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Statement on London Metropolitan University

Universities UK has responded to the UK Border Agency’s (UKBA) decision to revoke London Metropolitan University’s licence to sponsor visas, saying it “will not affect international students registered with other UK institutions”.

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Professor Eric Thomas, President of Universities UK, said: “Our first priority is to support the international students affected by this action to ensure that, wherever possible, they can stay in the UK and continue their studies.

“Universities UK will be working closely, via a taskforce, with London Metropolitan University, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the NUS as we seek to mitigate the impact of this decision on students.

“This action by the UKBA against London Metropolitan University will not affect international students registered with other UK institutions.

“The UKBA’s decision relates to the administrative requirements placed on universities by the UKBA in order to gain and retain highly trusted sponsor status. Universities have worked hard to respond to these new requirements and are committed to eliminating any abuse of the student visa system.

“The UKBA's decision to revoke London Metropolitan University’s licence will cause anxiety and distress to those many legitimate international students currently studying at London Metropolitan, and their families. We believe that there were alternative ways of addressing UKBA's concerns, and that revocation of a university's licence should only be a decision of last resort. We will be working with UKBA to ensure that compliance issues can be addressed in a more constructive way in the future.”

Queen Mary, University of London understands that this is a very difficult time for the international students concerned and would like to reassure its international students of the UKBA’s recent confirmation of QM as a highly trusted sponsor of international students.

Wendy Appleby, Secretary to Council and Academic Registrar for QM, said: “UKBA has confirmed that QM, along with other leading higher education institutions in the UK, continues to meet the requirements to maintain its ‘highly trusted status’ and is compliant with all the Agency’s requirements.

“We take our responsibilities very seriously and we are careful to ensure we work to the UKBA’s requirements.”

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