Certain Short Course Providers Beguiling Students and Failing to Deliver

May 2, 2023

Universities and other short course providers must ensure they have the resources and capacity to deliver programs before advertising, luring and taking payments from students. This is after the Council recently received complaints against three different short course providers for not being able to adequately deliver the courses after taking payments.

In one of the cases lodged against a university, a student enrolled in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration short course. As per the course structure, 4 classes per week was scheduled, however the tutor took the class occasionally. In another case, a short course provider offering courses in catering failed to provide any classes to a student who had already enrolled and paid.

CCoF Chief Executive Officer Ms Seema Shandil has sounded an urgent reminder to universities and other short credential course providers to ensure that they deliver as promised, especially when currently the demand for such courses is really high.

“This behavior by certain short course providers is extremely unethical as it firstly engages in false advertising by promising to deliver quality courses which are structured and then fails to honor the same after accepting payments. This is simply daylight robbery,” said Ms Shandil.

Responding to assertion made by one of the universities in question during investigations, the Council is also clarifying that it has the right to intervene if universities engage in false or unethical marketing.

“Universities provide a service which students pay for; hence, it makes them a consumer. Therefore, if students feel that they have been duped or misled, they have the right to seek the Council’s assistance,” added Ms Shandil.

The Council is reminding universities/ other short course providers to always ensure that they provide correct and accurate information to students at the time of enrollment and ensure that they live up to the promises being made.

Students who think that universities/short course providers are not providing services as advertised or as per their course structure are encouraged to contact the Council on toll-free number 155 or lodge a complaint using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app.