A BRITISH university claims it has been left out of pocket after being tricked by two Hong Kong businessmen over a long-distance learning programme. The University of Abertay Dundee, in Scotland, says in a Supreme Court writ that it was misled by the directors of Grand Consultants Ltd, Tsuen Wan. It alleges the businessmen made false claims about their company which led the educational institution to enter into a contract. Now the university is claiming GBP130,862 (about HK$1.6 million) in respect of fees it says are due. The contract, drawn up in September 1993, related to a part-time distance learning programme set up to help students obtain Master of Business Administration degrees. The Hong Kong company was to be responsible for collecting tuition fees and accounting for the programme. According to the writ, Stephen Lam Chun-wah and Mathew Cheung Yeung-fui told the university the Hong Kong Tak Ming College, a licensed educational establishment, wished to form an arrangement. But Mr Lam had later written a letter saying that this was not the case. The university said it had been told Mr Lam had successfully run a Master of Business Administration programme for Hull University, recruiting 500 students who paid a total of GBP3.15 million. The two businessmen claimed the Tak Ming College was run by their company and that Mr Lam had been appointed vice-president in charge of programme development, it is alleged. The writ also claims the university was told the college had been in existence since 1961. In fact, the businessman bought the company name, complete with an issued share capital of $2, in July 1993, the writ says. Tuition fees handed over to the university, it is claimed, came from the personal resources of Mr Cheung. The writ says: 'Lam and Cheung made the representations fraudulently and eitherwhile knowing they were false and untrue or recklessly and not caring whether they were true or false.' If the claims were not fraudulent then, at least, the facts had been misrepresented, it is claimed. The university also says the company did not collect all the tuition fees and had not accounted for those that were collected. The contract was terminated on August 30 last year by the university, which claims it has incurred expenses and gone to considerable trouble in arranging the course and collecting fees which the company failed to collect.