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HindustanTimes Sat,26 Jul 2014

Indian students left high and dry as UK cancels university licence

Press Trust of India  London, August 31, 2012
First Published: 00:59 IST(31/8/2012) | Last Updated: 01:02 IST(31/8/2012)

A major London-based university for admitting Indian and other non-EU students has lost its licence for its alleged “serious and systemic failings”, plunging hundreds of students into an uncertain future.

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“London Metropolitan University’s licence to sponsor non-EU students has been revoked after it failed to address serious and systemic failings that were identified by the UK Border Agency six months ago,” a UK Border Agency (UKBA) spokesman said.

Apart from jeopardising the plans of many Indian students preparing to study there, the move will also affect the current students, who will need to move to other universities or abandon their courses and return to India within 60 days.

The university, which recruits heavily from India and has offices in New Delhi and Chennai, is the first British university to have its licence to admit non-EU students revoked under measures to curb student visa abuse.

A task force had been set up to help Indian and other non-EU students affected by the revocation, officials said. The university has more than 2,000 international students. The next academic year was supposed to start in September.

Universities Minister David Willetts 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 institutions at which to finish their studies.”

“We are tonight asking the Higher Education Funding Council for England and Universities UK to lead a task force, which will include the UKBA and the NUS (National Union of Students), to work with London Metropolitan University to support affected students and enable them to continue their studies in the UK. The task force will start work immediately,” he added.

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