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School bankruptcy strands Chinese students
( 2003-09-12 14:32) (China Daily)

A spokesman for the Chinese consulate in Auckland, New Zealand, Thursday called for measures to be taken to help Chinese students who are in difficulties because of the bankruptcy of the school they are studying in.

The China News Service reported on Wednesday that nearly 1,000 Chinese students in the Modern Age Institute of Learning at Auckland were worrying about their studies and living expenses because the school suddenly went bankrupt recently.

The students are in economic difficulties at present because they cannot get back the money they have paid to the school for study and accommodation.

The Chinese consulate in Auckland, since hearing of the situation of the Chinese students, has been paying close attention and keeping in frequent contact with relevant departments on the New Zealand side, said Ran Bo, spokesman for the Chinese consulate in Auckland, in a telephone interview Thursday.

"The consulate has the responsibility to protect the legal rights of Chinese students here," he said.

Since the news broke, the consulate has contacted the Auckland office of New Zealand's education ministry several times and has the office's promise that it will allocate funds to help all the students in the school, including the Chinese, he said.

The consulate hopes that the students will be helped out of their current difficulties as soon as possible, the spokesman said Thursday.

According to the China News Service, the school, after announcing it went bankrupt, gave each student about 400 yuan (US$48) to tide them over their current difficulties.

But a girl with the surname Zhou, who attended the school in March, said she has to pay her landlord 1,000 yuan (US$120) every week.

The Modern Age Institute of Learning is the largest private language school in Auckland, and 80 per cent of the students in the school are Chinese, according to a report of Xinhua News Agency.

The New Zealand education ministry said it will give most of the students in the school the chance to continue their studies in other language schools in the country, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The news agency quoted reports in some New Zealand media as saying that many language schools in New Zealand have expressed their willingness to take in the Chinese students.

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