Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Institutions May Use Swipe Cards to Keep Tabs on Overseas Cohort

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Institutions May Use Swipe Cards to Keep Tabs on Overseas Cohort

Article excerpt

Universities may be forced to use swipe cards that monitor student attendance to comply with tough new immigration rules, a vice-chancellor has warned.

Quintin McKellar, of the University of Hertfordshire, said he was considering introducing an electronic registration system that would allow his institution to prove that its overseas students were attending lectures.

Professor McKellar said his comments had been prompted by recent visits from the UK Border Agency to Hertfordshire's campus as part of the government's sector-wide crackdown on student visa abuse.

All higher education institutions must provide evidence that their non- European Union students are actively studying in order to gain the UKBA's "highly trusted" sponsor status, which allows them to sponsor overseas students. But without an electronic register to prove attendance, it is difficult to demonstrate compliance with student visa requirements, Professor McKellar said.

"It is becoming clear that we have to have a real-time register of where students are," he told an audience at the Higher Education Funding Council for England's annual conference in London on 18 April. …

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