The Guardian’s Geoffrey Alderman reports the new procedures and responsibilities UK universities will have following the new ’sponsor’ rule under the points-based system:

In July, the UKBA announced that by the end of this year students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) would no longer be able to enter the UK to study wherever they please. Instead, visas will only be granted for study at named institutions licensed by the UKBA. Universities and colleges will be required to “sponsor” students to whom they wish visas to be issued.

How many of the vice-chancellors gathering at Cambridge, I wonder, have actually read the UKBA’s Guidance for Sponsor Applications (130 pages)? Or even the more specific Students under the Points Based System (a meagre 26 pages)? Those who have will know that the licence application process amounts to much more than a mere transitory bureaucratic chore.

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