Revocation of Highly Trusted Status for sponsoring international students

Whilst, given the news below, we are now unable to recruit international students on Tier 4 visas, London Met is 100% open for business to undergraduate and postgraduate students from the UK & EU.

Further updates available in our 2013 press release.


On 21 September the University gained approval to hold a Judicial Review. The parties also reached an agreement to enable most international students with appropriate visa status to remain with us, or to transfer elsewhere. At 2pm on Friday, 5 October The High Court judge approved this agreement. International students who have offers elsewhere, but who now want to continue at London Met, should contact the Help Centre +44 (0) 20 7133 4141 for advice on enrolment and updated visa advice.


As at 6.15 this evening an agreement has been reached between the parties to enable existing and new international students about to start their course with us, to do so with the assurance that they will be able to complete their current academic year or their course, whichever is the sooner.


London Metropolitan University was in the High Court today on an initial hearing of its challenge to a decision made by the UK Border Agency to revoke its licence to sponsor international students on Tier 4 visas.

London Met is delighted to announce that the outcome of today’s hearing is in favour of the University and it has received permission that the case be judicially reviewed. More information here.

You may be interested to read the BBC's coverage of the case.


A clearing house, supporting students wishing to transfer elsewhere to continue their studies in this country, is now open. Contact the Clearing House:  + 44 (0) 20 7133 4141.

Further information on how this clearing house was set up.


London Metropolitan University is challenging the UK Border Agency's revocation of our Highly Trusted Sponsor status.
A hearing date of  Friday, 21 September has now been set to obtain an order enabling London Met to continue to teach our international students. Please note that this is the start of the legal process, and is not the actual judicial review which would be at a later date. 

We will update this webpage with the outcome once the court has come to a decision.


The University has published some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which may answer students' queries about  the current situation.

FAQs for new students

FAQs for continuing students


London Metropolitan University has instructed its lawyers to commence legal action to challenge the revocation of its Highly Trusted status for sponsoring international students. More here.


The UKBA has published some helpful advice and guidance for London Met students affected by the revocation of our Highly Trusted Sponsor status.
UKBA's guidance for international students sponsored by London Metropolitan University
On Monday, 3 September, we will email every affected international student with further information.

On Wednesday, 29 August the UKBA revoked London Met’s Highly Trusted status for sponsoring international students.

The very basis of the revocation is something we challenge, but our priority now is to help those students affected by this news.

We are working closely with the UKBA and HEFCE to help place our current international students successfully into alternative institutions so they may complete their studies. The operation is working well. Three UKBA officers are working with our staff on the hotline at the Holloway campus.
Aside from the recruitment of international students, London Metropolitan University is 100% open for business and we will continue to provide undergraduate and postgraduate students from the UK & EU (including EEA and Swiss students) with an affordable quality education. The University’s clearing operation continues and prospective students can call 0800 032 4441 for more details.
All international students are being directed to our hotline: + 44 (0) 20 7133 4141. Alternatively, they may attend our drop-in Help Centre located in the Tech Tower at our Holloway Road campus.

Friday, 31 August 2012

The University regrets to announce that as at 8pm on Wednesday 29th August 2012, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has revoked its Highly Trusted Status for sponsoring international students. Please see the earlier press statements on this page (below) for the context of this decision. 

The implications of the revocation are hugely significant and far-reaching, and the University has already started to deal with these.  It will be working very closely with the UKBA, HEFCE, the National Union of Students and its own Students' Union.

Our ABSOLUTE PRIORITY is to our students, both current and prospective, and the University will meet all its obligations to them.

The University has set up a Help Centre to support and advise students. The number is +44 (0) 20 7133 4141

A fuller announcement will be made on Thursday, 30 August 2012.

Malcolm Gillies

Wednesday, 29 August, 2012

We have opened a hotline to answer any questions you might have:
+44 (0) 20 7133 4141

Update 13.30hrs Sunday, 26 August 2012:
The Home Office has now denied that a decision has been made in regard to our Highly Trusted Sponsor status. However, London Metropolitan University's concerns relating to such a story being provided to the Sunday Times remain. Please see below for further details.

Response in regard to the Sunday Times story on London Metropolitan University's Highly Trusted Status

We condemn the actions that have led to London Metropolitan University learning from The Sunday Times that it might have its Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) status revoked.

On 16 July 2012, the UKBA suspended the University’s Highly Trusted Sponsor status until further notice over fears that a small minority of its international students did not have accurate documentation to remain in the UK.

For the last six weeks we have repeatedly tried to liaise with the UKBA to understand further their concerns, which seem to be focused on processes related to the legacy of previous management. Disappointingly, the UKBA has been unwilling to communicate with the University, despite the growing £10 million-plus hole their action has already left on our balance sheet.

To learn that we might have our HTS status revoked via a newspaper, with the panic that this can cause for thousands of students, is outrageous. We have written to the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and Immigration Minister and asked them to outline who authorised the briefing of the story to The Sunday Times and what consideration was given to the impact it might have on our students. As far as we are officially aware, UKBA is still working through an analysis of our case. Indeed in a radio interview this morning (Sunday, 26 August), Immigration Minister Damian Green MP said that a decision had not yet been made regarding London Met’s Highly Trusted Status.

At this time, our concern is with our students:  to inform and assist our international students and applicants, who have put their faith in our institution. They will need clear information on their options for future study and timelines for securing those options. Our home and EU students also need reassurance and support. 

The University will come up with a more comprehensive response once it has received official notification from UKBA.

Malcolm Gillies
Vice Chancellor, London Metropolitan University

26 August 2012 

Press queries can be directed to the PR and Internal Communications team:

Irene Constantinides
Landline: +44 20 7133 2464

Nick Hansen
Landline: +44 20 7133 2467

Luke Foddy
Landline: +44 20 7133 2466