Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Students will not be left in lurch: TASMAC

Training and Advanced Studies in Management and Communications (TASMAC) will shift its 550 students from its London campus to other colleges affiliated with the University of Wales in two weeks time. The Pune-based TASMAC Group had shut down operations in its London campus last week.

Sameer Dua, Joint Managing Director, TASMAC group said this was due to the tighter visa restrictions implemented by the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA). “The students will not be left in the lurch. All 550 students would be transferred to the University of Wales partner colleges. TASMAC and the University of Wales are conscious of their responsibilities towards their students and are doing our best to transfer them to the other University of Wales partner colleges.”

Dua said in about two weeks, all students would be shifted, but unfortunately the 45 employees working with TASMAC London would not be offered alternate employment. “The over-riding concern of both parties (TASMAC London and the University of Wales) is to ensure that all existing students are given every possible opportunity to complete their studies under acceptable conditions and to qualify for the University’s award. To achieve this, the University is actively seeking alternative arrangements that will enable the students to transfer credits to an equivalent University of Wales award. These arrangements include discussions with the UKBA to facilitate a smooth transition between sponsors.”

Most TASMAC London students originated from non-European Union countries and needed visas to study at the institute. Dua said the change in visa rules had forced the institute to shut shop after it failed to find a prospective buyer for the past three to four months.

UKBA changed its visa regulations earlier this year affecting several institutes based in UK. In March, the Home Secretary had announced sweeping changes to the tier 4 student route for migration in UK. One of the consequences of these changes has been an increase in the number of colleges in the private and independent sector closing down, leaving many students unable to complete their studies.

A letter by the British Accreditation Council (BAC) in August to the concerned institutes, this year said: “The government has announced no initiatives to address this problem. However, BAC is looking to formalise some of its existing informal strategies to provide assistance to displaced students of BAC accredited colleges. It is in the interest of good public relations for the sector, and for maintaining the excellent reputation of BAC accredited colleges, to ensure that such a system exists. Therefore, BAC is compiling a list of our accredited institutions that might be willing and able to accept genuine students displaced by colleges that are no longer operational or are in the process of closing down.”

It is to be noted that Schiller International University, a private American university that had a campus in London, also had to shut down operations in London in August, due to tighter restrictions on student visas in UK.

Source: Business Standard, October 11, 2011

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