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Tony.

Well said, David, and a very Happy Chinese New Year to you. It is unbelievable that the UK, with probably the best English language learning institutions in the world should be again dealt a draconian blow based on visa issue (security). I have dealt with many hundreds of genuine students from China seeking a British Education (perceived and declared by parents to be the best in the world) whose English Language skills are low and certainly not up to GCSE standards (is this the right standard in any case? GCSE is designed essentially for native speakers!). EFL institutions are there for language learners from very early stages and as you have rightly said, they have done an excellent job over many years for overseas Higher Education aspirants in the UK.

Apart from juniors following summer programmes, the UK has not been supportive to EFL providers in the UK as far as Chinese applications are concerned - there were too many hoops to go through visa-wise. What is of major concern now is the focus on sponsors with special status. This move was predictable, however. How long will it be before the majority of sponsors fall outside this special status through no fault of their own?

National security maybe a very serious issue. But horses for courses. Who should police it? Presumably those best qualified. All sponsors have achieved their status through accreditation for what they do best. Should each school now have a "party member" in employment to guarantee special status?

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