Students on a university accountancy course that were being taught by a private college are to study on the institution’s own campus and screened to check that they are compliant with immigration requirements.
The 323 international students, who are taking two- to three-year accountancy programmes, are sponsored for immigration purposes by Glyndwr University but have been taught in the capital by the private London School of Business and Finance (LSBF).
A spokesman for Glyndwr said the university was “going through a process of ensuring sponsored students are complying with their Tier 4 sponsor requirements. Those who are non-compliant are expected to have their sponsorship withdrawn.”
“Students at the start of their course signed up to specific attendance requirements. Where the same students have been found not to have met these requirements action has been taken up to and including withdrawal of sponsorship,” he said.
“All students have been written to as part of this process, to inform them that future teaching will be undertaken at GUL [Glyndwr University London campus],” he added.
But he stressed that the university “routinely carries out regular compliance checks throughout the year”.
He said that the checking process was “on-going” so it would be “premature and inaccurate” to comment on how many of the students would have their sponsorship withdrawn.
The spokesman did not say whether students who had their sponsorship withdrawn would have their fees refunded.
Last year it emerged that Glyndwr had suspended the partnership with LSBF in May 2013, and stopped taking on any more students on to the course – although the students who had already signed up were enrolled.
LSBF collects the students’ tuition fees and provides teaching staff, although Glyndwr said that its lecturers were approved by the head of its business school.
As the students were sponsored by a university, they were allowed to work while studying, a right denied to private college students.
Last May, an LSBF spokesman said that this arrangement was to ensure the students were able to fulfil the “practical experience requirements” of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants course.
Also at the time, the Home Office said it was looking in to the partnership, although there was no suggestion any rules had been broken.
On the latest developments, LSBF did not provide an on the record comment to Times Higher Education’s enquiries.