Education providers licensed as `Tier 4 sponsors’ to continue enrolling foreign students

Only establishments offering quality education licensed to sponsor them

6th December 2009: Education providers licensed as “Tier 4 sponsors” will continue to enroll foreign students, the UK Border Agency has asserted, adding that only educational establishments providing quality education are licensed to sponsor foreign students.

The Border Agency was responding to claims in the media that some education providers may be prevented from enrolling foreign students.

The claims were made following the publication of a Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report into Tier 1 of the points-based system.

The Tier 1, or post-study work, route enables migrants to stay and work here after they have completed a course of study at a specified level in the UK.

The Agency has added the MAC has recommended that the government should review whether students on some UK education providers’ courses should still be able to access the post-study work route. But, it did not suggest that these education providers, or the students taking their courses, are not genuine.

Under Tier 4 of the points-based system, launched earlier this year, only those educational establishments that are dedicated to providing quality education and taking responsibility for their students are licensed to sponsor foreign students.

Tier 4 ensures that students can feel confident in the quality of the education they will receive in the UK, and minimises the risk of exploitation by ‘bogus colleges’. Any education provider that is licensed as a Tier 4 sponsor will be able to continue enrolling foreign students.

The government will now consider the MAC’s recommendations regarding Tier 1, and will announce whether it accepts them in early 2010.

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