By Ram Khatry, Sydney
28 May 2017
The Chief Operating Officer of Royal Gurkhas Institute of Technology (RGIT), which was founded by a forerunner of the Australian Nepalese community, has indicated that the organisation would assist affected students “to meet their visa requirements” in the event that it lost an appeal against its deregistration by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).
Responding to southasia.com.au‘s query about the future of student visa of well over a thousand students undertaking various courses at the Melbourne-based Institute, RGIT’s COO Jonathan Hampton expressed confidence that the matter may not even reach the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) because it “is diligently ensuring through the correct legal process that we are compliant”.
The AAT conducts independent merits review of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws.
“RGIT will always assist our students to receive quality training and opportunity to meet their visa requirements even in the event of an unexpected outcome,” Mr Hampton said in an emailed response but failed to explain how. The “unexpected outcome” being his allusion to a possible loss in the appeals process.
The deregistration will not take effect until 27 June 2017.
In the meantime, the institute continues to stress that “it is able to conduct its business as usual and will continue to teach its current student cohort”.
ASQA last week cancelled RGIT’s accreditation as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) after it failed its audit process. Reports suggest the business has “notched up an extraordinary windfall from a badly-managed government loans scheme”.
RGIT is the brainchild of Victorian entrepreneur Chandra Yonzon who also seconds as the Honorary Consul General of Nepal to Victoria. The college is a regular sponsor of various community events and employs as many as forty-five Australians of Nepalese origin, Mr Yozon pointed out.
“Royal Gurkhas Institute of Technology (“RGIT”) has obtained legal advice and it strongly believes it is compliant with all its legal and other obligations. It looks forward to the opportunity to demonstrate it is not only compliant but that it delivers quality training across the wide range of courses it delivers and which it has successfully delivered to numerous students over many years,” a press release of the organisation said earlier.