London Metropolitan University and UKBA reach an agreement

London Metropolitan University and the UK Border Agency have reached agreement following an earlier judicial hearing.

At the hearing, the Court made clear its concern to protect the interests of those students currently studying or about to begin their studies at London Metropolitan University, and who have full and proper immigration status.

The agreement covers the following students: Students already in the UK, and with the correct immigration status, who have been studying at London Metropolitan University and who wish to continue on their current course; Students in the UK, with a previously correct immigration status, who have been issued with a CAS and received an offer to commence a course at London Metropolitan University in autumn 2012; and Students in the UK, with the correct immigration status, who wish to change sponsor from London Metropolitan University to another Tier 4 sponsor.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) will be writing to all students in the UK who have an outstanding in-country application to study at London Metropolitan University to ask them to confirm their plans for the future.

Students who confirm that they wish to continue their studies at London Metropolitan University will be able to do so until the end of the academic year 2012-13 or the end of their course (whichever is the sooner), subject to the conditions agreed between the university and the UKBA.

Students wishing to transfer to another institution will be considered under the concessions announced by the UKBA following the revocation, and their new Tier 4 applications prioritised.

Those students who decide to leave the UK will have their leave curtailed to 31st January 2013, to give them time to make arrangements to leave.

The UKBA will, on a case-by-case basis, allow former London Metropolitan University students to switch from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 visa.

The clearing house for students seeking to transfer to another institution will continue to operate until Friday 12th October 2012. Students who still wish to use it to transfer to another institution are strongly encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Students are also asked to note that the last date for enrolment or re-enrolment at London Metropolitan University for academic year 2012-13 is Monday 15th October 2012.

The £2 million Task Force Student Support Fund established by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills began accepting applications on Monday. The fund will cover the costs of visa reapplications, extra tuition fees, and other reasonable additional costs. The guiding principle is that no legitimate student affected by the revocation should be out of pocket.

Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE) and chair of the task force, said: “The agreement reached by London Metropolitan University and the UKBA is excellent news for students affected by the revocation. There are many lessons to be learned from this experience, and we should also not forget the distress caused to legitimate students who have found themselves in an extremely difficult situation.

“I hope that the decision will enable students to put the stress and uncertainty of the past weeks behind them.”

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