Nepalese student casualty of two international college closures has been left in limbo
Drishya Katwal came to New Zealand with hopes of a good education and a business career.
The Nepalese international student enrolled in a business diploma at Auckland's International Academy of New Zealand (IANZ) early last year.
Within weeks of his arrival, the troubled private training establishment went into liquidation, and Katwal, 35, transferred to another Auckland provider, Linguis International Institute. It was closed over high plagiarism rates two months later.
Katwal, left in limbo after his visa expired, has been living off donations from his family for the last three months as he is banned from working.
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He believes the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is not doing enough to protect international students from unscrupulous school operators.
"It's been really hard for me, to be honest," he said.
"Not just for me, but for everyone, it's creating inequality [when] we are getting this type of course. I wouldn't wish any international students should have to face as depressing a situation as this.
"They [NZQA] need to manage all these things before, not after, they shut the college. It's just rubbish."
NZQA deputy chief executive Grant Klinkum said New Zealand had a "strong reputation" for protecting international students' interests, with providers that enrol international students required to sign a pastoral care code.
Klinkum said NZQA cannot take responsibility for Katwal's situation because he chose Linguis, rather than EDENZ Colleges, which bought IANZ after its liquidation.
"We appreciate the circumstances have been uncertain for this student but we can only encourage students to think carefully about their enrolment options."
It has initiated interventions against 29 of 509 non-university providers since May last year. Six organisations have been deregistered, either for incompetence or because they were liquidated.
Three of those were international schools whose closures affected more than 700 foreign students.
IANZ was investigated for falsifying test results several months before it was liquidated. NZQA decided there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute its directors.
Linguis had its category changed to NZQA's lowest possible ranking before being deregistered. A five-year review found plagiarism rates as high as 50 per cent.
Klinkum said about 15 of Linguis' 81 students have graduated, 20 more have transferred to Auckland's Kiwi Institute of Training and Education or Southland Institute of Technology.
Katwal said he's among those yet to receive marks from Linguis.
"[Linguis'] assignments weren't approved by NZQA. Our assignments are bulls***, everything they were teaching us. It was just a
- Sunday Star Times