Overseas students with UK visas to study at a London college have been told they must return home after the Home Office revoked the centre’s permission to recruit and teach people from outside the European Union.
The London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) was found to have breached duties for sponsoring non-EU students, the BBC reported. The college said the issue was due to a “technical discussion” over the percentage of students that had been accepted on to courses but whose visa applications had been turned down.
Home Office regulations say that colleges must have a refusal rate below 10 per cent a year. The college said it was “shocked and surprised” because its own figures were within those stipulated by the Government.
As a result of the decision, 350 students have been told they must leave the UK. They have received notices to leave Britain by the end of March, return their residence permits and told they cannot work in the UK in the interim.
LSBF said it would make every effort to ensure that the affected students were able to complete their courses in the timeframe. Most of the students are studying professional qualifications such as accountancy, finishing undergraduate degrees or studying one year Master’s courses. Those who are taking longer courses will transfer to one of the college’s sister sites in Italy or France.
LSBF’s chief executive, Prof Maurits van Rooijen, said: “These are genuine and good students. We will deal with every student on an individual basis to ensure they will be able to continue their courses and complete their qualifications. Almost all are near the end of their courses.”
The National Union of Students said there should be better protection for overseas students.
Spokesman Mostafa Rajaai said: “The Government cannot treat international students the way it does and expect the UK to remain a desirable destination for prospective students.”