Duncan Lewis


Asylum, Detention/ Fast Track

Managed Migration, Public Law

A university has been stripped of its HTS status leaving thousands of student’s future in doubt

Date: (30 August 2012)    |    

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The fate of more than 2000 students hangs in balance as they face deportation from Britain after the Government had withdrawn the London Metropolitan University’s right to admit and sponsor foreigners.

The institution’s website displayed that London Metropolitan University has had its Highly Trusted Status (HTS) for sponsoring international students revoked and would not be allowed to authorise visas.

It could mean more than 2,000 students fear being deported within 60 days unless they can find another sponsor according to the National Union of Students.

After having examined alleged irregularities in the university the UK Border Agency (UKBA) had suspended the university’s HTS status.
A statement posted on the university's website read that the implications of the revocation were hugely significant and far-reaching, and the university has already started to deal with these.
The website continued that the university would be working very closely with the UKBA, Higher Education Funding Council for England, the National Voice of Students and its own students union NUS. It said that its immediate priority was to meet all its obligations to them.
The NUS today contacted Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May to ‘express anger at the way that decisions have been made in recent weeks and to reiterate the potentially catastrophic effects on higher education as a £12.5 billion per year export industry for the UK’.
NUS president Liam Burns said that it was disgusting that international students continue to be used as a political football by politicians who were oblivious of the impact of their decisions on individuals, universities and the UK economy.
The decision would create panic and potential heartbreak for students not just at London but across the country he said.
He added that politicians had to understand that their suspicious attitude towards international students was going to affect the continuation of higher education as a successful export industry. Their heavy handed decision was not making any sense to the students, institutions and the country.
He said that this situation could have been avoided if overseas students were not included in the counting of permanent migrants.
An NUS survey carried out earlier this year after changes to international student policies found that 40 per cent of foreign students would not recommend Britain as a study destination.
The advocacy group also said that in recent weeks they had heard from an increased amount of students who now feel unwelcome in the UK.