Cameroon immigrant accuses Fraser Valley Community College of ‘rip-off’

Cameroon immigrant accuses Fraser Valley Community College of ‘rip-off’

An Edmonton man says a small B.C. college which caters to students from Africa wasted six months of his time and owes him $4,500.

Derek Sabum says in March 2014 he was willing to invest tens of thousands of dollars to bring his three siblings from Cameroon to get a Canadian education.

Sabum says he chose Fraser Valley Community College (FVCC) because it was recommended by a fellow Cameroonian and he understood it would help with their visa applications.

But Sabum said FVCC bungled their registrations and when he complained its owner accused him of making threats, told him to go elsewhere and kept $4,500 of the $6,797 he had paid in application fees and tuition installments.

“I think they ripped us off,” Sabum said. “This is real strange that something like this can happen in Canada. This should stop. This is not the image of Canada.”

The college says its refund policies are clearly spelled out on its website.

College fees too expensive, brother says

FVCC’s non-refundable $1,000 application fee for Cameroonians is the highest allowed under B.C. law, and higher than the fee charged by similar institutions.

Vancouver’s Greystone College and Hamilton’s Columbia College both charge international students application fees of $150.

Sabum said that when he questioned the fee, he was told part of it covered student visa fees and assistance preparing the visa application.

The owner of FVCC, Sunanda Kikla, says the $1,000 is purely the price of application and says any help with visas is provided for free.

“For anybody to imply that the $1,000 has something to do with the visa services is absolutely not fair,” Kikla said.

She said students from other African countries may pay application fees as low as $250.

Kikla blamed Sabum for the problems and delays.

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