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Page last updated at 07:48 GMT, Tuesday, 4 September 2012 08:48 UK

London Met ban 'damaging credibility of UK universities'


The London Metropolitan University is challenging a ruling effectively banning it from taking students from outside the EU.

The Today programme's Andy Hosken reports on a memo which suggests there was some confusion at the university as to what it was meant to do to monitor the status of the students.

Prof Malcolm Gillies, vice-chancellor of the university, said the report by the UK border agency that there was systemic failure at the university "is wrong in so many details".

"We fundamentally contest their claim that there is systemic failure," he told the Today programme.

He said that the ban on foreign students has done huge damage to the university and is "doing a lot of damage to the credibility of UK higher education"."

In a statement, the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF), one of the academic partners of London Metropolitan University mentioned in the interview, said it "refutes any allegation that the revocation of London Met's license was in any way connected to LSBF or to the partnership between the two institutions.

"The UKBA audit of London Met pre-dated, and was unconnected to the agreement between London Met and LSBF. The notice of revocation issued by UKBA to London Met does not once mention LSBF or the partnership.

"LSBF maintains its own Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) licence with the UKBA, which is entirely independent from, and not affected by London Met's licence. In response to a question in the House of Commons on 3 September 2012, the immigration minister, Damian Green, confirmed that "there are no problems" with LSBF's HTS licence," it said.

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