End near for Asian dispute

June 16, 1995

A five-month dispute between Asian community leaders and Handsworth College in Birmingham was being resolved this week after disagreements over payments to tutors which could total Pounds 180,000.

Handsworth franchised a large number of courses to community centres around the country in an attempt to attract students from ethnic minorities. But last month a damning report from Further Education Funding Council inspectors said the teaching was poorly planned and too distant from Birmingham for proper monitoring to take place.

Alamdar Malik, former co-ordinator for Handsworth's Community College Network and a member of the Institute for Asian Studies in Birmingham, said he was confident that all outstanding payments to about 50 tutors would be forthcoming. He said some tutors had been waiting for payment for 22 weeks after disagreements about their rate of pay. He claimed Handsworth had changed its payment policy after making an agreement with franchisees.

A spokesman for Handsworth said no policies had been changed. Following a meeting last Friday with Dr Malik, recommendations were being forwarded to the college's audit committee for payments to some groups. Procedures for collecting evidence of student enrolment and achievement had been agreed for the rest.

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