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Culinary students left in limbo

Province closes down Niagara Falls college but not all students are eligible for support

At least 28 students from a Niagara Falls culinary school that was closed down in October have been left without tuition refunds or government support to complete their diplomas elsewhere. One of the school’s former students, Beatrix Princzne Csemer, has been ordered to return to her native Hungary, but is consulting with a lawyer and plans to return to Canada to finish college.

Csemer, who had spent $9,000 on her program, only needed to complete a one-year-internship to earn her diploma as a pastry chef from Niagara-on-the-Lake Culinary School. When the school was closed down by the province, in relation to allegations its programs and marketing materials did not meet regulatory standards, only 16 of the 44 students affected were deemed eligible for Ontario’s Training Completions Assurance Fund. The Fund ensures students are either provided another option for completing their education or given a full or partial refund when private colleges are shut down.

Csemer was among 10 students who met with Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities officials over the holidays to determine why they were not eligible for support. Csemer says she was told she would not be receiving support because her particular program had not been approved by the government.

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