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UK to Crackdown on Rogue Recruitment Agents and Tighten its Visa Issuance Policy

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Higher education is multi-billion dollar market for Universities and they rely on recruitment agents to find them overseas students. The British Council, in a meeting last week consisting of representatives of English-speaking countries, including, UK, US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Irish Republic, said that although a majority of agents are legitimate and an important way of finding overseas students, an international approach needs to be developed to tackle fraud by rogue recruitment agents. Some dishonest recruitment agent advertise courses as a route to migration in the UK or “guarantee success” in admission tests or mislead students into believing that two room colleges are ‘prestigious” universities.

Recruitment agents, which are used by four out of five UK universities, earn a commission which can be worth several thousand pounds per overseas student sent to the universities, colleges, and language schools.Pat Killingley, the British Council’s director of higher education, said competitor countries need to work together. “We have common interests – we’ve all built up reputations for quality in higher education that we want to protect,” she said. Developing an international policy to tackling fraud was the one of the concerns of the meeting held in London.

Although, UK immigration authorities, last year, began to introduce a tougher visa system for overseas students, including a more rigorously vetted list of approved education providers, which aimed to prevent bogus colleges, the list of student visas issued to some countries rose. In response to this increase, earlier this year all applications for student visas for the UK from north India, Bangladesh and Nepal were temporarily suspended.

UK is looking to identify and stop fraudulent activity, develop partners with competitor countries, and tighten its issuance of student visas.

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Written by MithrasLaw

May 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Posted in Immigration

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