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Dr. J George
06-11-2005, 03:26 PM
HIGHER EDUCATION SCAM OR WHAT?

Dear Friends – I received this complaint today from a consumer pertaining to his daughter’s predicament and would like your feedbacks on this and whether this kind of case is rampant in our midst!

Please take time to comment as I certainly appreciate your feedbacks in preparation of a Memo to the Higher Education Minister!!

Thanks. :)

DJG

The Case:

‘My daughter applied for a place to study pharmacy in IMU.

The application forms cost RM 100.00.

There we were charged RM 500.00 as processing fee.

She was offered a place after interview.

BUT we were asked to pay RM 13,000.00 as tuition fee for the first semester, on top of other fees upon accepting.

Failing which the place will be withdrawn.

That was about 3 months before the first semester started. I presume the conditions set was to make us believe that people are "cuing up " for the limited places offered.

She was asked to sign a document that stated that the RM 13,000.00 was not refundable.

With the slim chances of getting a choice course in IPTA, we agreed and paid.

My daughter was then offered a place in NUS Singapore.

We decided to "return" the place offered by IMU.

We informed them about 2 months before the semester started so that they could offer the place to other people who are "cuing up" - as we were made to believe. We also asked for whatever refund we could get.

We were refunded the deposit of about RM 350.00.

BUT forfeited the RM 13,000.00 first semester tuition fee.’

Friends - Your views forwarded are appreciated. I have also posted this on my weblog at http://www.drjacobgeorge.com/ :)

wAISEKMAo
06-11-2005, 04:10 PM
HIGHER EDUCATION SCAM OR WHAT?

Dear Friends – I received this complaint today from a consumer pertaining to his daughter’s predicament and would like your feedbacks on this and whether this kind of case is rampant in our midst!

Please take time to comment as I certainly appreciate your feedbacks in preparation of a Memo to the Higher Education Minister!!

Thanks. :)

DJG

The Case:

‘My daughter applied for a place to study pharmacy in IMU.

The application forms cost RM 100.00.

There we were charged RM 500.00 as processing fee.

She was offered a place after interview.

BUT we were asked to pay RM 13,000.00 as tuition fee for the first semester, on top of other fees upon accepting.

Failing which the place will be withdrawn.

That was about 3 months before the first semester started. I presume the conditions set was to make us believe that people are "cuing up " for the limited places offered.

She was asked to sign a document that stated that the RM 13,000.00 was not refundable.

With the slim chances of getting a choice course in IPTA, we agreed and paid.

My daughter was then offered a place in NUS Singapore.

We decided to "return" the place offered by IMU.

We informed them about 2 months before the semester started so that they could offer the place to other people who are "cuing up" - as we were made to believe. We also asked for whatever refund we could get.

We were refunded the deposit of about RM 350.00.

BUT forfeited the RM 13,000.00 first semester tuition fee.’

Friends - Your views forwarded are appreciated. I have also posted this on my weblog at http://www.drjacobgeorge.com/ :)

I think it's a "contract".

But may I know how old the the girl who sign the contract? is she legally, under the law ability to represent herself and sign the documents? Does she needs her parents consent(signature)? Maybe this is a loophole.

Other than this, there is nothing you can do. The best is to negotiate with the person in charge to settle somewhere in between.

GreenBug
06-11-2005, 04:45 PM
There isn't much further details available to comment fairly like the words used in the contract. To me, the RM100 for the application form and the RM500 processing fee is already ridiculous enough, imagine paying RM600 just to apply for a course, this is like applying for gomen tender forms man!

As for the RM13,000 fees for 1st semester, this is arguable and moot. Technically, if one does not 'register' at the start of the 1st semester, then one is not attending the class. But since the money has already been paid upfront, it looks like you need to refer to the 'terms' in the contract and better still check with a legal eagle.... :rolleyes:

Amanda85
07-11-2005, 11:54 AM
oh gosh thats terrible....

my uni...monash uni of malaysia.....

eventhough we had fully paid d tution fees n started d semester....we still can refund d tuition fees if we aren't satisfied or change our mind.....but ofcoz not 100% refund....

expat1609
07-11-2005, 12:25 PM
oh gosh thats terrible....

my uni...monash uni of malaysia.....

eventhough we had fully paid d tution fees n started d semester....we still can refund d tuition fees if we aren't satisfied or change our mind.....but ofcoz not 100% refund....

terrible to me are the fees, as mentioned by greenbug, but to pay the fees and sign a contract that they are not refundable, so what is wrong at the end?
do not quite understand the complain :confused:

uchangeng
07-11-2005, 12:39 PM
looks like going south would one day be my son's only option. how on earth we are going to tell our young ones that our dear country have "struggled" for their better future?

"BN bela nasib kita" I heard this in the last election. But why we still have to send our children to a land far away to get a basic degree? Would Pak Lah answer this question?

JackRyan1975
07-11-2005, 12:45 PM
She was asked to sign a document that stated that the RM 13,000.00 was not refundable.


This pretty much said it all. If she's above 18, consented to it, paid the money in good faith, it's difficult to rescind the contract. Unless she appeals, then she may stand a better chance of a refund. Just my layman view as I'm not a lawyer.

CALVINHOBBES
07-11-2005, 01:35 PM
Personally, I think IMU might be legally correct BUT morally wrong. The student has given IMU 2 months notice ahead of the start of the semester of her withdrawal. I think most colleges/universities have a fair policy of refunding a portion of the tuition fees depending on when the withdrawal notice is given. Most would get back close to 90% of their tuition fees if they withdrew (in writing) before the start of a semester. Once a semester has started, then it goes down to 75%, 50%, 25%, etc within a few weeks. This sounds fair.

To “force” a student to sign a document stating that the RM13K is not refundable is playing on the fear of the student. Perhaps, as I said, legally correct but I am of the opinion that it is not morally correct. Even when you purchase a car or a house, etc, you pay a deposit which is forfeited if you change your mind. In this case, IMU could have (should have) collected a deposit from the student to secure the place which would be forfeited if she changed her mind.

I feel sorry for the parents and think it is highway robbery (though legal). I would support a complaint to the Ministry of Higher Education.

Ski
07-11-2005, 02:49 PM
My daughter was then offered a place in NUS Singapore.

We decided to "return" the place offered by IMU.

/[/url] :)


Just my thoughts... surely i think he knows that its going to cost a bomb studying in Singapore and also what does the fine prints say on the reservations fees?

Dr. J George
07-11-2005, 02:56 PM
As a attorney myself I find this situation wrong/replusive, both contractually and ethically flawed and as Saudara CALVINHOBBES stated, feel it is "daylight robbery". :mad:

And, I am advised by several private e-mails (33) in all, that the practice is quite rampant as education and places in private inst of higher education is sought for by parents diging in to provide their best to their children in view of the 'despicable & racist situation' in selection processes involving public inst. :o

But, something must be done - RM13,000.00 is a lot of money and I want to do my best to protect this family and their savings.

This is ridiculous! :mad:

Thanks for the feedbacks so far!

Unbelievable
07-11-2005, 03:02 PM
If you are an attorney, then you should know what must be done

Ski
07-11-2005, 03:09 PM
If you are an attorney, then you should know what must be done
Exactly and why does he need our layman opinions..but i think its more of a political agenda for him..imho.

Dr. J George
07-11-2005, 03:12 PM
Dear Friends – I received this complaint today from a consumer pertaining to his daughter’s predicament and would like your feedbacks on this and whether this kind of case is rampant in our midst!

Please take time to comment as I certainly appreciate your feedbacks in preparation of a Memo to the Higher Education Minister!!

Yes Sister/brother! :)

But if you read my initial posting (above in color) you would gather that this is not just addressing the issue which I can and will do but stage two - the memo needs more than just a legal argument.

The said Memorandum on this matter for the Higher Education Minister needs a wide cross-section of case-study, thoughts and feedbacks.

The more feedbacks and thougts on the matter which includes similar incidents elsewhere would make the Memo stronger.

Ski - Sorry - I beg to differ! This is not politics and neither is this the forum for that! If I want to do that I already have a blog at http://www.drjacobgeorge.com/ which serves that purpose! ;)

In this case - A parent had written to me I am responding and the more thoughts gathered from friends in this forum the better I think.

Thank You.

Shalom! :D

balitan
07-11-2005, 04:13 PM
i believe that each uni or college will have their own rules and regulations pertaining to applicaton for admission

the reason that a certain amount of money is required as down payment for eg the first semester is to discourage students from 'jumping' from one uni to the next,........
just imagine for eg if many students play the wait and see game, then the uni will be at the losing end.....

initially when the student signed the 'contract', agreeing to pay the fees for the first semester, she did it on her own free will, AND understanding that this amount is NON- refundable, if she leaves or decide not to turn up

so who is at fault here ??

if at all, the conditions were NOT to her liking, then she should not have
sign and pay up

i hope that my comments are not too unreasonable, i am siding the uni
of which i know is very strict and money minded,

Ski
07-11-2005, 04:16 PM
Hi
Whats the feedback from the authorities of IUM.What is their strory on this matter, if you have met them personally, otherwise we are blank why this should happen. Most of our views are just hearsay.

This important issue should be highlighted in our media to get more coverage and attention if you think its illegally wrong.

Tq

balitan
07-11-2005, 04:16 PM
sorry, correction here

i am NOT siding with the uni..................

kress
07-11-2005, 04:16 PM
i believe that each uni or college will have their own rules and regulations pertaining to applicaton for admission

the reason that a certain amount of money is required as down payment for eg the first semester is to discourage students from 'jumping' from one uni to the next,........
just imagine for eg if many students play the wait and see game, then the uni will be at the losing end.....

initially when the student signed the 'contract', agreeing to pay the fees for the first semester, she did it on her own free will, AND understanding that this amount is NON- refundable, if she leaves or decide not to turn up

so who is at fault here ??

if at all, the conditions were NOT to her liking, then she should not have
sign and pay up

i hope that my comments are not too unreasonable, i am siding the uni
of which i know is very strict and money minded,


true but 100% unrefundable is pushing it too far... most colleges i see have a multi stage refund system. Before the 1st semester you get 75%, after the first week 50% and any time after that 25%

idolfan
07-11-2005, 04:18 PM
As Ski I am entitled to my humble opinion. I say , expose the lot of commercially minded private institutions who exploit parents who have little choice but to comply to rubbish conditions imposed money minded institutions...,make it public and allow IMU to have their right to reply.

I have wondered whether private uni like IMU who charge exorbitant fees for medical degrees actually are able to deliver courses of reputed quality or just scrape thru with what they deliver to the undergrads. If you know of any undergrad enrolled at IMU ask them whether they would prefer to study at NUS or Melbourne U.. if they had the choice. .. they don't think IMU delivers but they don't have much choices available.

We should be grateful to civic minded people like Dr G instead of insinuating that they do it for personal gains.

Dr. J George
07-11-2005, 06:22 PM
Actually Saudara Ski - I have been given the "run around" since morning. :confused:

I called the Finance/Cashier's Office - no luck! :eek: Everybody is at meetings I am told! :o

Finally I got to speak to one Cik Noor Liza of the Admissions/Student Affairs. :)

She was nice and warm but could not help enlighten me on the matter but refered me to another who she claims handles such/similar matters - one "Irene". :cool:

I told her, instead to get "Irene" to call me soonest inview my posting of this matter on my Weblog at http://www.drjacobgeorge.com/ and the forthcoming Memorandum to Datuk Shafie and the possibility of a PC on this matter which I felt was very unethical and certainly wrong and an injustice to caring parents who put their life's savings to assist their child get a better education. :(

She agreed and we shall wait and see! ;)

Ski
07-11-2005, 06:54 PM
Thanks Dr. George for your response and troubles, Do appreciate very much of your endeavours and hope you will succeed in helping this family.

Shalom to you too :)

Ski
12-11-2005, 09:32 AM
Hi Dr George

May we know the outcome of this poor man's plight regarding the refund of Rm130000.

Tq

sinleong
12-11-2005, 12:12 PM
This case should be brought up to the consumers tribunal. No doubt there is a contract between IMU and the student or parents, but does the law leaglize this type of collection? If it is a deposit, it should be refundable fully or partially depending on whether services or goods have been rendered or delivered.

Arguably, if it is fees paid in advance and later the consumer finds out further information and decides to withdraw based on new information, it should be ethical that the fees be refunded. Otherwise, anyone can go out there and make promises, collect money and not deliver on those promises.

DatinLawa
12-11-2005, 12:51 PM
as far as i know, the ministry of higher education regulates the refund policy of all public and private institutions. therefore all SHOULD follow the guideline. i guess a check at the ministry is worth while.

cleomae
12-11-2005, 03:46 PM
I am attending part time courses. In the span time of 3 months, our class schedule has been changed a number of times varying different days in a week. Being a working adult, it posed a hindrance for me as I have to kept on adjust my schedule. I wonder does the college has such rights to do that? I brought this up to the college. I was told they have the rights to decide which day and time they wanted and the students does not have a say. I requested for a refund and was rejected. I feel intimidated when the college proposed to me to lodge a complain to the Ministry of Education and Consumer Tribunal which the end game would be my plight will be put to sleep( according to the college)

VeeJay
15-11-2005, 02:01 PM
Another case at FTMS- De Montfort University
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She had hoped to be the first in her family to achieve academic success, and even borrowed money from family members to pay for her college fees.

However, her dreams have to be put on hold after the programme she signed up for would not allow her to obtain a British degree, contrary to what she was led to believe.

Now, T. Yogeswari, 22, wants to get her RM27,500 back.

Yogeswari, from Taman Desa Kemuning in Shah Alam, said she signed up for the three-year FTMS- De Montfort University’s (FTMS- DMU) Accounting and Finance degree programme at FTMS College, here in June last year.

She borrowed money from her retired in-laws as well as an uncle who lent her his savings meant for his daughter’s education.

“They are not rich people, but they helped me nonetheless as they wanted me to be the first in the family to succeed academically,” said Yogeswari.

However, in February this year, she and her course mates were informed by the college that its partnership with De Montfort University was terminated.

The college had offered to transfer the students to HELP University College, an offer which her course mates accepted but she declined.

The reason was that she had discovered, after making enquiries to De Montfort University in Britain via e-mail, that her course would not end with a degree from the university but from the college itself.

“This was contrary to what I had been made to understand when I signed up. Throughout the course, I was told that this would be a degree from a British university,” she claimed. “They even told us that although the convocation would be held here, it would be attended by the university’s dean.”

Yogeswari said the programme costs RM32,800.

“Under their payment scheme, students can get a rebate of RM7,800 if they settled the full sum immediately, which was why I paid the whole sum. Why would I pay such a large amount for a local degree?” she said.

“To date, I have had 12 meetings with the college representatives, but no solution has been reached,” said Yogeswari who lodged a report with the National Consumer Claims Centre (NCCC).

“I just want my money back so that I can settle my debt with my family members.”

When contacted, a FTMS spokesman urged Yogeswari and other students to write in to them immediately concerning the matter if they needed clarification.

The spokesman stressed that FTMS and DMU are two different bodies and had jointly set up the FTMS-DMU Campus.

“As such, there are programmes which offer local degrees which Yogeswari had signed up for. The degrees offered by DMU are for the MBA and BSc Computer Science courses only,” he said.

Meanwhile, NCCC manager Darshan Singh said the college had requested a meeting to discuss the matter.

“However, I feel there is no need for any more meetings. There is no more room for negotiation as it is a clear-cut case of fraudulent misrepresentation,” he said.

“We have written to the college twice and have yet to receive a satisfactory response. We hope that the college will issue a full refund to the student.”

Darshan said their next move would be to refer the matter to the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry for further action.
http://www.mmail.com.my/Current_News/MM/Saturday/National/20051112110238/Article/index_html