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The Times: London Metropolitan University set to lose its licence to sponsor visas

Summary:

London Metropolitan University sets up hotline for international students following reports that UKBA is set to revoke the university's Highly Trusted Sponsor status.

Date of Publication:
28 August 2012

The Times: London Metropolitan University set to lose its licence to sponsor visas

28 August 2012
EIN

London Metropolitan University (LMU) is to lose its licence to sponsor visas and teach foreign students, Times Higher Education is reporting.

According to Times Higher Education, the UKBA suspended the university's highly trusted status six weeks ago, and while the decision to end its ability to sponsor visas has not yet been formally announced, it has been leaked to the Sunday Times.

The move by UKBA is said to follow an audit of LMU earlier this month.

The Times reported that the audit found international students were continuing to study at the university without valid leave visas and the university had failed to report students who had had not turned up for courses or had shortcomings in English language skills and academic ability.

The Guardian reported yesterday that London Metropolitan University has set up a hotline offering help and support for thousands of worried international students following the Times report.

According to the Guardian, ministers have denied claims made in the Sunday Times that a decision has already decided to end the university's power to sponsor visas. A final decision on the university's future is expected this week.

One international student told the Guardian that the threat was shocking and unexpected. "I hadn't heard anything about this before two days ago, I spoke to two of my Turkish friends. They, like me, didn't know anything ... I have a valid visa but I don't know if [UKBA] are going to send me back to my country because the university doesn't have any access to international students."

The Guardian says that if you are worried about your place at LMU, call the hotline on (+44) (0)20 7133 4141.

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