Private college hit by ‘restraining order’ and fine

Canada branch of London School of Business and Finance labelled an ‘unlicensed private career college’ and told to halt teaching

October 31, 2013

A private college with links to several UK universities has been ordered to stop teaching a number of its programmes in Canada and has been fined C$64,000 (£38,000) for allegedly offering courses unlawfully.

On 17 April this year, the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities issued a “restraining order” against the Canada branch of London School of Business and Finance, ordering it to halt teaching and stop charging for and advertising a number of vocational programmes.

The order says that LSBF is an “unregistered private career college” that does not have approval to offer a number of courses in the Canadian province, including higher national diplomas and programmes from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

According to a ministry document released in August, the college did not comply with the order until 2 May, earning it a C$64,000 penalty.

The penalty was reviewed but upheld, and LSBF Canada is now listed as an “unregistered institution” on the ministry’s website.

However, LSBF is fighting to overturn the decision in the courts.

The institution has campuses in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Singapore as well as Toronto, which took its first students in February 2011. The LSBF Canada website is currently “under maintenance”.

A spokesman for LSBF Canada described the restraining order as “unfair” and said that the institution had “always operated lawfully in Ontario and continues to do so”.

He added that the college had taken steps to “mitigate the impact on students” of the cessation of the courses.

In the UK, LSBF offers degree courses validated by Bradford University, the University of Lincoln and the University of Central Lancashire.

It hit the headlines over its partnership with London Metropolitan University in 2012, which was abruptly terminated after just eight months, partly because of the university’s loss of its licence to sponsor international students (which was reinstated earlier this year).

The two institutions then engaged in a financial dispute, and the university had to take a write-off of £2 million from the partnership, Times Higher Education reported in September.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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