KATHMANDU: Fate of nearly 400 Nepali students studying at London Metropolitan University hangs in balance after the United Kingdom government revoked the university’s right to admit overseas students over alleged failings in its procedures.
Students are likely to be deported to Nepal if they fail to find alternative institutions within two months, as per a decision taken by the UK Border Agency last night.
University’s website states that its Highly Trusted Status for sponsoring international students has been revoked and it will no longer be allowed to authorise visas to overseas students.
Talking to The Himalayan Times, Surya Prakash Bhatta, National Executive Councillor, National Union of Students, UK, today said the withdrawal of HTS for LMU was the first case of a publicly-funded university having its licence revoked.
He called the UKBA decision unfair and illogical. Nearly 400 Nepali students are among 2,600 international students studying at LMU.
As per news reports, Universities Minister David Willetts last night announced the formation of a task force to help overseas students affected by the decision. He said it was important that genuine students who were affected through no fault of theirs should be offered prompt advice and help to find other institutions to finish their studies.
Bhatta, a National Executive Councillor of NUS that represents seven million students in the UK, both national and international, condemned the racist and xenophobic approach of the government and UKBA.
He added that a similar ruling in Australia a few years ago had led to a drop in international students forcing the government to revoke its decision. He said UKBA decision would damage the reputation of higher education in the UK.
Rajendra Baral, President, Educational Consultancy Association of Nepal, said, “In Australia, the overseas students have tuition fee insurance and the students can claim compensation if such rules were imposed but in UK we can do nothing.”
Bibek Pokharel, a student of LMU, summed up the double whammy: “The UKBA decision means that despite being a legitimate student, I would neither have a degree nor can I claim refund or compensation.” THT