Revocation of London Metropolitan University’s license to authorise visa for international students means that as many as 2000 current international students at the institution have only 60 days to find another sponsor or leave the country without completing their studies.
Quick guide FAQs for foreign students hit by London Met University visa license withdrawal
The decision could also have potentially catastrophic effects on higher education industry that is valued at £12.5bn per year for the UK, according to the NUS.
The union’s survey of international students -- following recent changes in international student visa policy -- found that 40% of international students would not recommend the UK as a destination for education.
"It is disgusting that international students continue to be used as a political football by politicians who seem either incapable of understanding, or are simply uncaring about the impact of their decisions on individuals, universities and the UK economy,” said Liam Burns, NUS president.
The students’ union has contacted British Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May to express its anger at the way decisions have been made.
"This decision will create panic and potential heartbreak for students not just at London Met but also all around the country,” Burns warned. “The needs of students must be at the heart of any process to find new places of study and NUS will be working with UUK and HEFCE to support affected students and ensure as far as possible that they can continue studying in the UK."
UK politicians must realise that a continued attitude of suspicion towards international students could endanger the continuation of higher education as a successful export industry, he added.
This heavy-handed decision does not make sense for the students or the institution or the country, according to NUS.
"This situation and the botched process by which the decision was arrived at could be avoided if international students were not included in [the] statistics of permanent migrants," Burns concluded.
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