Students launch class action lawsuit against university after discovering their course was ‘useless’
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Students are suing a Queensland university after discovering their course was ‘useless’.
Almost 20 students have decided to take matters into their own hands after claiming their Business and Commerce degree at James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville was about as useful as a submarine with windscreen wipers.
Former student Sam Boon told A Current Affair that he had dreams of becoming a financial planner after studying.
In 2019, Boon saw a promotional video for the course for those ‘interested in a career in financial advising, financial planning, investment services or in stock brokering’.
"The financial advising major will be an accredited major and has largely been developed because of changes in the regulatory requirements in the financial services sector," the video said.
Boon decided to pursue the course, only to find that the university failed to get this accredited major, which was a prerequisite to being a financial planner.
To make matters worse, Boon was at the tail end of his course.
"I've just spent three years studying with no real opportunity at the end to become a financial adviser,” he told the news programme.
The aspiring financial planner reached out to the university, but to no avail, despite sending 10 to 15 emails about the issue.
He and his former classmates are now pursuing a class action against the university.
"[It's] for distress, disappointment, the loss of income, the opportunity to increase my salary," Boon said.
Solicitor Duke Myrteza, who’s representing the 18 students in the class action, said he’s never seen a situation like this in his 30 years of practising law.
"A course must not be advertised, or a course of study must not be represented as accredited when it's not, and it's essential that no statements are made to students that are false or misleading," Myrteza said.
JCU issued a statement to A Current Affair, explaining that the course had been accredited since 1 July 2022.
They added that students who were enrolled in the course were provided with a transition to the newly accredited program, and graduated students received an accredited degree.
LADbible has reached out to JCU for comment.
This comes after the university made headlines last year when it cut 130 staff jobs after seeing a significant drop in student enrolment.
According to ABC News, Vice Chancellor Simon Biggs said JCU had experienced a 25 per cent decrease in domestic students in the past five years.