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Deadline extended for university suspension response

Published date: 23 July 2014 |
Published by: Garth ApThomas 
Read more articles by Garth ApThomas  Email reporter


 

GLYNDWR University says it has been granted a deadline extension to make a response over a suspension involving recruitment of overseas students.

Last month the Leader reported more than 200 international students whose visas were sponsored by Glyndwr entered the UK with phoney English language tests.

As a result, the university was told it could no longer enrol non-European Union international students after a UK Government crackdown on the falsified English qualifications.

Glyndwr had until yesterday to make representations to the Home Office with a view to getting its status reinstated but a statement released yesterday by the university management said: “Glyndwr is in dialogue with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and has been given further time to make its response.”

The Wrexham-based institution, which also has campuses in Northop in Flintshire, St Asaph and London, has had its Highly Trusted Sponsor status suspended after 230 students which it sponsored were identified as having invalid test results.

When including questionable results, that figure rises to 350.

The English tests were provided by the Educational Testing Services, which were exposed for systematic cheating by a BBC documentary and have since been removed from a list of approved providers of English tests needed to get into the country.

The suspect tests related to Glyndwr’s Elephant and Castle campus in London which is run in partnership with the London School of Business and Finance.

About 35 per cent of current Glyndwr students are from non-EU countries, with 2,050 of the 3,040 total based at the London campus.

The university has 8,800 students enrolled in total.

For 2012-13, revenue brought into the university by international students totalled £9.46 million.

Responding to the latest development, North Wales AM and Welsh Liberal Democrat education spokesman Aled Roberts, former leader of Wrexham Council, told the Leader: “While welcoming the extension that has been granted to Glyndwr
University by UK Visas and Immigration, it is vital that this matter is resolved as soon as possible.

“We are very close to the start of the recruiting season for new students and the uncertainty that currently surrounds the university could threaten its future.

“All parties need to work together to make sure Glyndwr can continue to recruit students from overseas and thereby remove doubts that will discourage all potential students from applying.”

A spokesman for the University and College Union said: “Any delay in the process by which might restore the university’s visa licence will further damage Glyndwr’s ability to recruit international students.

“This was an essential part of the vice-chancellor’s financial recovery plan, which was flawed from the start and is now clearly hopeless.”

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