Bankruptcy leaves mess at institute
( 2003-09-18 09:45) (China Daily HK Edition)
Li He, 20, had been having a good time studying English at a New Zealand
school. Then, early this month, she was suddenly "at a loss" when the school
went bankrupt. That's when the Chinese girl began worrying about her life.
The Modern Age Institute of Learning, one of New Zealand's largest English
language schools, shut its doors on September 5 because of financial
difficulties. More than 600 students ended up in economic troubles themselves
since they have not been able to get their tuition and accommodation payments
back. More than 500 of them are Chinese.
"Some host families they were staying with have refused to provide housing
for them any longer, because the school has not been making its payments for
several weeks," said Li. "Some say they will evict the students if the money is
Many fear that the school's collapse could put an end to their study in the
country. "I've only finished half of my year of study here, and I'm at a loss
about what to do next," complained 18-year-old Zhou Sujin, who is studying at
the school's Auckland campus. "I can't get the 100,000 yuan (US$12,000) I paid
back and this has caused big financial troubles. To make it worse, I'm afraid my
student visa might be revoked."
That alarm seems a bit premature, however. Modern Age has six campuses across
New Zealand. Many students, except those at the Tauranga campus, have been
placed with other language schools under a scheme that protects their tuition,
according to Xinhua News Agency.
Trevor Mallard, New Zealand's Education Minister, has promised to provide
500,000 New Zealand dollars (2.41 million yuan) for accommodation for the
students. That is expected to save them from being evicted by families who had
not been paid for up to six weeks.