Today the High Court ruled that London Metropolitan University can bring a judicial review to challenge the UK Border Agency’s (UKBA) decision to revoke its licence to sponsor students from outside the European Economic Area.
The decision to revoke the licence was made on the basis of alleged failings in monitoring the students it sponsored, allowing students to remain in the UK illegally.
The UKBA said that of 101 sample cases they examined, 26 students had been studying between December and May with no legal leave to remain in the UK.
The court also ruled that students with full immigration status will be able to continue their studies until the challenge has run its course. The details of the order protecting these students are yet to be finalised.
The decision affects over 2600 international students at LMU, who had previously been given a 60 day time limit, from October the 1st, to apply to new courses or leave the UK.
“We must not stop until we are certain that all international students currently at London Met can and will complete their studies”
The government has been accused by some student leaders of “criminalising” international students, and of pursuing “racist, xenophobic policies.”
The decision was met with protests outside the Home Office earlier this month.
In a statement to LSMedia the Student Representative Officers of Liverpool Guild of Students welcomed the ruling as “great news and a testimony that we can protect our future if we stand together on issues like this.
“However, we must not stop until we are certain that all international students currently at London Met can and will complete their studies, without having to worry about their futures. We must also ensure that this issue does not become the tale for other universities across the country.”
Prime Minister David Cameron has previously backed the UKBA ruling, asserting that LMU had “real abuses going on” and that tough action needed to be taken to “control immigration.”
The National Union of Students has been allowed to intervene as a third party in the case.
Liam Burns, NUS President said: “NUS is pleased we have intervened, as the court has signalled its intention to protect legitimate students at London Met and all parties are now working together to achieve that goal.”