London Met visa ban lifted

London Metropolitan University will again be allowed to recruit international students after the Home Office ended the revocation of its visa licence.

April 9, 2013

A statement says non-European Union students will be permitted to enter the UK to study at the university from today. The decision follows the removal of the university’s sponsor licence in August 2012.

A Home Office spokesman said a “series of inspections” carried out in the last six months “have demonstrated that the university has made the necessary improvements to its systems and administration”.

However, the university will be placed under probation for a period of 12 months “in order to build a track record of compliance with the rules for sponsoring students to study in the UK”.

During the period there will also be a limit on the number of international students the university can enrol. 

Mark Harper, the immigration minister, said: “It is in the interest of international students that all institutions take their immigration responsibilities seriously and demonstrate that they comply with the rules. This is exactly why the sponsorship system was set up.

“We have worked closely with university staff to ensure that London Met standards were improved. As a result the university now meets the required standards and we are able to grant a licence.

“We will continue to welcome the brightest and best students to our world-class universities.”

The Home Office decision comes after London Met applied for a new visa licence in March.

Malcolm Gillies, the university’s vice-chancellor, said the announcement was “excellent news for our students and our university”.

“London Met has a long history of providing education to international students and we can now continue this long-term commitment to offer them quality education,” he said.

“Students can have total confidence that our processes are stronger than ever. I take this opportunity to thank all staff and students and, in particular, international students for their patience and support over the last nine months.” 

London Met said in a statement that nearly 5,000 international students had already made applications to study with the university for September 2013 and it would now embark on a “four-month promotional tour across 17 countries”.

However, the Home Office said that under the terms of its probation, it would only be allowed to offer places to 1,000 overseas students in the next 12 months.

After London Met’s licence was revoked last year, the university took legal action in a bid to have the ban overturned.

The High Court later granted students already at the institution a temporary reprieve from deportation. However, the probationary licence means current international students will now be able to complete their courses.

Meanwhile, the university confirmed that it would still be continuing with its legal action in the High Court over last year’s revocation. The case is due to be heard later this year.

simon.baker@tsleducation.com

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