It seems unlikely that 23 Nepali students who paid a large chuck of money to study at Shelburne College in Ireland will get their money back.
The students´ hopes of seeing their money again were shattered after the college failed to re-open as earlier promised. The directors of the college are said to be at large. The college closed down suddenly in November after issuing a notice that it would re-open from 12th January.
Back in June, the students had paid the college almost 90,000 Euros, up to 4,040 Euros each, before applying for visas. Non-European Union students are obliged to pay their fees to the approved colleges for study in Ireland.
The students had sought help from Ivory Edu Care Pvt. Ltd, a local education consultancy in Lalitpur, for applying for visa some six months ago. Owner of the consultancy Nabin Shahi is currently in Ireland.
Talking to Republica by phone, Shahi said that he has tried everything possible to get the money refunded by the college but he was unable to contact its directors.
“I tried to file a complaint against the college at a local police station but they declined to record it, saying it was not a criminal case. We even organized a vigil in front of the deserted college building in Dublin yesterday,” he said.
RTE News reports that the Irish Council for Overseas Students (ICOS) has collected documentation from more than 150 students but the visa applications of a majority of the students were rejected.
“Data received by RTE News from the Department of Justice shows that over the past year and a half 85 percent of all visa applications for study at the college were rejected by the immigration authorities,” the news site reported.
Despite the breach of educational norms over fee refund, the college remains listed in the register of approved colleges in Ireland.
Media reports claim that the college owes up to 500,000 Euros to international students, mainly from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Vietnam, the Philipines and other developing countries.
Hari Timilisina, Bhagat Rajbanshi, Subha Raj, Pradeep Gurung, Sujata Thapa, Ganga Bahadur Parajuli, Hem Raj Acharya, Shree Ram Acharya, Subash Thapa, Sunita Tamang Moktan, Ashmit Khadka, Sabin Maharjan, Chetan Thapa, Shobha Khadka, Sangam Pandit, Sagar Prasad Pokharel, Kalpana Gurung, Bharat Kumar Regmi, Jeevan Baral, Anil Thapa, Sujan B.K, Bishal Nepali and Amber Khadka had applied to study at Shelbourne College with the help of Ivory Edu Care Pvt. Ltd. Most of the students applied for business studies.