Action on abuse of the student visa system

David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, raised the issue of bogus colleges in the House of Commons yesterday afternoon (7 November).

During Home Office Questions, he asked Rt Hon Theresa May MP “what steps she is taking to strengthen the accreditation regime for colleges that admit foreign students”.

Mrs May said “Our fundamental reforms of student visas include a rigorous new inspection regime for private colleges. These tough new rules, coupled with robust enforcement action by the UK Border Agency, mean that more than 450 colleges have now lost their right to recruit international students under the points-based system. Only colleges offering a genuine, high-quality education will be able to sponsor international students in future.”

As his supplementary question, Mr Evennett asked “I thank my right hon. Friend for her reply and commend her for the work she is doing in this area. Does she agree that the news last week that one in five colleges has lost its sponsor licence status shows that the accreditation scheme set up by her and her Department is working to stop the widespread abuse of the visa system?”

The Home Secretary replied that “My hon. Friend is absolutely right, and what I have announced today is just the start. All private colleges will have to go through that rigorous accreditation system by the end of the year and those that fail the system will no longer be able to bring in international students.”