owned, for illegally offering undergraduate courses.

It said they should be suspended from consultancy, enrollment, and training activities to ensure "complete compliance with laws" on education. 

The four are the Institute of Finance and Administration (IFA), and Singapore's Education and Research Center Institute (ERC) Vietnam, the Singapore Informatics & Business Management Education Ltd (SIBME), and the Melior Business School (MBS) Vietnam.

Nguyen Huy Bang, the ministry's chief inspector, said the institutions had been found repeating violations despite being fined last year and earlier this year.

They were licensed only for vocational courses, but continued to enrol students in undergraduate courses together with foreign schools, he said.

This was the first time the ministry was taking such harsh action, he said, adding that "the severe punishment has no other purpose than to maintain discipline, helping improve education equality."

The violators would also be fined VND10 million (US$476.7) each. 

A report on news website Phap Luat TPHCM (HCMC Law) said that during an inspection last month IFA was found operating an MA program together with the Australia-based University of Ballarat.

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ERC enrolled students for a bachelor of business administration program, MBS Vietnam offered programs of Melior International College, and SIBME offered bachelor's courses in business administration, information technology, and hospitality.

The ministry said many other organizations were also fined for offering unauthorized courses, including Saigon University and Phuong Dong University.

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