Language school Apax Leaders owes HCMC students $3.8M in tuition fees

By Le Nguyen   March 12, 2024 | 08:11 pm PT
Language school Apax Leaders owes HCMC students $3.8M in tuition fees
Apax Leaders Center in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City, is closed on March 4, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Huyen Nhung
English language center Apax Leaders owes nearly VND94 billion (US$3.81 million) in tuition fees it has to refund in HCMC alone, and seeks to pay in quarterly installments.

After 39 out of its 41 centers ceased operations, 4,400 students demanded a refund of the fees, 6,000 deferred classes and 839 are currently attending classes, the city Department of Education and Training said in a report sent Monday to the People's Committee.

It quoted Apax as saying it had owed over VND108 billion and has so far paid VND14.2 billion.

The company now proposes a plan starting in 2025 under which it will pay each student VND4.5 million every quarter until they are fully paid.

It also owes VND11.5 billion in salaries to teachers and staff and VND9 billion in rents.

Data from the Vietnam Social Insurance and the HCMC Tax Department shows Apax Leaders owed over VND32 billion in insurance premiums for employees and VND15 billion in taxes as of last year.

At a meeting with the department on March 6, Apax sought permission to close 26 centers and reorganize 13 others.

It also wants to temporarily close two active centers in Districts 6 and Phu Nhuan until June.

Company officials said there are financial difficulties now and only enough funds to conduct classes online, and more time is required to develop a plan to resolve the debts and other issues.

The department instructed Apax to apprise students about a detailed tuition refund plan with timelines before March 15.

Of the 39 centers currently not operational, the department said it will close down 26 and review the legal documents pertaining to the other 13 to decide their fate.

It will encourage other language centers to take in Apax's students and offer them discounts on fees.

Apax, licensed in 2016, has 120 centers nationwide with approximately 120,000 students, according to its website.

In 2020 and 2021 it closed many of its centers.

After several rounds of negotiations, some students received full refunds paid in three installments between June and August 2023.

The rest were promised refunds in five installments between October and April 2024, but Apax failed to pay.

Hundreds of people gathered at its center in Phu Nhuan District to demand their money back in October last year.

Apax then proposed a new repayment schedule extending to the end of 2025 before announcing last month it would not be able to pay.

go to top