14 September 2012 #Immigration
The universities minister, David Willetts, has announced at the universities conference that the Government will set up a £2m hardship fund to help "legitimate overseas students" at London Metropolitan University, following the university’s sponsorship licence being revoked last month (for the Buddy blog on this story click here). The fund will be used to pay for alternative accommodation, new course fees and visa applications. It was also announced that a clearing-style system would be established on Monday 17 September 2012 to help match students with spare courses at other universities.
Around 2,500 international students may now need to apply to a new university and obtain a new visa in order to complete their studies. According to the National Union of Students, these students now face an average bill of £4,610 each as a result of moving university. However, London Metropolitan University will be challenging the decision to revoke its licence at a hearing listed for 21 September 2012.
Ministers have suggested that there should be a longer protection scheme in place, similar to the ABTA scheme when travel agents fail, to protect foreign students if their university has its licence revoked.
For information on how to apply for a Tier 4 visa see the Employment Buddy factsheet.