LSBF licence to sponsor overseas students suspended

UKVI takes action against one of England’s largest private colleges

September 3, 2015

The government has suspended the visa sponsor licence of the London School of Business and Finance, part of an umbrella group that now owns the University of Law.

The move means that LSBF cannot sponsor any new non-European Union students or workers. The college has 20 working days to appeal.

LSBF, part of Global University Systems, has grown rapidly since the coalition government began allowing private colleges to expand in 2010, and it is now the country’s third biggest private provider in terms of public-backed funding. Home and EU students at LSBF claimed £56 million in Student Loans Company funding in 2013-14.

Another GUS institution, St Patrick’s College, had its visa licence revoked earlier this year.

In June, the University of Law was sold to GUS.

UK Visas and Immigration said in a statement that the sponsor licence held by LSBF “was removed from the Tier 4 and Tier 2 sponsor registers”, for recruiting students and workers respectively, on 1 September.

“Existing sponsored students and workers may continue with their studies or employment until a final decision on the status of the licence is made by the Home Office,” the UKVI statement said.

Last year, LSBF was one of 57 private colleges to have their visa licences suspended. But the institution later had its licence reinstated.

An LSBF spokesman said: “We regret UKVI’s decision to temporarily remove LSBF from the register of sponsors. It is tantamount to a temporary suspension. Having received and reviewed the data supplied by UKVI, which relates to visa refusal and course completion rates and which led them to their decision, we are confident that LSBF is 100 per cent compliant with its sponsor obligations.”

The spokesman said the college expected that once UKVI received “representations correcting errors in UKVI’s initial assessment,‎ LSBF will be reinstated on the register of sponsors”.

He added: “This decision does not impact our current students and their studies, which continue uninterrupted.”

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Businesses and educational institutions that benefit from the immigration system must ensure they have robust recruitment and compliance systems in place or risk losing their privilege to sponsor workers and students.

“We continually monitor all sponsors on the register and we will take action where we find evidence that a sponsor is not fulfilling all of its duties.”

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 6 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

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest