Entry points

January 31, 2013

I note with interest that the UK Border Agency is piloting an electronic application system for Tier 4 applicants. This provides a welcome opportunity for the department to address the inherent injustice of the current system, by which institutions’ existence is potentially threatened by innocent errors in applications or supporting documentation over which they have no control (leaving them open to deliberately erroneous malicious applications).

An electronic system would allow sponsors to view and approve supporting documentation prior to it being submitted to the UKBA. This would offer significant potential savings in time and staffing, would undoubtedly reduce errors and would ensure that institutions were granted responsibility as well as culpability. Provided that hard-copy documents matched those submitted electronically by sponsoring institutions, the UKBA would be in a position to justifiably censure those with high refusal rates.

Any upcoming reforms of Tier 4 policy should also allow for an additional amendment to be made with regard to refused applications: nullifying refusals for candidates who subsequently secure visas at the same institutions for the same courses (as such people have indubitably demonstrated their bona fides). Guidance on this issue is currently ambiguous.

It is surely not the intention of the UKBA to penalise legitimate applications for courses in the UK or the institutions that provide them. I therefore hope that the body will give due consideration to these proposals - setting out a clear and consistent process for applicants and teaching institutions. The current uncertainty is profoundly damaging to British business and to the reputation of the nation as a place of study.

Matthew Goldie-Scot, Senior educationalist, Carfax Education.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show