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650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes | Immigration Matters

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Tasmac London School of Business, which offered degrees validated by the University of Wales (UoW), ceased trading on Friday leaving hundreds of international students stranded.

TASMAC COLLEGE CAMPUS KINGSBURY

The University has set up an ‘email helpline’ to assist hundreds of Tier 4 students from the UoW approved London college which closed suddenly.

The 650 overseas students, many of whom had paid thousands of pounds in fees to the private college just before it went under, are unlikely to see their money again. The Managing Director had left the country.

The UoW said it was ‘working to transfer the students onto courses at other partner colleges’.

Three representatives of the UoW attended meetings with former Tasmac students in London on Monday.

The BBC was told that the meetings were at times “emotional”, with some students said to be angry and others in a state of shock.

Students for the Masters in Business (MBA) course had paid £7,850 in fees for the degree validated by the UoW.

Students on the courses came from countries including India, Nigeria, Cameroon, Syria, Egypt and Ukraine, with the largest group from Nepal.

Sameer Dua, who was the joint Managing Director of Tasmac UK business school, fled the UK at the weekend and spoke to the BBC from India.

Mr Dua said the decision to close the college was the result of changes in UK Tier student visa regulations brought in by the UK Borders Agency (UKBA).

He said: “These changes have not only impacted Tasmac, they have impacted many more colleges that could be shut down.

“Most of our students are non-EU students. All these students require visas to come. It became difficult to sustain ourselves.”

The collapse of Tasmac college is the latest difficulty faced by the UoW. Its new Vice Chancellor, Prof Medwin Hughes, announced last week that it would stop validating degrees in the UK or overseas.

Tasmac is extremely unlikely to transfer any… tuition fees towards the new colleges as the company has gone into liquidation in the UK”

A separate BBC investigation for the Week In Week Out programme uncovered a scam where overseas students were helped to cheat their way to UoW validated degrees and visas.

The Metropolitan Police and the UKBA carried out raids following the programme.

The investigation did not involve Tasmac college.

Mr Dua said the academic standards of Tasmac UK had full approval with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

He said: “We feel terrible. We are working on ensuring that the students are transferred to an alternative collaborative college so that the students can complete the programme they have come to the UK to pursue.”

Asked if the students would get their fees back, Mr Dua repeated that the problems were “sector-wide” but gave no further information.

Staff at Tasmac college in Wembley were called to an emergency meeting last Thursday evening when they were told the college was shutting down immediately. Vans arrived to remove computers and furniture.

Joanna Oman, who was formerly marketing manager for Tasmac School of Business, criticised the school’s directors.

She said: “Tasmac is extremely unlikely to transfer any… tuition fees towards the new colleges as the company has gone into liquidation in the UK.”

Ms Oman said the students’ existing Tier 4 student visas were tied to a place at Tasmac college and it would be very difficult to get a new one.

The UoW was approached by the BBC to answer further questions about the collapse of Tasmac UK but has not responded.

Last week, the UoW issued a statement which said it was in talks with other colleges over the transfer of former Tasmac students.

The statement said: “The university has been in discussions with other collaborative centres to arrange for the 650 students on University of Wales programmes to transfer to programmes at these institutions.

“If students do have to leave the country for any reason the university will offer the opportunity to transfer them on to a distance-learning programme.”

The statement added: “Students also have the option of taking an exit qualification.” Source: BBC.

Out of pocket students will need more than an ’email helpline’ from the University of Wales which approved Tasmac to run degree course on their behalf.

Moving students to other colleges running their degrees may help retain them for the UoW, but the students will still have to pay new fees and bear the cost of renewing their Tier 4 visas.

UoW has not made any statement on whether or not they will be offering their students any financial compensation, as the students could argue that the university’s endorsement of the private college was the very reason they were studying at Tasmac.

To make matters worse, following the recent visa changes students renewing visas at alternative private colleges will not be allowed to work or sponsor their dependants.

Bison UK Immigration Adviser Cynthia Barker was saddened by the news and said she is offering free immigration advice consultations for any students affected by the closure of their college. She said:

‘Private colleges are being suspended by the UKBA or closing at an alarming rate following several Tier 4 student visa changes this year. Hardly a day goes by without a  student calling me to say that their college has closed and the owners disappeared leaving them stranded after paying thousands of pounds in fees.

‘The July 4 student visa changes means that if a non-EU student renews visa with a private college or changes college after 4 July 2011, they will not be able to work or sponsor their dependants.’ 

The UK Border Agency has implemented major changes to the Tier 4 student route of the points-based system, which came into effect on 4 July 2011 and have badly hit private college.

The Government has revised the Immigration Rules relating to Tier 4 in order to:

  • restrict work entitlements, by only allowing students sponsored by higher education institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges to work part-time during term time and full-time during vacations;
  • restrict sponsorship of dependants to those of students sponsored by HEIs on postgraduate courses lasting 12 months or longer, and of government-sponsored students on courses lasting longer than 6 months;
  • require institutions to confirm that courses represent genuine academic progression from any previous courses studied by the student in the UK; and
  • create a streamlined application process for low-risk nationals sponsored by Highly Trusted sponsors.

The agency said:

‘These changes are aimed at delivering a strong migration system which tackles immigration abuse while allowing genuine students to study at genuine colleges.’

However, many private college owners are protesting that they are no longer competing with Government owned institutuions and UK Universities on a level playing field.

Tasmac students are clearly ‘genuine students’ who through no fault of theirs now find themselves in a extremely disadvantaged position.

Bijal Shah, of Licensed Insolvency Practitioner’s RE 10, has announced a further creditors meeting, to be held at 11am on 3 November at:

WATERSMEET THEATRE
HIGH STREET
RICKMANSWORTH
WD3 1EH

Creditors and students are strongly advised to attend the meeting and ask where over £4 million paid to the college in upfront fees has gone.

See also:

TASMAC College Creditors Meeting

HIGHLY TRUSTED PRIVATE COLLEGE STUDENTS DO NOT HAVE THE SAME RIGHT TO WORK AS GOVERNMENT SPONSORED INSTITUTIONS

New Tier 4 sponsor guidance published for Highly Trusted Sponsorship – will your private college qualify?

Pre Tier 4 students in the UK under the Immigration Rules that were in place before 31 March 2009

Post Study Work Visa to be abolished April 2012 as part of student visa clampdown

New Tier 4 student visa rules now in force

University of Wales cease validating degrees at colleges and other institutions

UK Universities and Colleges report thousands of Tier 4 students to UK Border Agency over visa suspicions

TASMAC College Creditors Meeting

‘I’ve done nothing wrong’ says bankrupt Tasmac College director to the 650 students who have lost £7500 in fees

For free immigration news updates, please visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk  or email: info@immigrationmatters.co.uk

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22 Responses to “650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes”
Read them below or add one

  1. […] 650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes […]

  2. […] 650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes […]

  3. […] 650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes […]

  4. […] 650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes […]

  5. […] 650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes […]

  6. […] 650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes […]

  7. […] 650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes […]

  8. […] 650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes […]

  9. […] 650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes […]

  10. khyati dave says :

    is someone coming on child visitor visa then ,can study in school in uk?if yes then In which type of school like ofsted registered or etc?

  11. UK Border Agency website gives regular factual updates.

  12. Greetings! This is my first comment here so
    I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?
    Thank you so much!

  13. […] than 650 Tasmac students have been left stranded without a college since the University of Wales (UoW) accredited college went […]

  14. The UK Border Agency has ‘got tough’ with so called colleges and closed or suspended hundreds of them. However, in the case of TASMAC, it is the owner/s (who was interviewed by the BBC in India) who has declared the business insolvent/bankrupt and closed the college down – despite have 650 students who had paid him over £7000 each. How much is 650 X £7000 and where did the money go to?
    Immigration Matters reported the story last week:
    http://www.immigrationmatters.co.uk/650-tasmac-students-stranded-as-university-of-wales-accredited-college-closes.html
    Tasmac London School of Business, which offered degrees validated by the University of Wales (UoW), ceased trading on Friday leaving hundreds of international students stranded.
    Bison UK Immigration Adviser Cynthia Barker is offering free immigration advice consultations for any students affected by the closure of their college. Call 02089051822 for help.

  15. ashim sharma says :

    British government is doing business even in education sector. It is finally proven that they can do anything for money and they will do it whenever they need money just like in colonization era.
    There are(i mean were) more than 70% of Nepalese students studying in Tasmac college london. most of them are from middle class family background. They have managed to study in college by getting loan, or selling property like land in a hope that they will complete their study, be competitive and earn what they have invested in their education. But now true politics of british government to bring money to uk at any cost has turned students dream to nightmare. They issued permit to run college (i guess they thought it will create more employment). when there were many colleges, they introduced tier 4 policy to get easy student visa just to fill up their empty colleges and bring more money to uk. but now when their economy is rebuilt, and they have threat of their own people being unemployed,(because non eu workers and students are hard working, they work at low wages and they are better skilled) they are issuing new policy like sending student back, no work permit to student studying in colleges and so on.
    what i think is, if they have issued permit to run colleges and also issued order to shut down same college after getting money, they must be responsible for student not completing their study due to their this act.
    it is not that much easy to shut down any organization like giving birth to it specially in the context of educational institution where future of student lies. But here it seems like british government is appealing its colleges to declare insolvent, shut down your college, there is no one to complain.please help us sending those student back to their country. I mean they dont even track record of financial information about colleges. anyone college can declare insolvency at any time? i mean what if a famous company (lets say Barclays wealth) where large amount of share holder are british declares insolvent? will they still remain silent like this?
    Lets talk about UKBA… i mean doesnt it means United Kingdom Border Agency?? then what is it doing in the education sector?? it is supposed to check after visa, immigration of student, illegal acts doing by immigrants and so on. isnt it?? here some agency is doing such critical work which it is not created to do for….

  16. jason bourne says :

    About UKBA,
    Nowdays UKBA is hiting the student very hardly. I think Ukba government is becoming very routless. The Ukba gov. knows that their student closing then why they are giving visa for long. And what type of rules is this. In 2012 ukba goverment will know about their fault. what they are doing in 2009 to 2011. we will also look. and student as well.

    Jason bourne

  17. […] 650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes This post was written by Charles Kelly on October 15, 2011 Posted Under: News, Uncategorized […]

  18. Bison UK Immigration Adviser Cynthia Barker is offering free immigration advice consultations for any students affected by the closure of their college. Call 0208 905 1822 for an appointment or email info@immigrationmatters.co.uk

  19. […] 650 Tasmac students stranded as University of Wales accredited college closes […]

  20. Shahram Mirzababaee says :

    Dear Cynthia,

    This is shahram Mirzababaee and I have successfully completed second semester of my MBA in Tasmac School of Business and as you know last week we received an email which confirmed our college is closed without any notice. At this stage my main concern in order to help me to finish my study is:
    Myself and my dependant visa because at this moment we cannot present required documents for UKBA for example I have a IELTS of 6 which is valid for more few months but one of the component is less than 5.5, but I have done English language support in the school and till now I have passed all the exams and course works, so do I have to re do the English test?
    The other thing is if I change my visa dose my wife need to change her visa as well? Is she going to obtain it or not? What are the requirements?
    Please help me and how can I deal with this problem I have to finish my study and it’s really important for me and my wife.
    Many thanks in advance for your help.

    Best Regards,
    Shahram Mirzabaabee

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