Du­bi­ous var­si­ties abroad of­fer ‘work pack­age’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

PETALING JAYA: The con­vo­ca­tion cer­e­mony in Kath­mandu in Nepal looked au­then­tic. The for­eign uni­ver­sity was award­ing scrolls to stu­dents, with the chan­cel­lor and aca­demic staff on a stage.

The event was grand and or­gan­ised pro­fes­sion­ally, giv­ing it an ap­pear­ance al­most on par with those held by uni­ver­si­ties like Har­vard, Oxford or Cor­nell.

In the au­di­ence were in­flu­en­tial po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, pop­u­lar artists, me­dia own­ers and some for­eign­ers who were pre­sented as mem­bers of par­lia­ment from sev­eral coun­tries.

The ob­jec­tive of the con­vo­ca­tion was to boost the im­age of the uni­ver­sity and re­cruit stu­dents. What many did not know was that the fac­ulty mem­bers were “grad­u­ates” from the same uni­ver­sity.

Af­ter the news broke that the “uni­ver­sity” was a de­gree mill, two pop­u­lar artistes who were awarded “doc­tor­ates” apol­o­gised to the pub­lic and their well­wish­ers for ac­cept­ing the hon­orary PhD.

The Nepali e-news­pa­per Na­garik re­ported that both re­quested the govern­ment to in­ves­ti­gate the so-called uni­ver­sity. One me­dia owner de­clared that he had re­turned the PhD de­gree.

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, the BUY&SELL news por­tal fea­tures scores of ad­ver­tise­ments that read: “Malaysia stu­dent visa with JOB.”

Sub­se­quent to the Malaysian govern­ment’s ban on for­eign work­ers in Fe­bru­ary, one web­site said: “It’s a great op­por­tu­nity to come to Malaysia as a stu­dent. Be­cause very soon, stu­dent per­mits will be off. Malaysian im­mi­gra­tion is go­ing to stop for­eign work­ers. Pro­fes­sional work­ers are al­ready banned. So, it’s a great op­por­tu­nity to come to Malaysia as a stu­dent and you can work eas­ily.”

“I’m of­fer­ing you a full stu­dent pack­age, in­clud­ing off all cost like 1 year tu­ition fee + EMGS fee + air ticket +air­port pick up + job. Very short time process. Fly within 45 days. Ap­proval on­line within four days. Ap­proval within 28 days. To­tal pack­age: 220,000 taka (RM11,600).”

(EMGS is Education Malaysia Global Ser­vices, which is a govern­ment-au­tho­rised agency set up to process stu­dent visas and stu­dent cards. The nor­mal charge in­clu­sive of in­sur­ance ranges from RM1,500 to RM2,500.)

Sev­eral “agen­cies” have sprouted in Bangladesh which sup­pos­edly sends stu­dents to work in Malaysia and many have fallen vic­tim. One such vic­tim was Ari­ful Hasan of Khil­gaon in the sub­urbs of Dhaka, who ar­rived in Malaysia to study at an “in­ter­na­tional academy”.

He said he in­tended to work part-time as promised by the agency. He and an­other stu­dent, Raz­zaq, com­plained they doubted the qual­ity of the uni­ver­sity be­cause classes were held only once a week.

They were housed separately and uni­ver­sity au­thor­i­ties treated them “like day labour­ers”, Ni­ra­pad News in Bangladesh re­ported.

It also re­ported youths “who could not even write their names” on their ap­pli­ca­tion forms were be­ing pro­cessed and sent to Malaysia.

So­hag Kabir, a Bangladeshi stu­dent had a sorry tale to tell af­ter a spell at a col­lege in Kuala Lumpur. He told BanglaNews: “There is no scope of any full-time job for stu­dents in (Malaysia). But fraud­u­lent agents mis­in­form the stu­dents by promis­ing jobs which pay up to 50,000 taka (RM2,600) a month by work­ing five to six hours daily.”

“This is noth­ing but false al­lure­ment. In all cases, all ap­point­ments are not per­ma­nent,” So­hag said.

Stu­dents are in­stead of­fered part-time jobs where they are re­quired to work for 12 hours or more daily, he added.

Malaysian im­mi­gra­tion laws al­low for­eign stu­dents to work part-time for a max­i­mum of 20 hours a week, but proper doc­u­men­ta­tion and ap­provals are re­quired be­fore they can be em­ployed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.