As LMU wins a reprieve for international students, director of an award-winning language school says legal ruling serves as a wake-up call for education providers.

£2m fund for stranded London Met University students will do little to repair the damage to the UK’s reputation as an education provider – but there are some silver linings, says UIC London Director.

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While the Government took much of the flak and some responsibility for the damage control publicity campaign after the London Met case at the end of August, those of us who work with international students are all aware of the sponsorship requirements

Brighton, UK (PRWEB UK) 8 October 2012

London Metropolitan University has been the highest profile victim of the UK Border Agency’s crackdown on language tuition providers’ licences to sponsor. Last week the university – among the ten most popular UK universities for international students – won a temporary reprieve to allow over 1,000 students to start their courses while it continues to fight the suspension of its licence. Unfortunately, word – and rumour – spreads fast in the international community, says David Wilkins of award-winning language school UIC London – but there are some silver linings to the storm cloud.

“Anecdotally, I know of a number of students who came to the UK because of the quality of the education on offer. But, having paid substantial sums of money only to be faced with finding places at other universities or faced with deportation, they are now recommending places such as Canada and Australia to their friends and relatives,” said David Wilkins of award-winning language school UIC London.

“While the Government took much of the flak and some of the responsibility for the damage control publicity campaign after the London Met case at the end of August, those of us who work with international students are all aware of the sponsorship requirements. Clearly, some staff at LMU must have known for months that their systems were not in line with those requirements.”

While initially damaging, David believes that there are a number of positive angles from which to view the situation. “First, it keeps pressure on the Government to continue to debate and review the inclusion of students in net migration data. Second, once the legal process is complete, what is and is not acceptable will be clear for both education institutions and students attempting to enter the UK for the purposes of study – or otherwise. Finally, it underlines how many students from around the world believe English education and English language skills are important for their personal and professional development. I hope our home students will learn from their example and begin to appreciate that skills in certain languages may well benefit them in the longer term.”

German and French are still the languages most UK employers rate it useful for their employees to have – apparently not a message not received by the young people dropping these languages at A level. Spanish is also valuable, although, says David, “this country currently does little business with Ecuador and Chile.” Other contenders are Chinese and Russian – “which will be useful in future,” – and Hindi, “a sensible choice, given that India is growing at an even faster rate than China”.

About the school

UIC London is a professional, friendly and supportive language school, specialising in English courses for adults and foreign language courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese. We are accredited by the major organisations in the UK.


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