Indian and other non-European Union students at the London Metropolitan University (LMU) heaved a sigh of relief as the London high court on September 21 allowed them to continue their studies and permitted the university to challenge the recent revocation of its licence to admit non-EU students. LMU’s application for interim relief was granted by Justice Irwin, who ordered that the non-EU students be allowed to resume their courses from Monday.
There are currently 359 Indian students enrolled on various courses at the university. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) had revoked LMU’s licence to admit and teach non-EU students on August 29, due to what it called “serious and systemic failures”. The revocation had put the academic future of over 2,600 current non-EU students in disarray as LMU denied the charges.
As the judicial review progresses through the court, and the existing students continue their courses, the university will still not be able to admit new non-EU students due to the revocation. LMU vice-chancellor Malcolm Gillies welcomed the court ruling.
A taskforce had been put in place to find alternative courses in other universities for the affected students after the revocation, but it may not continue in view of the high court ruling. The ruling means a reprieve for the non-EU students who faced deportation if they were unable to find alternative courses after December.
“There were two major areas of dispute. One was whether the UKBA’s decision had been lawful and the other was whether “requirements of fairness” applied, meaning London Met should have been informed prior to the revocation notice and allowed to make representations,” argued solicitor Richard Gordon appearing for the LMU. LMU had argued that the UKBA’s decision “was taken pursuant to guidance that was not laid before Parliament and which is referred to nowhere in the immigration rules”.
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