London Metropolitan University had moved the court seeking a reversal of a ban imposed on it by the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA), to admit and teach students from outside the EU, including India. Indian Students with valid visas were affected by the ban, and faced relegation, if they couldn't find places at alternative universities.
The vice-chancellor, Professor Malcolm Gillies, said UKBA's decision was based on "a highly flawed report by the UKBS". The UK's National Union Students may give evidence at the ensuing hearing, outlining the case had huge implications fro international students coming to Britain.
Lawyers representing the university while applying fro the ban to be lifted have appealed fro a judicial review of the matter. The University claims the UKBA ban could cost it up to £30 million (Pound) in income per year. The UKBA has insisted the decision to revoke do Met's sponsor licence was correct.
A task force set by the British government is attempting to find the concerned students places at other institutions. It has also set aside a fund of £2 million to ensure these as well as students of other nationalities do not suffer any financial losses as a result of the restrictions imposed on London Met by UKBA.
Indian has, in fact, been at the forefront of pressurizing British authorities on protecting the interests of genuine students. The proactive role played by the Indian High Commission on London in this respect had fetched dividends.
A Diplomatic source said the Indian mission was the first to forcefully take up the matter with the British government, together with sending a diplomat to London Met to ascertain the facts. Following such moves, representatives of the UK authorities and UKBA came scurrying to the high commission the £2 million assistance package.
It was also at such meetings that the figure of around 350 Indian students facing turmoil was admitted by UKBA, and the 60 day deadline earlier given to them to register with other universities extended.
Last month the UKBA withdraw the universities "highly trusted status" which entitled it to sponsor students for UK visas in a crackdown on alleged of the students visa system. Apparently, an investigation had discovered that London Met was not making proper checks on students.
UKBA said the university had failed to address "serious failings" which had been pointed out more than six months ago. In a survey of 101 students, more than one-fourth had no permission to be in UK. Another check revealed a significant number of students did not speak good enough English to be granted a students visa. Besides, the attendance records of many wee found wanting.