Diasporian News of 2014-07-01

U.K. student visa alert

...student sponsorship licence of 60 institutions suspended


The UK Home Office has suspended the Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) status of 57 private Further Education Colleges (FECs), whilst three other universities have had limitations placed on their licence to recruit, sponsor and provide education services to international students in the United Kingdom.



In a statement delivered in the House of Commons on 24th June, 2014, the UK Minister for Immigration and Security, James Brokenshire, MP, announced that the decision to revoke the HTS licenses of the 57 FECs and suspend that of the universities had been taken following the uncovering of systematic cheating in English language tests and widespread abuse of immigration rules in the affected institutions.



The Minister, in his statement, described how a “detailed and wide-ranging” investigation by Immigration Enforcement officers uncovered more than 29,000 invalid and 19,000 questionable results of English language proficiency tests by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in 2012 and 2013 and other breeches of student immigration rules by the institutions whose HTS status have consequently been suspended.



English language proficiency is required as part of the processes for determining the 'legitimacy' of international student applications prior to the granting of student visas to the UK. Per UK immigration rules, prospective international students are required to demonstrate, in addition to other conditions, that they are proficient in the English language at a level adequate enough to ensure meaningful engagement in the tasks and requirements of further education pursuit in the U.K. Ghana is considered a ‘majority English language speaking’ country, and for most students from Ghana this requirement may be waivered. However, different universities may apply different language proficiency standards which will require additional tests, such as provided by ETS in order to satisfy the ‘language proficiency’ requirement prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) by respective Highly Trusted Sponsor educational institutions.



The possession of a CAS, issued by an HTS licensed institution, is a mandatory requirement for student visa application processes. The issuance of a CAS, which is normally 'priced' at 60% of academic year tuition fees, requires an upfront payment, on average, of $7,000 per student admission application. The revocation and/or suspension of the HTS licenses of the 57 FECs and three universities means that these institutions can no longer sponsor students to the U.K. and any CAS that they have issued or will be issuing to prospective international students will not be recognized by the British High Commission in Ghana and the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) agency for student visa purposes.

The general public, and in particular prospective students to the UK, are advised to check the HTS status of their intended institutions of study prior to the initiation of admission applications and payment of the required CAS fees. Under no circumstances should prospective students pay up the fees required for the issuance of CAS to any of the educational institutions on the HTS 'suspension' list provided below. The general public may visit the UKVI website on www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration for general information on UK student visa requirements and other study guidelines. Where in doubt, prospective students to the UK may contact the Education Section of the Ghana High Commission, London on + 44 (0) 208 342 7534 or via electronic mail on education@ghc-uk.org



Source: Information and Public Affairs Section

Ghana High Commission

13 Belgrave Square London

SW1X 8PN

Tel. + 44 (0) 201 207 5924

Email: information@ghanahighcommission.com

Source: Zuwera Ibrahimah



LIST OF COLLEGES/UNIVERSITIES SUSPENDED BY THE UK HOME OFFICE

A. UNIVERSITIES

1. Glyndwr University

2. University of West London (barred)

3. University of Bedfordshire (barred)

B. PRIVATE COLLEGES

1. Alpha College

2. Alpha Meridian College

3. APS Computer Solutions TA Pitman Training Centre

4. Birmingham Institute of Education Training and Technology

5. Blake Hall College

6. Bloomsbury International UK

7. Bradford College of Management

8. Bradford Metropolitan College

9. Bristol College of Accountancy

10. Britain College

11. Central College London

12. Central College of Studies

13. Central Cranbrook College

14. Citizen 2000 Education Institute

15. City of London Academy

16. College of Advanced Studies

17. College of East London

18. College of Excellence

19. Cranford College

20. Essex College

21. Eynsford College

22. FBT (Finance Business Training)

23. Forbes Graduate School

24. Hammersmith Management College

25. Helios International College

26. IIM Bedford

27. Interlink College of Technology & Business Studies

28. Katherine & Kings College of London

29. Kinnaird College

30. LIT LON Ltd

31. London Academy of Management and Business

32. London College of Business Management and Computing Studies

33. London College of Finance and Accounting

34. London Corporate College

35. London Educators Ltd

36. London Premier College

37. London Regal College

38. London School of Advanced Studies

39. London School of Marketing t/a LS Business School

40. London School of Technology

41. London St Andrews College

42. LSBF (London School of Business and Finance)

43. Manchester College of Management Sciences

44. Manchester International College (International Learning Centre)

45. Manchester Trinity

46. Midlands Academy of Business and Technology

47. North West College Reading

48. Queensbury College

49. Shakespeare College

50. South London College

51. Stanfords College UK Ltd

52. Studio Cambridge

53. Superior College London

54. UK Business Academy

55. UK Vocational Training College t/a UK CAT

56. West George College

57. West London Business College