North East Wales

Glyndwr Uni student visa status reinstated by Home Office

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Media captionAround a third of Glyndwr's revenue comes from non-EU students, reports suggest

Glyndwr University has had its right to sponsor international students reinstated by the Home Office.

The Wrexham-based university was stopped from recruiting overseas students in June after an investigation into alleged visa fraud.

It followed concerns some students may have obtained English language certificates in the UK - required for a student visa - despite not speaking it.

The Home Office decision will be reviewed in January.

The university welcomed the agreement to reinstate its status as a "highly-trusted sponsor" of student visas, which was removed following the investigation.

It will be on "limited basis", the Home Office said, and is "subject to a number of strict conditions".

They include banning the recruitment of international students to a London campus the university operated in Elephant and Castle, which was the focus for the Home Office's Glyndwr concerns.

Glyndwr's Wrexham campus will also have a fixed allowance of places for overseas students who require a visa.

'Positive future'

In a statement the Home Office said: "We continue to work closely with Glyndwr University in order to improve their standards for recruiting international students."

Roughly 2,104 of the university's 8,400 students are from outside the EU.

English language certificates are required for a UK student visa, and the probe followed a BBC Panorama investigation.

The decision to overturn the visa ban pointed to "a very positive future for Glyndwr University" said university officials.

It said it was committed to relinquishing the lease on its Elephant and Castle campus in London and will move to new premises by July 2015.

Prof Michael Scott, vice-chancellor and chief executive of the university, said: "The university is fully committed to continuing its support for a more robust student visa system and in that regard is undertaking a number of changes to its London campus during the coming months, including a locational move."

'Financial difficulties'

Image caption Glyndwr University London is based on the eighth floor of an Elephant and Castle office block

The National Union of Students (NUS) Wales said concerns remained about the situation.

"This decision may offer some relief," said Beth Button, president of NUS Wales.

"However, Glyndwr University continues to face serious financial difficulties.

"This threat to the institution's future concerns us, and it clearly concerns all the students studying on its campuses."

As part of the Home Office investigation, evidence of "serious concern" was uncovered at 57 UK college campuses, which led to sanctions.

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