Students shun London Met after revocation of visa license

Timur Cetin- Deputy News Editor 5 December 2012

The latest numbers show that British and EU applications to London Metropolitan University have plunged by 50%. London Met lost its right to recruit international students in August 2012 after its visa license was revoked by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) on grounds of serious systemic failure in monitoring its international student body. Criticism has been voiced particularly with regards to the implementation of the decision, with students being notified of the UKBA decision only less than a month before the start of the academic year.

Less than half of the international students eligible to stay on at London Met have decided to do so, with more than 55% of students finding a place elsewhere or abandoning university study. While 1,385 students were given the option of continuing their studies at London Met, only 626 chose to do so. London Met vice-chancellor Malcolm Gillies said the loss of hundreds of international students would leave a hole in the budget.

Negative publicity also surrounded London Met back in 2010 when the governing body had to resign over fiddled student figures with documents saying nearly 2,000 were twins with identical birth dates, surnames and initials, and thereby falsely obtaining £36.5m of public funding.

Despite tighter restrictions on visas following the scandal around London Met, figures released by UCAS in October show an actual increase of around 5% on last year in overseas applicants. However, these are primarily numbers for Oxbridge and medicine courses. More recent statistics show that applications of UK-born students have fallen overall by 8.4%.

Timur Cetin- Deputy News Editor