University in Border Agency row


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The Independent Online

A university has warned that many of its courses may face closure if it is forbidden to teach and recruit foreign students.

London Metropolitan University is facing an outright ban on teaching overseas students which would leave 2,700 of its undergraduates finding a place at another university or facing deportation.

Professor Malcolm Gillies, the university's vice-chancellor, said the current situation was "hugely worrying", adding that the viability of many courses, both at London Met and other universities, depended on overseas students.

The university had its licence to recruit non-EU students suspended in July and has not been told whether it will be revoked or reinstated for the start of the new academic year.

If the UK Border Agency goes ahead with a permanent ban on recruitment, the 2,700 students at the university would have 80 days to find an alternative course or have their visas to study in the UK withdrawn.

The university said the delay in making a decision had left it with "a growing £10m hole" in its finances,

The UK Border Agency has not said why the licence was suspended but a report in a national newspaper said the university was considered "a threat to immigration control".