Toronto: More than 2,000 Indian students, who face an uncertain future after three Montreal colleges closed last month by declaring bankruptcy, have demanded the intervention of the Canadian government to bring them justice.
CCSQ College, M. College and CDE College had collected millions of dollars in tuition from these students before closing.
The students, many of whom have moved to different cities to stay with friends or relatives, say they have been scammed.
They organize rallies to highlight their plight.
As some of the affected students and their supporters shouted for justice at a rally in the Toronto suburb of Brampton on Wednesday, anxiety was big on their faces.
They shouted slogans asking for the intervention of the Canadian government to help them complete their courses at other colleges.
Those who were about to complete their courses should be allowed to complete based on their old credits, they demanded.
Many said they were short on money because they could not legally work 20 hours a week – as international students allow.
Manpreet Kaur, a student from Longowal in Punjab, said she had deposited more than $14,000 in annual fees at M. College and was waiting to start her early education classes in January when the college filed for bankruptcy.
“When I arrived in Canada on October 9, I was told that since the college could not find enough students, classes would start in January. But on January 6, the students received an email saying the college was bankrupt. It looks like a scam,” said Manpreet who completed his masters in computer science in India before coming to Canada.
Vishal Rana, a student from Karnal who was studying at CCSQ college to become a medical practice specialist, said: “I only had four months left of my 16-month course when the college put it on hold. I do not know where to go.
Rana had paid $24,000 in fees.
Harwinder Singh, who came from Pehwa in Haryana to take a two-year business management course at M. College, said, “I deposited $21,500 for this course and only completed six months of lessons. I survive on a little money that I have saved by working. I don’t know what will happen.
Gurkamaldeep Singh, a student from Moga, said he would have completed his business management course from M. College by June. “Now my biggest worry is whether I have to redo my course. We are told that the government has given colleges to find buyers so that studies can resume.”
Gurkamaldeep said students should be allowed to take the rest of their courses at other institutions.
“We should give each other course completion letters so we can join other colleges and also apply for work permits to survive,” he said.
More than 700 students, who were taking online courses sitting in India, are among those affected by the closure of these colleges.