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Hi David,

One is tempted to assume that the former decision making system to issue Entry Clearance by Entry Clearance Officers based in Consulates abroad was so flawed that the UKBA decided to pass the buck on to Universities, Schools and their Agents whose expertise lies elsewhere, through the Points Based System. If the claim is now that there are thousands of bogus students in the UK (and that claim really needs to be substantiated with solid evidence of what constitutes a bogus student as opposed those who may be working legitimately to support their income) then the PBS and its operators are to be blamed.

We have worked with an agent here in China for the last 10 years. He has sent thousands of students to the UK for summer programmes over this period (summer 2012 he sent 250 representing 500 student weeks). These students are not part of the PBS but are approved, or not, by ECOs locally. Every single student he is responsible for has returned to China and all have enjoyed a good time in the UK learning English and enjoying our culture.

After all his students had returned this year he received a letter from the UKBA banning him for the period of one year because they had questioned 3 of his submissions and claimed that these 3 applicants were bogus. All 3 were subjected to further investigations by UKBA and 2 were incompetently carried out.

When will anyone apart from the readers and contributors to your blog actually understand the actual damage that is being done by our uncivil 'servants' abroad to the relationships we have all fostered over the years in the cause of promoting International Education?

I know that London Met has had a long and successful history of promotion and recruitment in China. Losing its HTS status is simply a result of UKBA passing the buck. No educational institution should be made responsible for Border watch.


Thank you Tony for that clear anecdotal evidence of the damage, and its arbitrary nature. The UK government is blinded by bigotry, and as you say border control shouldn't be the business of educational institutions anyway. A deeply compounded and damaging mess.


Bigotry is an obvious accusation. But Incompetence and Ignorance of International issues as far as Education is concerned must also be added. It's completely inexplicable. How can a government ruin such an important source of income?


They've been told often enough. Perhaps we are witnessing a fear for the future of the party itself as they are so strongly motivated by short term "populist" votes which they think would otherwise go to the BNP or UKIP. And bugger the rest.

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