Hundreds of Indian students are among over 2,600 non-European Union students at a major London university who face deportation after immigration officials on Wednesday night revoked the institution's license to admit international students due to "serious and systemic failures".
In a move that sent ripples across Britain's higher education sector, the United Kingdom Border Agency stripped the London Metropolitan University of its license to admit international students, putting the future of its non-EU students in serious jeopardy.
If the Indian and other non-EU students already undergoing courses at the university are unable to transfer to another UK university within 60 days, they face deportation to their home countries, according to UKBA rules.
Indian students who have already secured visa and are preparing to come and study at LMU from September will have their visas cancelled due to the revocation.
The Home Office guidance to universities states, "If a student has already been given a visa when we revoke your licence, we will cancel it if they have not travelled to the UK. If they then travel to the UK, we will refuse them entry."
LMU, which has faced serious funding and other issues in recent years, said the "implications of the revocation are hugely significant and far-reaching", but its vice-chancellor Malcolm Gillies said its "absolute priority" was current and prospective students and that the university "will meet all its obligations to them".
A task force has been set up to help Indian and other students affected by the revocation.