College faces ban on overseas students

Cardonald college may lose its status.
Cardonald college may lose its status.

A SOUTHSIDE college may be banned from recruiting overseas students.

The UK Borders Agency has looked at the applications from foreign students for Cardonald college and five others throughout Glasgow and decided that they fall short of the present criteria.

Sandra White MSP

Sandra White MSP

UKBA fears the colleges may be used as a front for illegal immigration and has the ability to suspend their licenses.

The group also said that Cardonald would not be able to submit another application for trusted sponsor status until September.

Around 2,500 students come to Scotland from outside the EU and is seen as a way of colleges increasing their income.

Estimates say overseas students can bring as much as £15 million in fees each year.

Scotland’s Colleges, representing college principals, is looking to have talks with the Home Office.

The organisation’s convener, John Spencer, said: “It is easy to understand why these rules exist, but it is nonetheless the case that they end up discriminating against colleges in Scotland.

“The loss of highly-trusted status damages the reputation and prospects of the institution in attracting students to study with them”.

The Scottish National Party has expressed concerns following the introduction of the new immigration rules by the UK government.

Sandra White MSP met with representatives from Scotland’s Colleges to discuss how the new laws were depriving the colleges of their highly-trusted sponsor status.

Ms White indicated that she will be writing to the Scottish education secretary, Fiona Hyslop, on the matter.

Ms White said: “Colleges are worried this is going to impact negatively on their international reputations.

“For some, the loss of highly-trusted status for these institutions is devastating.

“What should be at the heart of this debate are the students who are there for the right reasons.

“Why should they be penalised?

“It is extremely worrying to hear foreign students need to sign in to every class they attend because of the new rules.

“That is utterly ridiculous.

“The Home Office must come clean over its tough, new immigration rules and work with Scotland’s colleges to ensure minimal disruption to students’ studies”.