KATHMANDU, Feb 20: Hundreds of overseas students including Nepalis are facing uncertainty after the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) decided to cancel the registration of Australia Institute of Business and Technology (AIBT) citing the education provider breached several of its conditions.
AIBT is a private vocational education in Australia specializing vocational training to both international and domestic students offering certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas and graduate studies.
“The decision to cancel AIBT’s Vocational Education and Training accreditation and the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for International Students or CRICOS registration was based on the provider’s failure to demonstrate that its marketing practices were accurate and factual,” ASQA, a national regulator for vocational education and training sector in Australia told SBS.
“Providers offering the Diploma of Nursing who do not have approval of Australia Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) must ensure their marketing, including by their education agents, does not mislead students in relation to obtaining a licensed or regulated outcome”, stated ASQA.
“AIBT could not demonstrate its training and assessment practices enabled each learner to meet all requirements of their course, it had sufficient resources including qualified staff and facilities or it had implemented an assessment system to ensure learners had the skills needed,” it furthered.
Every year thousands of overseas students go to Australia in search of academic qualification and excellence. The number of Nepalese people seeking higher education in Australia is increasing every year. Data shows that more than 35 thousands Nepali students were enrolled in various education programs in 2017.
The future of the students became unsure after more than 800 international students enrolled in the Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115) were told their education at AIBT would not be recognized with reports that the provider had enrolled students in the Diploma of Nursing without accreditation from ANMAC.
To work as an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse in Australia ANMAC accreditation is mandatory.
AIBT TO APPEAL
The cancelation of the registration will come into effect from 26 March and AIBT has 28 days to appeal this decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
The AIBT is intending to appeal the decision of cancelation in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) which will include the stay of which includes a stay of ASQA’s decision.
“AIBT intends to strenuously defend the decision of ASQA and has already instructed specialist lawyers and senior counsel,” AIBT told SUB.
“AIBT is able to continue to operate its business until this matter is heard by the AAT and until the AAT hands down its decision, which may not be until later this year/early next year.”
‘NC DRAWS GOVT’S ATTENTION TOWARD RESCUING NEPALI STUDENTS’
Meanwhile, Nepali Congress, the main opposition party, has urged the government to initiate necessary steps to rescue the Nepali students pursuing nursing degree in Australia.
Party spokesperson Bishwo Prakash Sharma, in a press release, stated that the party has already directed the Nepali liaison committee close to the party and based in Australia at the earliest and to carry out the required coordination to that regard.
“Thousands of Nepali students are pursuing higher studies in Australia and we are indebted to Australia for this. However, an educational institution there is learnt to have admitted thousands of Nepali students without the legal registration and affiliation, making their future uncertain. Even the public accounts of Nepali students going there to study nursing having to suffer heart-rending problems has made us, along with their parents, distressed,” the press note stated.
“We hope the Nepal Government takes necessary steps to address the issue with its Australian counterpart,” the press statement said.
The affected overseas students can contact the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman about the private education provider.