Students in Punjab who have been affected by the closure of three institutions in Canada's Quebec province - M College in Montreal, CDE College in Sherbrooke, and CCSQ College in Longueuil - are planning to protest tomorrow in Ludhiana against Canam and IDP consultancies for allegedly misleading them to take admission in these institutions.
The three colleges soon after pushing up deadlines for tuition fees and requiring students to pay up hefty sums of money all of a sudden, issued a notice to them earlier this month that they were closing altogether.
"I came to know on January 6th that M College has filed for Bankruptcy to which a consultancy assured us that fees of students will be refunded. After a few days, when the closure of the institutions was covered by media outlets, I asked my agent about the refund again to which he said that some students have already received it and when I asked for proof, he refused to share it with me," claimed Deepak Kumar from Punjab, participating in today's protest, who took admission in M College and paid the fees for the same in September 2020 for the annual intake in January 2021. The student claimed that he has spent 15000$ Canadian Dollars for admission while paying extra fees for Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) and further paid the consultancy Rs.17000 for its services.
Another student from Punjab, named Simran Singh, who took admission to M College said that "he had to spend around Rs. 9 Lakhs", behind the admission process. "We came to know that the colleges have shut down and filed for bankruptcy in December 2021 which meant that they won't be able to refund us," said Simran who added that today's protest by students will be against the education consultancies.
A local leader from Moga, Punjab who is a part of the Naujavan Support Network, which is known for raising issues that concern the youth of Punjab, said that they have already protested against the recent shutdown of Canadian institutions in Chandigarh and are looking forward to the Ludhiana demonstration today. "Many students from Punjab who are living in Canada and were studying in these institutions have completed at least 70% of their course period but at the same time can't work as they haven't completed the requirements of their study permits yet. They will get deported soon if help is not provided by the Canadian government which is known as a beacon of democracy and social welfare," claimed the NSN representative.
"The High Commission has been approached by several students from India who were enrolled in the three institutions," said the High Commission of India, in an advisory released on Friday. "If they find any difficulty in reimbursement of their fees or transfer of fees, they may file a complaint with Ministry of Higher Education, Government of Quebec," the advisory continued.