International students left deserted after school shutdown

A group of 40 international students say they've lost thousands of dollars in fees and been left with no qualification after their school was abruptly shut down by NZQA.

The New Zealand National College is another international school now left deserted, in darkness and locked up.

The qualifications authority says it will refund the students - but some of them say they've only received a fraction of their initial investment.

NZQA spokesperson Grant Klinkham said it found the New Zealand National College was providing very poor education, so the school was deregistered.

But before problems were discovered, students had enrolled believing that it would provide quality education, based on NZQA's initial assessment.

Former NZNC student Cora told Newshub: "The background and the reports showed 'good' or 'excellent'."

The 27-year-old is one of dozens of Chinese students now without a school or a qualification, and she says she's lost thousands of dollars in tuition fees.

"Forty students are ready to be graduated, and then they told us they don't recognise our qualifications and they won't give us certificates. I feel angry."

A receipt shows she paid the college $14,000.

But she's been told she'll only get $6000 back - the amount deposited in the Public Trust.

"Some students have told us they paid a higher fee than the amount on their verified receipt," says Mr Klinkham. "We can't comment on this at the moment as it's subject to an investigation." .

Another former NZNC student, Hyanjin Oh, says she's lost hope in Kiwi education and plans to return home to Korea.

"Although we are not citizens, [we] pay for our rights and if the qualification is cancelled, we deserve something better than this.

"If I re-enrol in [another] school, I don't know what's going to happen. This could happen again."

Immigration lawyer Alastair McClymont says it's clear the school was not under proper scrutiny to begin with.

"There was no oversight, there was a lack of monitoring and the money had disappeared.

"So, yeah, they've been conned."

But NZQA says it was monitoring, which uncovered the issues.

So what do the school's owners have to say about the missing money?

No-one was there when Newshub came knocking and managing director Evan Wu would not return our calls.

Some students say they will reapply for new courses, but know that financially, it'll be a struggle.