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UK unis & colleges caught in visa fraud investigation, sponsor licences suspended

Find out which UK universities and colleges have had their licences to sponsor foreign students suspended, following a recent Home Office investigation.

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Following on from the BBC’s investigation into visa fraud in the UK earlier this year, 3 universities and 57 private colleges have had their licence to sponsor international students suspended after an investigation by the UK’s Home Office.

Evidence was found of 29,000 “invalid” tests and 19,000 “questionable” tests. Glyndwr University, the University of Bedfordshire and the University of West London have been notified that they can no longer sponsor international students to study with them. At Glyndwr alone, 230 students were found to have invalid test results in addition to 120 questionable scores, all from test results courtesy of ETS who were the subject of the BBC’s investigation. They have been told that their licence has been suspended, while Bedfordshire and UWL can no longer sponsor new students pending an investigation.

Prior to this news Glyndwr was deemed a highly trusted sponsor. The 57 private colleges include the London School of Business and Finance.

Several London sub-campuses of universities were being investigated after a number of international students were found to be earning and paxing on wages of up to £20,000 despite the strict regulations on working conditions for international students in the UK.

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire referred to the activity as ‘organised criminal’ in his letter to the House of Commons this week when these recent suspensions were announced.

Earlier this year, Glyndwr was being sued by 60 students who were told that they may have to cease their studies in the UK.

The University said it was ‘deeply upset’ by the news but hope to have their licence reinstated as soon as possible.

 

Useful links:

‘What to do when a university loses its visa sponsor licence’

‘8 Signs your student visa process is not completely legal’

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About Author

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.

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