The NUS has instructed law firm Bindmans to file a third party intervention in the London Met case on its behalf, as well as act as an independent expert in the case.
It follows London Met’s announcement that it had filed for judicial review following the UK Border Agency’s decision to revoke the university’s status as a highly trusted sponsor (HTS) for international student visas.
The UKBA claims London Met failed to take action to address “serious, systemic problems” identified by an audit six months ago, which meant it could not guarantee its students were not in the UK illegally.
London Met’s application for interim relief is expected to be heard by the High Court on 21 September and should it be successful this will pause the proceedings with regards to London Met’s highly trusted status.
If the institution fails to pause the action, about 2,600 students from outside the UK may be asked to leave the country as early as the start of December unless they can find a course at another university.
Liam Burns, president of the National Union of Students, said: “We are concerned that the needs and interests of students are represented in this case, and our independent intervention will look to ensure that voice is heard in the legal proceedings.”
He added: “As this is the first time that the government has revoked the sponsor status of a public institution, we are in uncharted territory, and this case will set important precedents for the future treatment of both domestic and international students.”
Saadia Khan, a solicitor at Bindmans said: “The court will decide if NUS can intervene in the proceedings brought by London Met - doing so will enable the students’ perspective to be heard by the court.”