Students 'cheated to get degrees'

A registrar has resigned and three other members of college staff have been suspended following allegations that overseas students were cheating their way to degrees and visas, officials said today.







International students at Rayat London College in Hounslow, west London, were helped to cheat their way on to courses to gain visas and degrees accredited by the University of Wales, an investigation by BBC Wales claimed.



Irvin Harris, the college's registrar, denies any wrongdoing but was suspended by the college on Monday and resigned yesterday, a spokesman for the college said.



Three other members of staff have also been suspended pending an internal investigation.



The college spokesman added that the allegations had been referred to Scotland Yard and the UK Border Agency (UKBA).



A University of Wales spokesman added that it had also referred information "concerning potential criminal offences apparently involving staff at private colleges outside Wales to South Wales Police".



"The information includes allegations that overseas students have been helped to cheat their way on to programmes of study and to mislead educational establishments, including the University of Wales, and the UK Border Agency," he said.



"As the matter has been referred to the police, it would be inappropriate for the university to comment further at this stage."



Professor Medwin Hughes, the university's new vice-chancellor, announced on Monday that it would stop validating courses at all other institutions and only award degrees to students on courses designed and fully controlled by the university.



Prof Hughes said: "We believe the time is right for us to adopt a new academic strategy and only award University of Wales degrees to students on courses designed and fully controlled by the University of Wales.



"We are therefore proposing to bring the current validation model to a close."



He went on: "We have a duty of care to all students on existing programmes and will honour our current commitments to them.



"However, from next year, all universities in Wales will either have to use their own degree awarding powers or make other arrangements for the courses they run both locally and on a transnational basis.



"And our own international collaboration will now be based solely on courses designed and fully controlled by the University of Wales, embedded in our faculties and led by our own academic staff."



A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "On Friday September 30 police received an allegation of fraud at a private college in Hounslow. This allegation is being considered.



"No arrests have been made. The allegation has been passed to Hounslow CID."







Immigration minister Damian Green said: "The UK Border Agency is aware of these allegations and has already limited the number of students from outside of the EU that these colleges can recruit.

"We will investigate any reports of colleges and students who are abusing the visa system and we are currently working with accreditation bodies to ensure colleges play by the rules."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

Reach Volunteering: External HR Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree have recently been awa...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable