London Met University's HTS licence revoked: students face deportation

India News Bulletin Desk
London Metropolitan University's HTS licence revoked
London Metropolitan University's HTS licence revoked
Image: Wikimedia Commons (Mike Quinn)

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has revoked London Metropolitan University’s Highly Trusted Status licence for sponsoring international students. As many as 2,000 international students could face deportation following the decision.

The implications of the revocation are hugely significant and far-reaching, and the university has already started to deal with these, said Malcolm Gillies, the university vice chancellor on its website. 

London Met will not be able to authorise visas for new students from outside the EU. In addition, existing international students may be forced to find another sponsor in two months or potentially face deportation.

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

The university, based in Moorgate, central London, will now be working very closely with the UKBA, HEFCE, the National Union of Students (NUS) and its own Students' Union.

UKBA decision on London Met is an absolute "disgrace", said Liam Burns, national president of NUS UK  on Twitter. “@nusuk and HEFCE will be working hard to support affected students,” Burns added.

The University has set up a student help-line to support and advise anxious international students – both European and non-European. The number is +44 (0) 20 7133 4141.

“Our absolute priority is to our students, both current and prospective, and the University will meet all its obligations to them,” Gillies said.

More details:


Find out why the Home Office suspended London Metropolitan University’s licence to issue foreign students visa in July 2012


Find out how confusing messages from the media and immigration minister threw London Metropolitan University’s licence status in a limbo raising anxiety among foreign students

The UKBA's latest decision comes a week after The Sunday Times revealed that the London Metropolitan University’s HTS status has been revoked. But Immigration minister Damien Green said that a decision had not yet been made, raising anxiety among foreign students studying at the university.

In July, the UKBA suspended the university’s HTS license over fears that a small minority of its international students did not have accurate documentation to remain in the UK. But it was a temporary suspension while the UKBA carried on a full investigation.

The UKBA was also concerned by some international students' absence and their poor English language skills.

London Metropolitan University which has around 30,000 students in total, is one of the top ten most popular universities in England for international students. It has one of the highest numbers of international students in the UK, from more than 150 countries. It is thought that the university has about 700 Indian students.

The UK government's efforts to tackle visa abuse by targetting the student community has come under fire. An IPPR report earlier this year had recommended that international students should be excluded from overall net migration figures/ It said that the move to limit incoming student numbers for the sake of long-term migration figures can put higher education – a valuable export market – at risk. 

UPDATE: September 21, 2012:

To protect the interest of students, a High Court judge has indicated that: 

1. Students at present in the UK and studying at London Met, as well as those planning to start their studies this autumn who have current full  proper immigration status, so that they may stay and continue to pursue their studies with London Met, if they wish; and

2. Students presently in the UK studying at London Met or those planning to study at London Met but who still wish to transfer to another institution to pursue their studies, can do so, providing they have full proper immigration status.

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