Sun, November 26, 2006
Complaints about school mounting
By BRODIE FENLON, TORONTO SUN
The five Chinese students aren’t the first to complain about Toronto Polytechnic Institute. The Sun has found labour ministry complaints by former TPI staff and two ongoing lawsu its against the school by two other students. None of the lawsuit claims have been proved in court:
– Yuechen Liu, a Chinese national, is suing for $5,625 U.S., another $3,000 in punitive damages and costs. She enrolled in the “Postgraduate Diploma Program in International Banking and Finance” last year and was “deeply shocked” by the “huge discrepancy” between what she’d been promised and the reality, alleges her statement of claim.
She withdrew before classes began in August 2005 and demanded a refund. “TPI made numerous fraudulent misrepresentations on its website and through its agent in China with respect to its educational facility, reputation and ability to offer degree programs to the public,” her claim alleges.
The College denies all the allegations. It claims in a statement of defence that it never advertised degrees, that Liu signed an application for a diploma program and that she “never intended to study at TPI,” but only used the school to gain entry into Canada. She was expelled because she failed to attend classes and is ineligible for a refund, the school claims. TPI “is a premier educational institution with an impeccable record from provincial authorities, current and former students … and TPI would never compromise its reputation by making false or misleading statements.” The case is scheduled to go to trial Feb. 16, 2007.
– Bhatu Mohan Patil of India claims in his lawsuit that he lost $14,200 when he withdrew from TPI before starting his “Health Care Administration” program.
His statement of claim alleges: “I was told by the agent in India that the institution has qualified medical faculty, medical laboratories, hospitals attached with the institution and establish (sic) campus. The college website also (depicted) several buildings, making me believe the information given by the agent.”
The school denies the allegations. The trial is adjourned so an interpreter could be retained.
– The school has also been investigated by Ontario’s labour ministry. Spokesman Belinda Sutton said three workers filed claims with the province in 2004 for unpaid wages, vacation pay and unauthorized deductions totalling $5,600.
All three were eventually paid or settled. A fourth employee filed a claim in September, which is still being investigated.