Oz Government still protecting foreign students, says Deputy PM

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Canberra (Australia), July 31 (ANI): Australia's Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Julia Gillard has said that her government is pulling out all stops to protect foreign students studying at Australian colleges.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Gillard as saying that students are being guaranteed a place in an equivalent course even though the scheme that funds the transfers is not insured.Fairfax News has reported that no one is willing to underwrite the fund set up by the Government to cover the transfer of students if their chosen college closes.

Gillard said the scheme was formerly insured by AIG, which has been a victim of the global financial crisis.

"Since that time, it's true we haven't been able to find a new insurer for the scheme. These are obviously difficult days for insurance and financing arrangements because of the financial crisis. But the Australian Government stands behind the scheme and our guarantee is clear, if an international student is enrolled in a college that closes for whatever reason, we will find them a comparable place to complete their course or we will refund their fees," said Gillard.

The report comes days after dire financial problems forced the closure of Sterling College in Sydney. More than 500 people, mostly international students, have had their courses stopped and face the loss of thousands of dollars in fees, and all 35 college staff have been sacked. (ANI)

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