KUALA LUMPUR: The Consumer Claims Tribunal has ruled in favour of four Chinese nationals who sought a refund of their tuition fees from a private college for a nursing course that is not recognised.
Tribunal president Eddie Yeo Soon Chye ordered Sedaya International College to refund the students RM10,000 each for “conducting the Degree Transfer Programme in Applied Science (Nursing) without approval from the Education Ministry under the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act 1996.”
The students, Chen Ying, 25, Fu Mei, 26, Huang Shao Jun, 37 and Yang Rui Jun, 25, came here last year to pursue an international nursing qualification course. During the first semester, the students discovered that it was not recognised by the authorities.
The students, who are registered nurses in China, said in their statement of claim that the programme thus “lacked credibility as it did not comply with the laws of the country.”
In its defence, Sedaya’s representative Abu Bakar Jalaluddin said “it had no case to answer as the course was recognised by the Education Ministry”, citing two letters from the ministry written in 1990 and 1995 giving the college approval to run the Degree Transfer Programme – Applied Science.
He said the students, whom he claimed were performing poorly in their studies, were “harassing” the college by taking various actions to seek a full refund of their fees although the college was prepared to refund whatever owed to them.
After both parties presented their arguments on Tuesday, the tribunal reconvened yesterday.
Yeo ordered that the students be given a full refund as they were misled into believing that the course was recognised by the authorities.
“The students were told it was a Degree Transfer Programme. But later the college claimed the programme, Bachelor of Health Sciences (Nursing) offered by Charles Sturt University, in Australia, was a distance learning programme.”
The claimants accepted the offer by Sedaya to pursue the course in Malaysia to further enhance their career development as registered nurses in Shanghai, he said.
“It was most unfortunate that the claimants embarked on a course not approved and registered under Act 555 and Act 556, hence making the degree unacceptable to the Chinese authorities when the claimants return to China.”
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