To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 25 March (WA 330), whether they will maintain and collate statistics on the numbers of foreign students granted visas to study at particular private colleges in order to assist the UK Border Agency in making assessments of the compliance and reliability of such colleges; and why they decided that making the number of visas issued per college known to competitors could put the college at an unfair disadvantage. [HL3226]
Educational institutions must issue a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) to each student they wish to sponsor under tier four. The UK Border Agency regulates the number of CAS each institution can issue and knows, from its sponsor management system, when a CAS is issued. In this way the agency can tell how many students are studying at a particular institution at any one time.
Publishing the number of visas issued to students studying at individual institutions could be used by would-be migrants to assess the popularity of particular institutions and could put those with few students from outside of the EU at a disadvantage.