Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Students Launch Legal Action over Withdrawal of 60 Visa Sponsorships

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Students Launch Legal Action over Withdrawal of 60 Visa Sponsorships

Article excerpt

Dozens on LSBF-taught course seek damages from Glyndwr over treatment. David Matthews writes.

Sixty international students have undertaken legal action against Glyndwr University after it threatened to withdraw sponsorship of their visas.

It is understood that the Home Office has had concerns about arrangements for the students' course, where Glyndwr sponsored them for immigration purposes so they could work but a private college provided teaching and collected tuition fees.

At the end of January, the university wrote to all 323 students on the accountancy course telling them that teaching would no longer take place at the London School of Business and Finance and that they were being moved instead to the Wrexham-based university's London campus.

To remain on the two- to three-year course, students were told that they had to have an 80 per cent attendance record and to have registered for at least three subjects each term. Even students who met these criteria would have to attend an interview carried out by immigration lawyers Fragomen to ensure that they met visa requirements, the letter - seen by Times Higher Education - said.

A number of students have been told that their sponsorship will end but Glyndwr has not said how many as the vetting process is ongoing.

Syed Ahmed, of Capital Solicitors, said his firm is representing 60 students who say they have been told their sponsorship will be withdrawn, although he added that "many more" could join the claim.

He said the students were demanding the reinstatement of their sponsorship and for teaching to resume. They were also seeking damages over their treatment by Glyndwr.

"They have been treated so badly," Mr Ahmed said.

Some students had suffered stress as a result of the episode and medical evidence could be collected as part of the case, he said.

The students had already paid their tuition fees for the entire course to LSBF, he added. …

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