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Burnley college's legal victory could offer hope to foreign students
12:45pm Tuesday 4th September 2012 in News
A LEGAL victory for a Burnley college could prove to be a lifeline for 2,500 foreign students who face deportation in London.
Lawyers are predicting that only a judicial review could restore London Metropolitan University’s ability to sponsor non-EU students, which was stripped by the UK Border Agency last week.
But Burnley Training College, in Colne Road, was facing a similar catastrophe last year and successfully fought the Home Office.
Their sponsor’s licence was initially scuppered after the exam board Edexcel wrongly implied there were issues over principal Reehaina Saddique’s integrity.
Border Agency officials maintained their licence refusal even after Edexcel’s mistake had been highlighted and declined to listen to an appeal.
Granting the judicial review, Judge Kaye QC said the UKBA had been ‘over-hasty in its decision’, which was ‘flawed, unfair and unlawful’.
Adam Chapman, head of public law at leading London firm Kingsley Napley, told the Independent newspaper: “London Met may have no choice but to dispute the decision, given the importance to it of fees from foreign students, and will probably have to seek a judicial review in the High Court.
“Students who will be forced to leave the country may also seek to challenge the revocation of their right to study here. Only last year the court found that Burnley Training College was unfairly stripped of its sponsor licence.”
Around 2,500 students at London Met have been placed in limbo because of the UKBA action and the university is currently considering its options.