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Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of private colleges that have closed as a result of a failure to gain Government accreditation as bona fide institutions offering courses for overseas students in the last 12 months. (314604)

[holding answer 3 February 2010]: Since 31 March 2009, any institution wishing to bring non European economic area nationals to the UK to study must undergo a two-stage process of inspection, audit or accreditation, followed by licensing by the UK Border Agency for immigration purposes. This process has reduced the number of institutions able to bring students to the UK from over 4,000 to approximately 2,000.

There is no estimate of the number of private colleges that have closed as a result of failure to gain accreditation from an accreditation body as distinct from sponsor licensing for UKBA purposes. If a private college does not have accreditation it does not prevent it offering courses to UK or other EEA nationals outside of Tier 4 of the points based system.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of private colleges that have received and subsequently lost accreditation as a bona fide institution offering courses for overseas students (a) temporarily and (b) permanently. (314605)

[holding answer 3 February 2010]: Five private colleges that held a tier 4 sponsor licence at one time have since lost accreditation from their approved body and had their sponsor licence removed. The UK Border Agency does not hold any information on whether these institutions have since re-applied to the accrediting body. As at 31 January 2010 UKBA had revoked the licences of 15 educational institutions.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many tier 4 applications are awaiting decision in (a) India, (b) Nepal and (c) Bangladesh. (320946)

[holding answer 8 March 2010]: As of the end of January, the number of Tier 4 student visa applications lodged at our visa application centres in India, Nepal and Bangladesh that were awaiting a decision were as follows:

Number

India

20,432

Nepal

6,783

Bangladesh

3,060