A young person living outside the United Kingdom applying to get admitted to a university or college in the country has so much do to become an overseas student: personal statement writing, higher education research, getting financial help. Thus, one could only imagine the overseas student’s dismay if the university he is supposed to commence his studies would likely be disallowed to teach new or existing overseas students.
Such is the case for London Metropolitan University. Just weeks before the new term, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has yet to issue a decision regarding the university’s status. UKBA has suspended London Metropolitan’s status as a "highly trusted sponsor" suspended in July, preventing the institution to being allowed to recruit overseas students. The university still has no idea whether the UKBA would revoke or reinstate its licence.
There are press reports claiming that UKBA would withdraw London Metropolitan’s licence, as the agency quips it has yet to reach a final decision.
According to London Metropolitan’s vice chancellor, Professor Malcolm Gillies, the uncertainties over the licence suspension has been causing anxieties and worries to the school’s students and staff. Professor Gillies warned that the case may send a negative message to overseas applicants who wanted to get admitted into a university in the UK. Instead, these overseas may do personal statement writing, not for submission to the Universities and Colleges Admission Service, or UCAS, but for application into institutions in other countries.
The students' union at London Metropolitan disclosed to BBC News that it has received several phone calls from overseas students that might be affected by possible revocation as well as from their families. Adnan Pavel, vice president of the students' union, said that the students are really “scared about their future.” Pavel described the situation the international students are in as “miserable.” On the other hand, the National Union of Students wanted those in authority to provide an immediate clarification on the consequences for students "plunged into disarray" by reports that London Metropolitan’s licence would be revoked. The university has even set up a help-line for overseas applicants, whose plan for college is hanging at the moment. It would be better if there is a freshman applicant prompt for young individuals overseas aiming to become a student in the UK.
Professor Gillies said many courses would be affected if London Metropolitan loses its licence, since their viability depended on overseas students. He said that withdrawal of overseas students would lead to a considerable "re-configuring" of courses. If London Metropolitan loses its licence, around 2,700, existing students would be much affected, as they will only have 60 days to indulge into personal statement writing and get another university to sponsor them.