AIBT may not be the last provider to make international students cry on live TV


By Ram Khatry
20 February 2019


A representative of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has indicated there are more training providers in Australia that do not have the required accreditation to run Diploma of Nursing course indicating this may not be the last time when desperate and young Nepalese students break down on live TV.

A group of international students from the South Asian nation gave a heart-wrenching interview on Sidha Kura Janata Sanga as they described the sheer mental pressure they are currently undergoing due to the AIBT debacle.

“ASQA is aware of an issue that some providers who may be approved to deliver the Diploma of Nursing qualification under the VET requirements do not meet a separate requirement to be accredited by the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC),” an ASQA representative stated in an emailed response to southasia.com.au.

If the statement from ASQA is to be believed then these stories of international students going through a traumatic experience because their providers have had their registration cancelled may well repeat in the future.

ASQA cancelled the VET and CRICOS registration of AIBT on February 19 because it failed to demonstrate that (a) its marketing practices were accurate and factual; (b) its training and assessment practices enabled each learner to meet all requirements of their course; (c) it had sufficient resources including qualified staff and facilities and (d) it had implemented an assessment system to ensure learners had the skills they needed. 

“The decision to cancel this provider’s registration will take effect from 26 March 2019. The provider may seek a review of this decision by applying to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal within 28 days. The provider may also request a stay of the decision until the AAT determines its review,” ASQA representative further added.

The sight of young twenty-somethings from Nepal crying on a national television back home has caught the attention of the entire Nepalese diaspora in Australia. There have been thousands of posts and comments on social media since the plight of the young Nepalese students came to light.

The Australian chapter of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) has today issued a press release calling on both Australian and Nepalese governments “to fully investigate and take appropriate action on the matter”. Dila Kharel, speaker of the organisation, has urged AIBT to refund complete fees and provide compensation to the affected students if it is unable “to provide accredited course completion certificates”.

Speaking on the live programme hosted by Nepal’s celebrity TV personality Rabi Lamichhane, the group of Nepalese students blamed their respective education consultants of not taking their grievances seriously. They claimed that their agents were rather protective of the provider, AIBT, instead of showing sympathy to them.

Expert Education and Visa Services today issued a press statement suggesting the “Expert” mentioned during the live show on News 24 could have been the name of “other consultants that sounded like ours”. Its Director, Badri Aryal, has said Expert Education “does not compromise on matters concerning the future of our students”.

The press release was later taken off the Facebook page of the Expert Education and Visa Services.

There were other agents that were also mentioned during the live programme.

According to ASQA, providers offering the Diploma of Nursing who do not have ANMAC approval must ensure their marketing, including by their Education Agents, does not mislead students in relation to obtaining a licensed or regulated outcome.

Exact number Nepalese students affected by this debacle is yet to be ascertained but education industry insiders say it may be as high as close to the 1000 mark.

The provider also did not demonstrate it had undertaken satisfactory remedial action to identify and address the impact caused to students, ASQA said.

Students impacted by AIBT’s practices can contact the Tuition Protection Service or the Commonwealth Overseas Student Ombudsman.

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