Home Office ‘strips’ London Met of highly trusted status

For the first time, the UKBA decided to suspend of the Highly Trusted Sponsor status the London Metropolitan University in July. In this way, London Metropolitan University has lost its licence to teach foreign students and will become the first UK university  be stripped of its Highly Trusted Sponsor status by the UK Border Agency.

Professor Gillies, university’s vice-chancellor, told that this decision is going to have an “immense” impact on London Met and its partners, especially for students who are already enrolled.

According to the information published by the UKBA, if its licence is withdrawn, overseas students would only have permission to stay in the UK for 60 days. In this case students would have to find another university or college to sponsor them.This would affect about 2,700 current overseas students, who will have already paid for one or more years of a degree course.

Nevertheless Professor Gillies has announced that it had done everything it was possible to demonstrate its fitness to continue educating students since the UKBA suspended its highly trusted status seven weeks ago. The UKBA says it will not comment on why the licence was suspended. According to a report of the Sunday Times, the event has been judged as a “threat to immigration control”. Nevertheless Professor Gillies told that he didn’t think it was a threat. He explained “the university has been working for the last year, like most universities, to make sure it’s up to date with what the border agency is requiring. There have been many changes this year. We’ve even had an audit and then a review of all of our files. The Border Agency has been auditing us a number of times and they’ve asked a series of questions of us, we’ve put answers back and we don’t have any response to that (…). I’d like to know what exactly is being claimed here and what is the evidence for it.”

London Metropolitan University opened the helpline for its students. If you are effected by this news, please do not hesitate to contact us or comment below.




 Many students will be effected by this news. It is not uncommon for education institutions to lose their licenses. We have had many students that have been placed in this same situation. The difference with this is that this is the first established, high profile, mainstream UK University that have had this happen to them directly and not through a college.  If you need any further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you want to discuss this or any other immigration application, please contact us or call us on 0845 126 1350. Or add your comments below or begin a conversation with us on facebook or twitter @iam_immigration

One Response to Home Office ‘strips’ London Met of highly trusted status

  1. admin says:

    London Metropolitan University Court Date set for Legal Challenge. 

    Since London Met lost its “highly trusted” licence to recruit and teach overseas students in August, it has hired lawyers to challenge the UKBA’s decision. 

    The London university’s legal challenge to the UK Border Agency’s (UKBA) decision to revoke its licence to sponsor international students goes to the High Court next week.

    London Met’s application for “interim relief” will be heard on 21 September.

    Students have 60 days to make a new application or to arrange to leave the UK, but the countdown begins when UKBA writes to them. Currently, no letters are due to be sent out until 1 October.

    Many lawyers, students and policy makers will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of this legal challenge as it will have repercussions in the education sector. This is the highest profiled education institution that has been effected by the UKBA’s rules. 

    Earlier this month a UKBA spokeswoman said: “The revocation of London Metropolitan University’s sponsor licence was the correct course of action and we will strongly contest any legal challenge.”