Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Stranded TASMAC students have 60 days to leave UK?

NEW DELHI: It has been two days sinceTASMAC London School of Business announced the closure of its London campus, affecting around 550 students of Asian and African origin, many among whom are Indians.

According to Vikram Singh, a student who paid for an MBA from the University of Wales and studying in TASMAC London, "Though the school authorities have been claiming that we will be transferred to different colleges, nothing is likely to happen. The authorities are simply buying time."

Singh, along with the other TASMAC students, have 60 days - according to the UKBA ( United Kingdom Border Agency) policy - to decide on their future. Either they get themselves admitted to a new college, fulfilling the visa requirements, or else, they leave the country.

Elaborating on the situation, a UK Border Agency spokesperson in India said: "Earlier this year, we announced that from April 2012 all institutions wanting to sponsor foreign students would have to be classed as a Highly Trusted Sponsor by the UK Border Agency and would need to be inspected by an approved educational oversight body by the end of 2012. TASMAC London School of Business has indicated that it no longer wishes to sponsor foreign students to enter the UK and that it wishes to surrender its licence to do so."

The spokesperson added, "These changes to accreditation and inspection requirements protect legitimate students and ensure that only those education providers with a proven track record in immigration compliance will be licensed to bring international students to the UK. In the event that a student is already in the UK and his or her sponsor surrenders its licence or has its licence withdrawn, the student will usually have 60 days to find an alternative education provider in the UK."

However, Sameer Dua, joint MD, TASMAC and TASMAC LONDON, stresses that not only TASMAC but also a host of other private education providers have been forced to close down owing to the tightening of visa regulations by the UKBA. He said that TASMAC and the University of Wales are trying to ensure that students can continue their studies. "The University of Wales is seeking partner colleges where the transfer of credits can be done so that affected students can complete their degrees," said Dua.

TASMAC is a business education provider that started operations in Mumbai in 1990 and is headquartered in Pune, with a presence across Bangalore and Kolkata. It had set up a campus in London in 2008.

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