Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Swamped by Red Tape

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Swamped by Red Tape

Article excerpt

I am sure that many in higher education identified with the UK Border Agency's recent administrative headaches ("'Illegal' students reports ignored", News in brief, 6 December), but that is where the commonality ends. As the London Metropolitan University affair demonstrated, universities do not have the luxury of acting on their visa responsibilities only "where resources permit" in the manner reported by John Vine, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, in his inspection of the Tier 4 system.

The story behind the figures - more than 150,000 notifications by sponsors on the sponsor management system ignored - is of hundreds of man-hours spent adhering to strict immigration regulations at great expense, so it is disappointing to hear that this correspondence was not acted upon.

Just when our global competitors - Australia, New Zealand and Canada, for example - are making their visa systems more user-friendly, the UK has added so much red tape that even those charged with overseeing the system cannot keep up. …

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