A Scottish University that had its visa licence suspended after an inspection revealed that 150 Filipino students were also working nearly full time has addressed the problem.
Glasgow Caledonian University had its UK visa licence to sponsor foreign students restored by the UK Border Agency (UKBA).
Under immigration rules international students are only allowed to work for a maximum of 20 hours a week while studying in the UK. An investigation by the UKBA revealed that around 150 Filipino nursing students studying at Glasgow Caledonian University were working longer than this.
The foreign students involved were taking a BSc Nursing (Professional Development) course. The course involves a large proportion of work based learning and it had been alleged that the students were working full time in care homes while studying for just one or two days a month, rather than the minimum of 15 hours study a week.
The university’s Tier Four Highly Trusted Sponsor status was suspended last month due to concerns about abuses of the immigration system. ‘I can confirm that the suspension of Glasgow Caledonian University's Tier Four licence has been lifted. We had legitimate concerns which the university has worked with us to address and we are now satisfied they are complying with our rules,’ said UKBA acting chief executive Jonathan Sedgwick.
‘Highly Trusted Sponsors must ensure that students are attending the course for which they are enrolled. The UK Border Agency takes compliance very seriously and carries out regular checks. We retain the right to suspend a sponsor's licence where we find evidence they are not fulfilling their duties,’ he added.
Professor Pamela Gillies, the university's principal, said it has been a challenging time for the university. ‘We have worked swiftly and constructively with the UKBA. The agency has commended us for the way in which we responded to the situation and we are keen to work together with them to share this experience with the sector so that others may avoid this process,’ she explained.
‘Our strong international reputation is very important to us and we are grateful for the support and endorsement we received from students, staff, friends and partners as we moved through this process. We are pleased but not surprised by the reinstatement and look forward to delivering our range of exciting plans for the future,’ she added.