International students are being affected by restrict immigration laws in the UK
At the end of last year, major changes were implemented in order to restrict the criteria students would have to face in order to study and live in the United Kingdom. This means that if a student wants to come to study in London, or any institution located across the UK, if the programme is superior to 11 months, the student will have to demonstrate previous knowledge of English and evidence that his family, or himself, is able to cover the costs while he(she) is in the UK as work is no longer permitted, for courses where the qualification is bellow graduation. In addition to that, strict criteria to regulate private schools have also been implemented. Today, educational institutions, along with students, are facing the rigorous consequences of such changes.
Major problems are emerging with an increasing number of private colleges closing, largely as a result of recent immigration changes, leaving international students stranded with no ways of obtaining fee refunds. At least a minimum of 20 colleges have already been closed, all over UK, in the last couple of months, affecting more than 2000 international students, and there is fear that many other schools will close, and many more students will be affected by early 2013. The recent changes to the immigration rules have made it difficult for private colleges to operate successfully with withdrawal of part-time work entitlements for their international students and the limit placed on their Certificates of Acceptance for Studies (CASs) – for visa purposes – until they achieve the new Education Oversight requirements. Together, these have apparently and of course with very little notice of the rule changes, made their (legitimate) businesses un-viable.
Institutions, such as the University of Wales, have ceased all their validation agreements, mainly delectated to prospect students from the Middle East, and which may well affect other markets. The effect is that they are closing their doors; students are losing fees and sometimes accommodation. Payments made in advance have also been compromised but most importantly those students are now facing so many difficulties relating to their visas that many feel they may well have to give up and go home. The reason is that under the new rules students would have to apply for a new visa to remain and study with an alternative provider. But, having lost their initial payments anyway they do not believe they can afford fees, and, if they apply to private colleges they would, under these new rules, lose their part-time work entitlements (as some of them are here from times when work was permitted) and without those entitlements – which were in force when they came to the UK, on which they now depend and even more so with fees lost – they cannot afford to continue. The second major difficulty is that whilst there are private colleges which would take these students, some at significantly reduced fees, most do not have any CAS allocation (schools are now only entitle to issue a restricted number of CAS per year) left and UKBA will not issue more at this stage.
Therefore, we are advising students and families to take extra care when buying courses from overseas: at a very cheap price; the quality of the information displayed in the website; and mostly accreditation. One thing you can look for, in order to make a secure move, is the EnglishUK quality seal (which off LondonHelp4U has) as they work closely with the British Council to manage accreditation of the best schools only. The scheme, which monitors and improves the standards of English language providers in the UK, on behalf of students all over the world, has a consistent appeals procedure in order to minimise the effects of closure when students have paid fees for language courses at EnglishUK member centres. It ensures students can complete their learning, and also covers money lost on accommodation fees. EnglishUK members are expected to help provide alternative language courses at no additional cost to students affected by the closure of another member school. We will act quickly to find you a suitable course so that your learning continues uninterrupted. This is one more reason why choosing an EnglishUK centre; is both a guarantee of quality and a secure investment. At LondonHelp4U we are prepared to look after you, don’t put your time, money and future at risk!
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