On Campus

George Brown College faces class action lawsuit

Students allege college misled them about industry designations

A class action lawsuit alleging a Toronto college misled students about what they would get out of a business program has received certification from a judge to proceed.

Two former students of George Brown College’s international business management program allege it didn’t have the ability to confer the industry designations it promised. They launched the lawsuit in October 2008, seeking $10 million in damages and an Ontario Superior Court judge has now certified it as a class action suit representing 119 former students.

The allegations have not been proven in court.

The students say they paid as much as $11,000 to attend the eight-month program. The calendar said the program would provide students with “the opportunity to complete three industry designations/certifications” in addition to a graduate certificate from the college, according to the students’ statement of claim.

Upon completion they learned they wouldn’t be receiving the industry designations referred to in the course calendar, the students allege. In his decision, Justice George R. Strathy said most students would have read the calendar description and that the prominence given to the industry designations would suggest they were significant.

“A class action will provide access to justice to a vulnerable group of students, many of whom are from different lands and culture,” Strathy wrote. “Class members may lack the individual resources, initiative and sophistication to pursue legal action on their own and may be intimidated by the legal process.”

Of the 119 former students, 78 were international students who don’t live in Canada — most of them coming from either China or India.

The Canadian Press

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