02 November 2011
AoC response to Home Office update on student visa changes
Commenting on the Home Office’s announcement that, following its reforms to the student visa system, 450 “colleges” have now lost their right to underwrite student visas to allow people from outside the EU to study in the UK, AoC’s International Director, John Mountford, said: “Immigration Minister Damian Green stressed that ‘Only first-class education providers should be given licences to sponsor international students’. The 'first-class' providers referred to include reputable further education, sixth form and specialist colleges.
“It is important to underline that Home Office changes have led to the closure only of bogus colleges.
“We are pleased that Government is tackling the problem of these bogus colleges and focusing on protecting high-quality provision such as that provided by our member colleges.
“This announcement underlines the fact that our members are taking an ethical and robust approach to student recruitment, and are happy to work within the guidelines set by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) through the Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) status.
“Driving out bad practice protects genuine students and the genuine interests of our sector.”
HTS is the status required by Government for institutions to hold before they can sponsor international students to study in the UK. It is defined by a set of criteria around students’ attendance, enrolment and completion.
Find out more about HTS on the UKBA website.