London Metropolitan University has had its Highly Trusted Status (HTS) for sponsoring international students revoked and will no longer be allowed to authorise visas, according to the institution’s website.
The move could mean more than 2,000 students being deported within 60 days unless they find another sponsor, according to the country’s National Union of Students (NUS) .
UK Immigration minister Damian Green said there had been a “serious systematic failure” at the university.
He said the university had proved to be a “very, very deficient” sponsor because more than a quarter of students sampled were studying there when they did not have permission to stay in the country.
The minister said “significant proportion” of students did not have a good standard of English and there was no proof that half of those sampled were turning up for lectures.
Prof Malcolm Gillies, the vice chancellor of the university, said the claims were not “particularly cogent” adding that the institution would be “disputing them”.
He said: “I would go so far as to say that the UK Border Agency has been rewriting its own guidelines on this issue and this is something which should cause concern to all universities in the UK.”
As foreign students were thrown into panic over the announcement, Universities Minister, David Willetts, on Wednesday announced the formation of a task force to help those affected by the decision.
He said: “It is important that genuine students who are affected through no fault of their own are offered prompt advice and help, including, if necessary, with finding other institution.”
Meanwhile, Mr Emmanuel Egwu, a Nigerian and international students’ officer at the university, has expressed anger over the decision.
According to Egwu, the UK authority granted him a visa to study at the university in 2009 and is in the final year of his course.
“I pay a lot of money. I have spent between 30,000 pounds to 40,000 pounds in tuition fees. My parents sell their properties and land to make sure they can pay my fees so what’s going to happen to people like me,” Egwu told newsmen in London.
A statement posted on the university’s website on wednesday read: “The implications of the revocation are hugely significant and far-reaching, and the university has already started to deal with these.
“Our absolute priority is to our students, both current and prospective, and the University will meet all its obligations to them,” the Europe correspondent of theNews Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes the statement as saying.
LondonMetropolitanUniversity’s HTS status was suspended last month while the UK Border Agency (UKBA) examined alleged failings. (NAN)