On 23 February 2022 the website of Indian newspaper, The Tribune, reported that a group of students in Ludhiana protested against three “immigration consultants” – Bestway Education and Immigration Services, IDP Education and Canam Consultants.

According to the report the students alleged that the three agencies “had failed to send them to Canada and duped them of lakhs of rupees.” Some of the students reportedly said that the money they paid for tuition fees “was hard-earned money of their parents and some of them had even sold their land to send them to Canada.”

A video of the protest was posted to YouTube on 23 February.

In a story before the protest, another Indian media outlet, The Free Press Journal, reported that the students’ concerns related to the recent closure of three colleges in Canada – M College, CED College and CCSQ College – which recently declared bankruptcy. The three colleges were part of the RPI Group, which also included an education agency called Rising Phoenix International (see: Canada: Indian High Comm issues advisory on Rising Phoenix International Inc). According to the report the students decided to protest “against against Canam and IDP consultancies for allegedly misleading them to take admission in these institutions.”

AgentBee contacted the three agencies on 14 March 2022 seeking comment or further information in response to the media reporting. IDP responded promptly with the following statement:

We are aware of the closures of M College of Canada, College de l’Estrie and CCSQ (the “Colleges”) and Rising Phoenix International, and we understand the significant impact this has on students and their families.

IDP worked with students that enrolled in courses at the Colleges.  We are actively engaged in the situation and are committed to supporting affected students as our absolute priority.

The Colleges impacted by the Creditors’ proceedings were all Designated Learning Institutions (“DLI”) approved by the Québec government to host international students. This accreditation is a requirement for an application for a study permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The Colleges and Rising Phoenix International have now availed themselves of the protection of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in Montréal, Canada. The legal proceedings are being carried out under the supervision of the Superior Court of Québec.

On February 16, 2022, the Court issued an order appointing the law firm McCarthy Tétrault to represent all students in the Creditors’ proceedings of the Colleges and Rising Phoenix International. This law firm will represent the students’ interests, by acting in the role of the “Students’ Representative Counsel” to allow for students have a voice in the Creditors’ proceedings.

IDP has also appointed legal counsel at McCarthy Tetrault to be kept updated on the development so that we are able to effectively assist and support students and their families.

IDP has trusted, long standing relationships with reputable partners and institutions across the globe. While this an isolated incident and a unique situation, IDP is undertaking a review to understand if any procedures could be improved.

Further, in relation to the quote above “the three agencies had failed to send them to Canada”, IDP said: “This is also an incorrect representation of IDP’s role as a agent. IDP are not responsible for managing student travel.

AgentBee followed up with Canam Consultants and Bestway Education and Immigration Services on 17 March to renew the request for comment and advise of the timing of publication of this post. No response was received from either agency by the time of publication.

Education Agent Monitoring – implement best practice

AgentBee’s education agent checking and monitoring solution supports educational institutions to implement best practice education agent due diligence processes.

Educational institutions can use it to:

  • do due diligence on education agents – check new agents before agreeing to work with them, and run regular checks on current agents.
  • protect your brand – search on your institution’s name to detect cases of unauthorised agents using your institution’s name, logo or other IP without permission.

Note for institutions in Australia, NZ and Manitoba – our solution supports compliance with your regulatory obligations regarding agent checking and monitoring.

Sources: The Tribune, The Free Press Journal