London Met Kicks Out International Students

Bad news for London Met as international students are sent packing.

It’s been revealed this morning that London Metropolitan University has had its overseas license revoked. That’s the license allowing the Uni to teach students from outside the EU- enabling them to validate visas saying they can stay in the UK.

On the face of it, this might seem fair. The immigration minister Damian Green has outlined a slew of accusations about how the University failed to implement proper procedures. A sample of student records which were checked found:

  • A QUARTER had no permission to be in the UK at all
  • A ‘significant proportion’ didn’t have enough evidence that the student could speak enough English
  • More than half had no record of whether the students were even showing up to lectures and classes- raising fears they might have used the visas as a free ticket to getting into the UK and then working full time.

The big problem stems from the fact that this ban now applies not only to new applicants, but also to continuing students. According to a Sabb from the London Met this means over two thousand students now have a whopping sixty days to decide if they can either find a place at another University to continue studying, or return to their home countries. UK students going through clearing have enough trouble around this time: the chance of a continuing international student finding a suitable place on a course at another Uni in two months seem pretty bleak.

Our SUSU Sabbs have released a blog in line with the NUS President Liam Burns’ statement to the effect that this might have serious implications for our image as a country providing reliable higher education- and that the large number of students now “left in limbo” are obviously suffering a lot of stress and anxiety over their uncertain futures.

The arguments from both sides are flying thick and fast. The NUS has already contacted the PM and Home Secretary to express anger at the decision, arguing the government could just as well have said the London Met couldn’t recruit any more students, rather than having to kick out existing ones. The government itself has announced a ‘task force’ to try to help the affected students and stress that the decision is an isolated case of one rogue University breaking a whole host of rules on recruitment.

While it seems the ruling might be fair on the basis of the totally unacceptable behaviour, the timing and outcome has clearly stirred up a lot of resentment. Hopefully help can be found for those students caught in this mess through no fault of their own, before this scandal has a serious impact on their educations and future careers.