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Rediff.com  » Getahead » US university with 90 per cent Indian students ordered to shut down

US university with 90 per cent Indian students ordered to shut down

July 24, 2013 13:58 IST

The University of Northern Virginia in the United States of America has been asked to stop operations July 16 onwards because it has failed to get accreditation from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Having failed to achieve accreditation the University of Northern Virginia (UNVA) with high ratio of Indian students has been ordered to shut down by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) July 16.

Just two years ago the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had served the UNVA with a Notice of Intent to Withdraw (NOIW) UNVA’s authorisation to admit foreign students.

The SCHEV is the Commonwealth’s coordinating body for Virginia’s system of higher education.

“About 90 percent of the students are Indian and on F1 visa,” Ashok Babu Kholla students' NRI president of TANA (Telugu Association of North America) told Rediff.com.

He said most of them are either enrolled into IT or MBA courses. He said the university has not yet officially given any notice to the students yet.

The agency provides policy guidance and budget recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly, and is a resource for Virginia colleges and universities on higher education issues.

A letter sent by State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to Dr Ali Dastmalchi, chancellor and CEO, University of Northern Virginia states that they'd voted to revoke the University of Northern Virginia’s 'Certificate to Operate' on July 16.

"They have to stop operating," Kirsten Nelson, Director of Communications and Government Relations, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia told Rediff.com.

Nelson said the reason the agency has shut this down is not because of any Department of Homeland Security action, but because to operate in Virginia you have to be certified by the agency (SCHEV).

"This has nothing to with immigration but to get certified by my agency you have to be taking successful steps towards accreditation by accrediting agencies," Nelson noted.

"They repeatedly failed to do that so our action is based not on immigration but on accreditation," said Nelson.

The letter sent past week says that  the University(UNVA) has now gone five years without achieving candidacy status with an accrediting body recognised by the US Department of Education (USED.

In March 2012, UNVA voluntarily entered into a consent agreement with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) that extended the period allowed to achieve candidacy to June 1, 2013, which deadline UNVA has failed to meet.

The university website though has posted that the University of Northern Virginia is certified to operate in Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). UNVA is authorised by the United States Government to enroll non-immigrant alien students.

The phone call to Chancellor office at UNVA was not returned, though the university is open for students.

Ritu Jha