With three Canadian colleges suddenly closing shop, fate of over 2,000 students is in jeopardy. To avoid such a situation, we suggest five things to do before seeking admission abroad.
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Updated: 23 Feb 2022 5:25 pm
About 2,000 Indian students in Canada are protesting for fees refund as three private colleges in which they were studying have decided to close down due to financial constraints.
M College in Montreal, CDE College in Sherbrooke, and CCSQ College in Longueuil have abruptly announced their closure leaving these students in lurch.
Not only that their career is at stake but these students are also on the verge of losing their parents’ hard-earned money as each one of them has paid from Rs 25 lakh to over a crore as fees depending on the academic year.
Back in India, their parents in India are staging demonstrations in parts of Punjab asking the Indian government to raise the issue with its Canadian counterpart.
Had these students done their due diligence before taking admissions to these three colleges, they might not have got into the situation that they are in today. Here are five things that one should keep in mind before choosing a college or a course to study abroad:
Experts dealing with foreign education in India suggest that students should speak to the respective Indian embassies in the country where they want to study and find out about the education scenario and status of colleges.
They say that the financial health of a college doesn’t deteriorate in a day or two. This exercise will help fresh students avoid such colleges where their money and career can be at risk.
“Indian embassies are well-aware of not only the status of colleges but their course validity and legal stand as well. If a student is being offered a college by any education counsellor, he or she should immediately get in touch with the Indian embassy of that country and get all the details,” said Professor Amarjiva Lochan, an expert at the India Centre for Migration (ICM), which serves as a research think tank to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on international migration and mobility.
The next thing students can do is to get in touch with the office of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) in Delhi and get details of the legal validity of a particular college or university anywhere in the world.
AIU is the only authority in India that has the list and details of all approved universities and colleges across the globe. Also, it is the only body, authorised by the Ministry of Education, in India which gives equivalence to a foreign degree.
“There are several occasions when students do a course from an approved college but those degrees are not in line with our education system. In such cases, AIU does not gives equivalence and then the candidates face difficulty in getting a government job or pursuing further studies in a public university in India,” an ex-officer bearer of AIU said.
Students should try to get admission in the top 150 colleges as per global ranking systems such as Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Times Higher Education (THE) or ShanghaiRanking. Experts caution that if a candidate gets admission in a non-ranked college or a college that is very low in the ranking, it may be detrimental for his/her career.
“People who are desperate to migrate to a foreign country lap up just about any course in any university. But what they don’t understand is education from a substandard university will not help them get into a high-skilled job. They will have to settle for low-skilled job in countries like Canada and Australia. It is nearly impossible to settle in the US this way. A majority of students studying in low-ranked US colleges often have to return to India,” said an education counselor.
One of the major reasons why students get trapped into a bad college or an invalid degree programme is because they fail to differentiate between a good education counsellor and an agent.
The agent’s job is to place as many students as possible in a particular university and get a hefty commission in return. However, a genuine education counsellor charges money from the candidate and grooms him or her for the right college with counselling and skill enhancement.
Aspiring students can get in touch with student communities often formed by Indian students who are already studying abroad. They can clear their doubts and convey the ground realities, as they have already spent a considerable amount of time abroad.
Indian parents can also get in touch with those students and take their help in cross-verifying the credibility of an institution.
“One must not rely on the website of a college as they are mostly designed to impress students. The reality, however, is sometimes completely in contrast,” said the counselor quoted above.
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