International accountancy students who were transferred from a private college to a university’s London campus have complained of “inadequate” teaching and have been told again that their visa sponsorship could be in jeopardy.
In January, Glyndwr University wrote to all 323 students on the course – which the institution had originally sponsored for visa purposes, allowing them to work while they studied – telling them that they would no longer be taught by the London School of Business and Finance. Some were told that Glyndwr would end their visa sponsorship because of low attendance.
According to Syed Ahmed, principal solicitor at Capital Solicitors, who is representing some of the students, a number of those who have been allowed to remain on the course have complained that Glyndwr has failed to find teachers with an accountancy background, employing those with training in science instead.
Mr Ahmed added that on 3 April some of the remaining students were also sent a letter informing them that the university was “minded to withdraw” their visa sponsorship because it had “concerns” after assessing their “engagement, ability and intention to complete the programme”.
Details have also emerged of a 21 February hearing at the High Court at which a judge upheld Glyndwr’s decision to remove sponsorship from 33 students but the university agreed to look again at the cases of 23 others.
Mr Justice Blake said that it was “not enough…for a university simply to direct the students to the small print in the contract, wash its hands and walk away”.
He also said that he was “surprised” that the LSBF asked for three years of course fees up front “with no apparent entitlement to a rebate if the student does not complete the course”. There was a “risk” that these terms could lead to “exploitation” of students, he added.
An LSBF spokesman declined to comment on whether the students who had been ejected from the course would have fees refunded, but said that its programmes were “a fraction of the cost of comparable university courses”. A Glyndwr spokesman declined to comment.