Students at suspended college press complaints

Students of the closed English Language College will lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman next week, seeking an investigation into the government's supervision of private schools, a student representative said yesterday.

The Education and Manpower Bureau said it had been closely following the case. It was gathering information and considering further action, including whether to prosecute school directors.

The 20-year-old school closed suddenly on September 21 after the government decided to disqualify its courses from the Continuing Education Fund (CEF) scheme. The school, which had 5,000 students, said it had lost 80 per cent of its income after being disqualified.

The Democratic Party said it had received almost 100 complaints from former students since the closure.

Thirty students met officials from the Labour and Welfare Bureau and also the Education Bureau to discuss remedial measures.

'The government promised to help the students sit other qualifying examinations,' student representative Lam Lap-chi, a Democratic Party community officer, said later.


Meanwhile, another private college, Wall Street Institute, announced yesterday that students aged 16 or over who were left with uncompleted terms at English Language College could complete their terms at its school free.

'Students must bring a valid receipt showing at least one month of remaining study and a valid student ID. The entire remaining period of study will be honoured,' a Wall Street spokesman said.

Mr Lam said the school's closure showed the government monitors private schools passively, adding that students would file a complaint with the Ombudsman next week.

A government spokeswoman said last week officials found problems with the college's operations and its promotional methods during an assessment of its courses.


In March, two courses, the English Language Programme for Adults-Access Level and Essential Office English, were disqualified from reimbursement under the CEF scheme.