Hyderabad

Not the first time that students were scammed

Telugu students’ penchant to land in the United States is well-known, and that desire to reach the land of dreams lands them in troubles some times, as relatively unknown and unaccredited universities exploit them.

On Monday, some students admitted into Silicon Valley in California and North Western Polytechnic College, Fremont, California, were refused to fly there on Air India apparently after it received a message from the US Customs and Border Protection Agency that the two institutions were under scrutiny.

However, this is not the first incident where some ‘sham’ universities lured Telugu students through their agents by exploiting their desire to land in the US.

In earlier instances, Tri-Valley University and Herguan University – both in California – were accused of violating the norms and misusing student visas.

Interestingly, a majority of students in those institutions too were from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

More than 1,000 Indian students were affected after the Tri-Valley University was shut down on charges of visa fraud. Some students were radio-tagged leading to a major controversy on how US treated its international students.

It was then alleged and found that a Telugu staffer was responsible for the visa fraud.

However, the US authorities transferred more than 500 students to other institutions while some were denied permission.

About 400 Indian students faced similar problems with the Herguan University in Sunnyvale, California, which faced charges of visa fraud from the US authorities. Most of them here too were Telugu students. Another institution that came under the scanner was the University of Northern Virginia near Washington DC.

The highest number of students here were also from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. However, most of them were transferred to other institutions to maintain their student visa status.

US Consulate officials have been repeatedly advising students to pick up genuine varsities through the services offered by Education USA, but several students fearing high fee or the fear of admissions being rejected prefer to study in low-cost institutions.

Study

In fact, a study done by the Brookings Institution, an American think tank, between 2008 and 2012 said that Hyderabad students prefer lesser-known institutions with little research activity to their name and involved in abusing student visas.

It is alleged that senior students in such universities themselves encourage the prospective candidates as they get paid certain fee for introducing new students.

Several Indian origin agents are also quite active in the US who place these students in companies through their placement agencies, taking a major chunk of their earnings.

Students from such mediocre institutions have no other choice but to depend on these placement agencies.


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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 6:14:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/not-the-first-time-that-students-were-scammed/article8016246.ece

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