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Not just B’luru branch, 3 other Raffles colleges shut down

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by November 25, 2016 General
Bengaluru: Indian campuses of the premier Singapore-based design institute Raffles seem to be jinxed. Apart from the Bengaluru college, the Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai branches of the institute have also shut down.

Last week, students of Raffles Millennium International in Bengaluru were shocked when they learned about the development. Citing a dispute between the institute and its Indian promoter as the reason for the closure, the students were left with just two options — head to Singapore to complete the course or opt out and take home a refund. The colleges are run by EduComp-Raffles Higher Education Limited (ERHEL).

Sunil Peters, vice-president, India operations, confirmed the closures. “The colleges in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai have ceased to operate,” Peters said in an email statement to TOI from Singapore on Friday. He said: “All the affected students can complete their course at other Raffles colleges. The initiative will be funded by the Raffles Entities even though the accountability rests with ERHEL..We will extend financial assistance to RMI employees whose salaries have not been paid by ERHEL.”

However, students who enrolled for the course in Bengaluru are confused. Manila (name change) has completed 15 months in the institute and has decided to opt for the refund. “I joined the institute, thinking it was best. I didn’t know things would turn so ugly. I don’t know when will I get the refund. The management told us it would get back to us next week,” said Manila.

Parents of Ruchika Jha (name changed) have decided to send her to Singapore so that her academic year is not wasted. “I have lived in Singapore for a long time so I know how it is there. But the cost of living is much higher so we may have some financial trouble,” said Neeraj (name changed), Ruchika’s father.

He added, “When our daughter begins her course in Singapore, we will have to pay the tuition fee as as per the Bengaluru fee structure. We were told Raffles would bear the travel expenses. Now we have to run around to get the paperwork for her visa ready.”

Parents said they have paid Rs 15 lakh for the courses and have been promised a refund of Rs 10 lakh. While the students are worried about their future, parents feel let down by the institute.

EduComp Solutions Limited said: “The dispute between Raffles and Educomp with regard to EduComp-Raffles Higher Education Limited is at the shareholder level and has no bearing on the operational matters. Educomp is only an investment partner and has no knowledge of the operational problems and the commitments made to the students.”

Footprint in 14 countries

Established in 1990, Raffles colleges are spread across 14 countries in Asia-Pacific. They offer courses in fashion designing, graphic designing, interior designing, jewellery designing, multi-media designing, product designing, animation and game designing.

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