International Students victimized by Australian College and Agents

Prativa Shrestha February 14

More than 1000 students enrolled in Diploma of Nursing in an Australian institution named AIBT (Australia Institute of Business & Technology) are stranded due to failed accreditation of their degree. Majority of the students are of Nepalese nationality.

Students were enrolled in the nursing course before getting the accreditation from ANMAC (Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council) and NMBA (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia). AIBT is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) based in NSW and Queensland but the course also must be accredited separately by ANMAC and NMBA. Since, AIBT is not an accredited provider, the diploma of nursing students cannot get the qualification.

ANMAC and NMBA had released a notice on April of last year to aware providers not to enroll students before getting the accreditation. However, when overseas students were enrolled to AIBT, they were unaware about the different types of accreditation. They were simply told by education agents that the provider is registered.

When the students became aware of the provider not having the accreditation, the provider assured that the accreditation is on process and their future is safe. They were unable to pass the accreditation.

It has come to light that the students who were supposed to graduate very soon has not even attended their first clinical placements. Leena, a current student, reveals to Nepalese Voice,” We were told that all the placements would be done in the last semester”. For a student to undertake clinical placement, s/he should also be registered with NMBA through APHRA.

The notice by ANMAC clearly states,” All students of a program that is accredited by ANMAC and approved by the NMBA must be registered with NMBA through notification to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) at enrolment and prior to undertaking any clinical training”.

Leena, further, states,” The limited information source we had were provider’s website and agents. My agent asked me to sign a paper mentioning that all information was provided to me”. Students are frustrated and depressed that they have been robbed off their time, money and future.  Students were paying up to $16000 for the course every year.

Leena came to Australia to study Diploma of Nursing in AIBT leading to Bachelor in a renowned university. However, now that AIBT failed the accreditation, her COE from the university has been revoked. This is not an isolated case; other students’ COEs also have been cancelled by other universities.

Students are facing these problems due to lack of information and misguidance. AIBT is not a singular example, there are other providers as well which have caused havoc for students due to failed accreditation and one of them is ETEA (Education Training and Employment Australia) based in Melbourne. One of the students from ETEA told us that she fell prey for the provider, where she paid almost $13000 and her 9 months of study went in vain.

The AIBT incident came to light after Bijay Sapkota, National President of Council of International Students Australia, received formal complaint from the students. Sapkota speaking to Nepalese Voice stated, “We are serious about this matter. We will take necessary steps if the provider does not provide satisfactory response, we stand for the rights of students”. Similarly, he also said that students can also go to different legal bodies of Australia to complain individually like, Commonwealth Ombudsman and State Government.

This issue has brought multiple questions to public’s mind, like who should they trust, why are the providers not held accountable by respective body and while providing VISA why did not the government research well about the course and respective providers?

If any of the students has faced such problem, please contact to The Nepalese Voice at 1300826966.

Nepalese Voice could not reach to AIBT’s management.

The name of the student has been changed.