Indian owned college collapses in Australia

With Sydney-based Austech Institute for Further Studies going for voluntary liquidation late last week, over 750 international students are looking at an uncertain future.
The hospitality college, owned by taxi driver turned entrepreneur Kharak Singh Bajwa, has become the latest in the chain of failing colleges which have put a question mark against the credibility of Australian regulatory bodies.

Most of the Austech Institute students are from India and other South Asian countries.
New South Wales authorities had given a notice to de-register the Ashfield-located institute late last year for enrolling around 1,400 international students while it had the permission for only 124.

An appeal by the institute was upheld in December last year allowing it to operate before directors called in the voluntary liquidators.
The collapse of colleges like the Austech is also being blamed on financial mismanagement, the strong Australian dollar and changes to the Australian skilled migration policy.

The government had removed the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) only a few months back, thus denying crucial bonus points to the students enrolled in courses like cookery and hairdressing.

The removal of the MODL was seen as a move to shut the so-called backdoor entry option for the international students who needed to complete two years of study at 'visa-factory' colleges like The Austech Institute to become eligible for permanent residence in Australia.

“The closure of The Austech Institute is another sign that the Australian government drive to weed out the dodgy colleges is in full swing and bearing fruit,” says Harpreet Kamboj of First Flight Overseas Consultants while speaking with IANS from Mohali in India's Punjab state.

“We hope that only quality colleges would be allowed to operate once the current round of the crack-down ends,” Kamboj added.
The NSW Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board is reportedly making efforts to protect the interest of 765 hospitality students who have been displaced due to the Austech closure.

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