London Metropolitan University’s overseas influx after licence U-turn

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn - Credit: Archant

Thousands of foreign students have rushed to apply to study at London Metropolitan University after its international licence was this week reinstate.

London Metropolitan University, on Commercial Road. Picture: Isabel Infantes

London Metropolitan University, on Commercial Road. Picture: Isabel Infantes - Credit: Archant

The university was stripped of the right to admit non-EU students last summer after being found to be “very seriously deficient” at ensuring foreign students did not become illegal immigrants.

But Home Office ministers on Tuesday spoke of “a series of inspections” carried out over the last six months which showed it has made “the necessary improvements”.

A 12-month probation period with an A-rated Tier 4 licence has been granted under which it will be able to enrol 1,000 overseas students to start in September.

Following the probation it can then apply for ‘highly trusted sponsor status’ – the licence previously held before it was revoked in August last year – if it can maintain the improvements.

Under this licence it previously had 9,000 international students, hundreds of which left the UK after it was found they did not have the correct papers, according to a Home Office spokesman.

All those with documents in accordance with the law were allowed to continue courses despite last summer’s revoke.

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Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North, who raised the issue in parliament in September last year, said: “I thought the whole thing was very unfair at the time and at least we seem to have had negotiations and improved procedures and made very good progress.

“I am pleased that at least the Home Office has seen sense. It is crucial we have an effective local university.

“The overseas students make a huge contribution socially and financially to our economy and they are most welcome and I hope the university will be granted the highly trusted status so it can recruit more than the 1,000.”

The university says it has already received 5,000 applications from international students for September and will now embark on a on a “four-month promotional tour” in 17 countries.

Vice-chancellor of the university Professor Malcolm Gillies said: “This is excellent news for our students and our university, which looks forward to welcoming students from around the world who want to study at one of London’s most diverse academic institutions.

“Students can have total confidence that our processes are stronger than ever.”