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The decision by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to revoke London Metropolitan University's licence to sponsor non-EU students will have significant implications for the university and its students.
We understand that this news will cause anxiety for many people. HEFCE will work tirelessly with London Metropolitan University, and with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Universities UK (UUK), and the wider higher education sector to ensure that the interests of the university’s students are protected through this difficult period.
We welcome the announcement by the Universities Minister of the formation of a task force, led by Sir Alan Langlands, HEFCE’s Chief Executive, which will include UUK, UKBA and the NUS, to work with London Metropolitan University to support overseas students affected by the decision.
HEFCE has been in close touch with London Metropolitan University since its Tier 4 licence was suspended on 16 July.
Our top priority is to ensure that all of London Metropolitan University’s students – overseas and home/EU students, undergraduate and postgraduate students who will continue their studies next month, and students who are due to commence their studies in 2012-13 – are given the help and advice they need. We will do all that we can to support them, including, if necessary, helping existing overseas students to find places at other universities, and we will do whatever we can to give students the opportunity to undertake their studies without disruption, delay or uncertainty. This must be the primary consideration of all concerned.
HEFCE believes that overseas students are an essential part of the richness of the student experience in campuses up and down the land. They contribute greatly to the UK's excellence in education, science and research.
This is an unprecedented situation which relates only to London Metropolitan University. It will not affect existing or future international students at other universities. No other UK university has had its licence to sponsor international students revoked, and the UKBA’s decision does not in any way reflect concern about licensing arrangements at other universities in the UK.
For press enquiries contact: Liz McCarty, Head of Communications, HEFCE
London Metropolitan University's helpline for international students is 020 7133 4141