University’s overseas student ban lifted

25 Nov 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A Welsh university that was stopped from recruiting overseas students because of an investigation into alleged UK visa fraud is again being permitted to sponsor foreign students.

The Home Office said that Glyndwr University in Wrexham could be reinstated as a “highly-trusted sponsor” of UK visas for international students on a “limited basis” and subject to a number of conditions.

It was stopped from recruiting overseas students in the summer after allegations that some students had been awarded English language certificates in the UK, even though they could not speak the language. Students from abroad are required to speak English in order to receive a UK visa.

As part of the ruling, which will be reviewed again by the Home Office in the New Year, the university is not allowed to recruit international students at its campus at Elephant and Castle in London, which was at the centre of the investigation. The Wrexham base will also have a fixed number of places available for overseas students, who currently account for around 2,104 of its 8,400 students, the BBC reported.

The Home Office said: "We continue to work closely with Glyndwr University in order to improve their standards for recruiting international students."

Prof Michael Scott, vice-chancellor and chief executive of the university, said: "The university is fully committed to continuing its support for a more robust student visa system and in that regard is undertaking a number of changes to its London campus during the coming months, including a locational move."

The Home Office probe was sparked by an investigation by the BBC current affairs programme Panorama. Sanctions were placed on a number of universities recruiting overseas students following “serious concern” about practices at 57 campuses in the UK.