Union praises UKBA change of heart over “ugly episode”


The NUS has welcomed UKBA’s decision to allow London Metropolitan students to complete their course or continue to study up until the end of the academic year (2012/13), whichever is sooner.

UKBA had previously announced it would serve notices to all international students at London Met on October 1st, giving notice of 60 days leave to remain in the UK.

At the suggestion of the judge, UKBA had agreed to guarantee the position of international students – who have the proper immigration status and who are currently studying or due to starting study at London Met this term, as well as those seeking transfer to other institutions – until the end of their course or up until the end of the academic year (2012/13), whichever is sooner.

Represented by leading law firm Bindmans, NUS was granted permission by the High Court this morning to intervene as a third party representing the needs and interests of students in the UK, and provided evidence to the court.

The announcement came following the High Court’s decision today to grant permission to London Met to apply for a full Judicial Review against the UK Border Agency’s (UKBA’s) decision to revoke its status as Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) of international students.

NUS president Liam Burns said: “We are delighted that as a result of our third party intervention, interim relief has been granted by the High Court to current international students who have been unfairly affected by UKBA’s decision.

“It is welcome that UKBA are now complying with the Court’s ruling and guaranteeing protection of the position of international students at London Met for the duration of their courses and the coming academic year, whichever is sooner.

“Our third party intervention was crucial in ensuring the interests of students were recognised by the High Court.

“These students came to London in good faith and had already spent tens of thousands of pounds on their education, before having the rug pulled from under their feet.

Commenting on future challenges, he added: “The future for international students at London Met after July 2013 is still uncertain and we need clarity as soon as possible.

“This whole ugly episode has also thrown up wider questions about the treatment of international students in this country.

“Unless these questions are urgently addressed, the UK’s global reputation for higher education remains tarnished.”

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