Buffalo students could be affected by London school’s loss of international teaching license
blog by S.J. Velasquez • August 30, 2012 @ 10:47am
Some Buffalo students planning on studying in England for more than one semester might have to make other plans.
London Metropolitan University, which has connections to SUNY schools and Canisius College, recently lost its license to recruit or teach international students. Due to what British government officials call “serious systemic failures” that went unaddressed by the university, about 2,000 overseas students now face deportation if they cannot find alternate host schools.
According to BBC reports, Immigration Minister Damian Green said London Metropolitan University failed in three particular areas:
“- More than a quarter of the 101 students sampled were studying at the university when they had no leave to remain in this country
- Some 20 of 50 checked files found “no proper evidence” that the students’ mandatory English levels had been reached
- And some 142 of 250 (57%) sampled records had attendance monitoring issues which meant it was impossible for the university to know whether students were turning up for classes or not.”
The Guardian reports that international students with valid visas already in London must find another university or college or they face deportation. An affected student has 60 days from the time he or she receives a letter from the UK Border Agency to make alternative course plans.
Canisius College, which has an international student exchange agreement with London Met, did not immediately return calls regarding the issue. A current Canisius student and a recent graduate did confirm that five current Canisius students are enrolled for the fall semester at London Met. It is unclear if those students have departed the United States, as Canisius students studying at London Met typically begin studies in mid-September. It is also unclear whether Canisius students, who are considered visitors to the UK and do not need visas to enter the country, will be affected by the recent ruling.
Representatives from Buffalo State and University at Buffalo have confirmed that neither school has students currently enrolled in study abroad programs with London Met. Both Buffalo universities have sent students to London Met in the past through a partnership with SUNY Cortland, which has a student exchange partnership with the London university.
Mary Schlard, director of international programs at SUNY Cortland, said that 14 students—from Cortland and other SUNY schools—had been enrolled in London Met for the fall semester. One student who had intended on staying at London Met a full year, requiring a tier-four visa, decided to switch to an alternate program that would allow her to study at a different London university once she was notified that London Met was being reviewed by government agencies. The 13 remaining students will attend London Met in the coming weeks, as they do not require visas and are considered student visitors.
While Schlard said that SUNY students only staying one semester will not be affected by the recent ruling, Cortland may have to revamp its extended study abroad options, including its dual-diploma program in international sport management.
Note: I attended London Metropolitan University as a Canisius College study abroad student in 2006. London Met was, in a word, awful.