Ministers hunt for 4,000 'bogus' foreign students

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The Independent Online

Ministers are trying to locate nearly 4,000 foreign students who are living in Britain after coming to the UK to study at bogus colleges, it emerged last night.

The students are all from colleges that have had their licences revoked by the Government under a system brought in to close immigration loopholes linked to foreign education. The Conservatives, who secured the new student numbers from the Home Office, accused the Government of not taking the problem seriously enough.

Despite the Government's claims to have tightened up the student visa system, they have failed to crack down on high numbers of "bogus" students who are already here, said the Tories' immigration spokesman, Damian Green.

The Tories said that those students who entered the UK before 1 April 2009 and were found to have enrolled at a bogus college which had had its licence revoked had entered the UK on fraudulent purposes. In answer to a parliamentary question from the Tories' community cohesion spokeswoman Baroness Warsi, the Home Office said the total number of international students who enrolled at colleges which have subsequently been refused a sponsor licence by the UK Border Agency is about 3,940.