On September 19, 2019, the People’s Court of Chau Thanh A District in Hau Giang Province received a lawsuit from Tan Tao University and Tan Duc Investment Joint Stock Co. claiming Do Nhat Minh Truc, former student in that university and current student in the Medicine Department of Vo Truong Toan University, not paying back the scholarship money along with its interest.
Accordingly, Tan Duc Investment Joint Stock Co. asked that the above student repay the total sum of more than VND350 million (US$15,121), including the scholarship money of VND156 million (US$6,740), the interest of late payment worth 43.7 million ($1,888), and the compensation of VND156 million ($6,740).
Besides the one against Do Nhat Minh Truc, the People’s Court of Chau Thanh A District also received many similar lawsuits from the same university against others students. They were first sent to the People’s Courts of District 6, District 8, District 11, Binh Tan District, and Binh Chanh District in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), to the People’s Courts of Ben Luc District and Can Duoc District in Long An Province, where those students live permanently. These cases were then sent to the People’s Court of Chau Thanh A, where their current university (Vo Truong Toan University) is located.
According to the claim of Tan Duc Investment Joint Stock Co., this company established an ITA Fund to deliver scholarships for poor and excellent students of Tan Tao University. The criteria to approve the scholarship include students’ academic result and the detail of only offering scholarship to those being able to finish the academic year. Therefore, if a scholarship winner is expelled from school or stop learning without a proper doctor’s statement, that student must repay double the scholarship sum.
When receiving the request of the above students to transfer to Vo Truong Toan University, Tan Duc Investment Joint Stock Co. requested that they pay back the received scholarship along with the late payment interest.
As stated by Ms. Tran Thi Kieu My, representative of Do Nhat Minh Truc, when accepting learners, Tan Tao University said that its freshmen in the Medicine Department would receive a full scholarship, and this would continue as long as their academic result was excellent, with no need to sign any commitment with any sponsor or the university itself. As a result, the above students used this money for studying purposes.
The problem arose when in the second semester of the second year, Tan Tao University changed the scholarship policy without noticing the concerned students.
What is more, in 2017, parents of many students here expressed their annoyance when the university unexpectedly raised school fees and continuously adjusted the scholarship policy, with the request to keep the initially committed fee.
Following that, several students of the university contacted the representative unit of the Ministry of Education and Training in HCMC, saying they were given a hard time transferring to another university or asked to repay their scholarship money. The Ministry’s inspectors have already demanded Tan Tao University to give related documents for those students to successfully change to other educational institutes as wished. Yet after that incident, this university immediately filed the above lawsuit.
The Ministry of Education and Training has concluded that this university seriously violates many educational regulations related to enrolling students, employing insufficient teaching staff, irregularly issuing qualification, and opening unapproved majors. Its school fee collection using USD monetary is yet another law disobedience.
The lawsuit against Do Nhat Minh Truc, which should have been carried out on October 18, was postponed since the plaintiff was absent. Ms. Kieu My annoyingly said that the university’s action aims at creating more havoc in its former students and warning its current students from making the same school transfer decision.