Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

London Met's Lips Sealed on Abrupt End to Visa Dispute: News

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

London Met's Lips Sealed on Abrupt End to Visa Dispute: News

Article excerpt

Reasons for withdrawal of legal action on eve of hearing remain unclear. John Morgan reports.

London Metropolitan University has refused to disclose whether or not it won a financial settlement from the Home Office after ending its year- long legal pursuit of the department shortly before a hearing.

The university has also refused to disclose the size of its bill for the legal action, which - as revealed online by Times Higher Education - was ended just days before a scheduled judicial review hearing at the High Court on 17 October.

However, minutes from a London Met board of governors' meeting in September last year show that an "initial budget" of Pounds 250,000 was approved for the legal action.

If London Met has incurred a significant legal bill without any financial settlement from the Home Office, questions are likely to be raised over its decision to press its case in the courts.

The university won permission to take the government to a judicial review in September 2012, a month after the Home Office revoked its licence to recruit overseas students.

As part of that initial High Court judgment, London Met's existing non- European Union students were granted permission to continue with their studies, although the institution was still unable to recruit new international students.

Then in April this year, the university's licence to sponsor overseas students was reinstated, allowing it once again to recruit from outside the EU. But despite the reinstatement, the university continued with the judicial review in an attempt to show that the original decision to revoke its licence was unlawful. …

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