Sunday, September 23, 2012

UK to help students hit by LMU licence revocation

The United Kingdom (UK) has set up a task force to help international students affected by the revocation of London Metropolitan University (LMU)’s licence. A £2-million fund has also been set up to help legitimate foreign students at LMU bear the extra costs in securing admission to other institutions. Recently, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) had revoked LMU’s sponsor licence, owing to “systematic failures”. The move affected about 2,000 students from several countries, including India.

“A task force has been set up in the UK to assist genuine students affected by the decision to revoke London Metropolitan University’s sponsor licence. The task force comprises the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Universities UK, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the UK Border Agency and the National Union of Students. This is working with London Metropolitan University to support genuine students to find another education provider, with whom to continue their studies,” a UKBA spokesperson stated, replying to an emailed query.

“A fund of £2 million has also been established to help legitimate foreign students at London Met who face extra costs as a result of transferring to another institution. Genuine students currently studying at London Met (London Metropolitan University) do not need to take any immediate action. The UK Border Agency would write to them after October 1. They would then have 60 days to make a new student application to study at another education institution, or to arrange to leave the UK. The 60 days would start from the date the UK Border Agency contacts the student,” the spokesperson added.

A sponsor’s licence may be revoked due to various reasons, including concern an education provider is not fulfiling its sponsorship responsibilities related to admitting international students. Since 2010, the UK Border Agency has revoked the licences of over 500 Tier-IV education sponsors. Of these only one was for a university—LMU.

“The problems and this decision affect only one university, London Metropolitan University, not the whole sector. As on date, no other university has had the licence to bring international (non-EU) students suspended or revoked. Britain welcomes all legitimate international students wishing to benefit from the high quality education provided in the UK. There is no cap on their numbers,” the UKBA stated.

UK has four of the world’s top 10 universities, with about 430,000 students from non-EU counties (about 30,000 Indian students), accounting for about 14 per cent of students in the UK.

Source: Business Standard, September 23, 2012

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