2,000+ students in UK university may face deportation

Updated: 2012-08-31 16:01


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LONDON -- UK Border Agency (UKBA) said on Thursday that it has revoked London Metropolitan University's license to sponsor students from outside the European Union (EU).

It means students from outside the EU, whose number now exceeds 2,000 at the university, are no longer allowed to study there.

Though the decision may mean that those students have to find another sponsor in 60 days or may be deported, UKBA said, "London Metropolitan University students who are already in the UK with a current, valid UK visa do not need to do anything immediately."

UKBA said that a government-led taskforce is being created to support those affected genuine students to find another institution where they can continue their studies in the country.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said the university had failed in three particular areas.

More than a quarter of the 101 students sampled were studying at the university when they did not have permission to stay in the country.

A "significant proportion" of checked files found "no proper evidence" that the mandatory English levels had been reached.

In addition, the university didn't know whether its students are turning up for their course and whether they are using a student visa to enter the country for work.

"Our absolute priority is to our students, both current and prospective, and the university will meet all its obligations to them," said Malcolm Gillies, vice-chancellor of London Metropolitan University.

Higher education is an important export industry in Britain, bringing in 12.5 billion pounds ($19.8 billion) every year, according to National Union of Students (NUS).

NUS has contacted Prime Minister David Cameron to express its anger at the way the decision of revocation had been made in recent weeks and to reiterate the move's potential impact on the economy.