London Met University's Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) status in limbo

India News Bulletin Desk
London Metropolitan University - The Tower Building, North Campus, Holloway Road, North London
Image: Wikimedia Commons (Justinc)

London Metropolitan University’s Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) status might be revoked by the UKBA, according to a Sunday Times report. But Immigration Minister Damian Green has denied that a decision has yet been made irking the university officials.

BREAKING NEWS: August 30, 2012

London Metropolitan University's HTS license has been revoked, 2000 international students could face deportation in two months if they do not find a new sponsor 

The university is outraged and has lashed out at the UKBA that it had to learn about its licensing status from a newspaper.

Quick guide FAQs for foreign students hit by London Met University visa license withdrawal

“We condemn the actions that have led to London Metropolitan University learning from The Sunday Times that it might have its Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) status revoked,” said London Met’s vice chancellor Malcolm Gillies.

The report about London Met’s HTS status being revoked comes just a month after the university’s license to issue student visa was suspended by the Home Office.

On 16th July 2012, the UKBA suspended the University’s HTS license until further notice over fears that a small minority of its international students did not have accurate documentation to remain in the UK. There were also concerns about some international students' absence and their English language skills.

For the last six weeks since suspension, London Met officials have repeatedly tried to liaise with the UKBA to understand further their concerns, which seem to be focused on processes related to the legacy of previous management, Gillies said.

“Disappointingly, the UKBA has been unwilling to communicate with the University, despite the growing £10m plus hole their action has already left on our balance sheet.” 

“To learn that we might have our HTS status revoked via a newspaper, with the panic that this can cause for thousands of students, is outrageous,” he said

London Metropolitan University has now written to the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and Immigration Minister and asked them to outline who authorised the briefing of the story to The Sunday Times and what consideration was given to the impact it might have on our students.

“As far as we are officially aware, UKBA is still working through an analysis of our case,” he added.  

“At this time, our concern is with our students: to inform and assist our international students and applicants, who have put their faith in our institution," Gillies added.

International students will need clear information on their options for future study and timelines for securing those options. 

"Our home and EU students also need reassurance and support," he added.

London Metropolitan University will come up with a more comprehensive response once it has received official notification from UKBA on its Highly Trusted Sponsor status.

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