Filter For Your Search Clear Filter
Go Back to the List May 03, 2023
Students launch class action against James Cook University over unaccredited financial advice major

A group of students are launching a class action against a leading Queensland university for being “deceived and misled” into paying thousands for an unaccredited major.

The claims, made by about 20 former students, date back to 2019 when they enrolled in a James Cook University (JCU) financial advising major.

The students say their careers were halted for years after discovering their majors in financial advising left them unable to work in the regulated industry.

A student walks past buildings at the University of Sydney
Calls to reform Australia’s student debt scheme as loan holders face ‘deeply unjust’ 7.1% rise
Read more
Samuel Boon, 26, completed a bachelor of commerce at JCU in 2020 after moving his major to financial advising in 2019, enticed by claims of better career opportunities.

Dozens enrolled in the major, which, being unaccredited, did not provide graduates a nationally recognised and industry-standard qualification.

At the time Boon studied, the student contribution for the degree was $11,857 a year. It has since risen to more than $15,000.

Boon, who is the lead plaintiff of the class action, said over several years students sent about 15 complaints to the board, chancellor and vice-chancellor and got “read receipts and generic emails”.

“We felt betrayed, we lost hope, some of us lost job opportunities and all of us experienced enormous stress and worry,” he said.

“It was a snowball effect. My career has been set back three years and I could’ve been earning double the salary I have been on.”

The major remained unaccredited until about 1 July last year. It took a further three months for Boon and his classmates to have their qualification backdated.

The major remained unaccredited until about 1 July last year. It took a further three months for Boon and his classmates to have their qualification backdated.

Lachlan Keevers was initially approached by JCU in 2018 and scouted to move into the financial advising major. He was completing a double major in law and business at the time.

“They had a meeting and said it would be fully accredited, and we may be interested,” he said. “Then they released a video in every business class encouraging us to drop everything and come and do it.”

He did – moving to a bachelor of business with a double major in financial planning and accounting.

He only found out the major had no accreditation around two years later, when a student approached the regulatory body to register for her professional year and was told her degree was not recognised.

Keevers said graduating students were assured the major would be accredited by the end of 2020. The remaining cohort was not informed, while enrolments remained open for prospective students.

“Frustrating doesn’t begin to describe the experience,” he said. “There’s enough stress that goes with studying. I sat there every day not knowing if my degree would be worth anything.”

A spokesperson for JCU said when the bachelor of commerce (financial advising) was finally accredited, students who had enrolled were provided a “seamless transition” to the new program, while graduated students received an accredited degree.

The university also offered students who had been disadvantaged the opportunity to complete a graduate diploma in financial planning at Deakin University, funded by the university.

It expressly noted it was not compensation for students.

“Students have been offered further financial and emotional support, which some have accepted,” the spokesperson said.

“JCU was in regular contact with affected students and graduates throughout the accreditation process, providing them with updates on the matter.”

Read More
Written by Caitlin Cassidy,
Source link: |
Disclaimer UniAgents does not author any news or content in this section. We aggregate News Headlines, Summary, and Content from over 700 sources, explicitly listed in every article/page. Users can visit the sources for full articles and more local news. The sole aim is to aggregate education news from around the world so they can be categorised and the user can have a personalised experience. In some cases, the original article has news in native language but listing on UniAgents for each article is done in English. There are no copyright infringements, as we do not claim to produce any content mentioned on this page, all relevant sources are mentioned. For any clarifications, do not hesitate to contact us.