Updated on Oct 5, 2012 - 11:02 a.m. IST by Prabha Dhavala
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Australia's vocational education regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has decided to close two non-compliant vocational education and training colleges in Victoria and one in New South Wales (NSW). The closed colleges are the Ashmark Group Pty Ltd and G Plus G Global Trading Pty Ltd in Melbourne, Victoria and Ivy Group in New South Wales.The impact of this would be on more than 500 Indian students studying here.

The ASQA audits concluded that these colleges were non-compliant with the standards required to impart training to the various students. This was a result of comprehensive compliance assessments, including multiple site visits by ASQA officers to the said colleges.

The institutions have the right to ask for a review of the decision said the ASQA chief commissioner Chris Robinson while emphasizing that the interests of the students and the integrity of the training standards across the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sectors needed to be upheld even if it means the rejection of a training organizations's registration.

However, Australian high commissioner to India Peter Varghese has assured that the interests of these students would be protected under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (the ESOS Act). This means that international students will be able to access the Australian Government's Tuition Protection Scheme (TPS) if the institutions do not meet their obligations to the students. The TPS will seek to place affected students in an alternative course or refund any unspent pre-paid tuition fees to the students

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