The UK Border Agency reminds Universities, Colleges and Schools that they must apply by 2 February 2009 if they wish to sponsor students when the new student Tier 4 is introduced at the end of March 2009. So far eight hundred educational institutional have been approved under the scheme.
Under the new rules schools, colleges and universities must pledge to take responsibility for any students they bring here from outside Europe and have a licence to do so. The new system will be rolled out over the next 12 months.
The intention of the new scheme is to prevent bogus colleges from bringing in students who abuse the system by not turning up or overstaying. International students under Tier 4 will have to meet the following requirements:
- Sponsorship by a UK Border Agency-licensed education institution
- Proof that they have the means to support themselves and their families
- Provide fingerprints.
Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas has said:
"Everyone who comes here must play by the rules and that includes foreign students wanting to take advantage of our world-class universities and colleges. The new student tier of the points system will ensure we will know exactly who is coming here to study and crack down on bogus colleges.
That is why I am delighted that more than 800 colleges and universities have registered so far. I now urge other educational institutions to sign up so they are ready when the system goes live at the end of March."