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London Met Univserity, the UKBA and foreign students

August 31, 2012

This has absolutely nothing to do with Ukraine, unless you happen to be a now hapless Ukrainian student who thought they were going to study at London Metropolitan University.

The UKBA has revoked the London Metropolitan University license to educate non-EU students with immediate effect.

Fair enough, if the university is so terribly poor at its administration and documentary audit trails for non-EU students, there is no excuse for being so feckless at a supposed seat of higher learning.  After all, other universities manage to adhere to the regulations and guidelines relating to foreign non-EU students without issue.

However, one has to ask whether the UKBA has handled the matter in such a diplomatic way as not to cause unneccdessary concern to foreign non-EU students who pay very handsomely indeed to be educated in UK universities,  aspersions and inferences over the wider UK higher educational “business”, and generally cast a shadow in the eyes of foreign students and parents alike, over the sector unnecessarily.

Whilst I acknowledge “‘These are problems with one university, not the whole sector. British universities are among the best in the world – and Britain remains a top-class destination for top-class international students.

‘We are doing everything possible, working with the taskforce established by BIS, to assist students that have been affected.'” seemingly dropped in at the end of a full on, in your face UKBA website entry (and that statement was not on the entry yesterday when it was first published and thus somebody has been instructed to mitigate any damage that may be caused by such an attention grabbing web page, I do wonder if there was any need for the entry at all.

Would it have not been enough to revoke the license quietly, thus allowing future applications from non-EU students to be simply turned down until London Met gets its act together?

After all, the UKBA is stating those foreign non-EU students with existing valid Student Visas for London Met will not be effected, and that in turn infers only future applicants would be.

Thus, was there any need to make such a public and headline grabbing web entry at all?

If existing Visa holders are unaffected and can continue their studies, a simple quietly imposed ban on new foreign non-EU students to London Met would have sufficed during the next academic application process timescale surely.

That way, no headlines, no damage caused (actual or inferred) to the wider UK university education business, and certainly, from my point of view, far more deftly handled.

In short, was plastering the fact London Met University has had its license revoked all over the UKBA website an absolute necessity? – I think not.

(Thankfully my boy was accepted by Durham who most certainly have their act together.)

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