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By Cynthia Barker

During a recent spate of UK Colleges closing down or going bust, I have been flooded with calls from anxious international students left high and dry after the collapse of their educational providers.

First there was Affinity, where hundreds of Filipino student visa holders were marooned when the high profile NVQ college went bust in July. Some had paid thousands to Affinity just weeks before the company went into administration.

Since then a number of smaller colleges have either gone under or been closed down by the Home Office.

This week I met five students, all from Mindanao, who had been studying at London School of Management but the college was apparently raided by Home Office officials after a series of complaints that they were not providing adequate educational services.

The students from Mindanao were a bit distressed and had been searching for a college where they could be sure of a warm welcome and more importantly a stable environment in which to continue their studies.

Students on student visa who find themselves stranded without a place to study must enrol in a bona fide DUIS approved educational provider as soon as possible. Failure to do so could result in the cancellation of their student visa.

Due to the urgency of their case and this was at 6pm on a Friday night, I was able to convince Joanna Garlitos, College Administrator for Majestic College, to arrange for them to be assessed and enrolled straight away. The Home Office has since been informed of the change of their circumstances. At Majestic College, a DIUS approved college in Borehamwood, part of a 10 year old group, I was confident that they would be safe.

Joanna said: “The students were happy and relieved to have received their admission letters and ID’s and they are all looking forward to starting classes on Monday. We have to ensure that they are attending lectures straight away to avoid any further delay with their study”.

Under current rules students are allowed to switch courses and those taking sandwich courses, such as NVQ’s can work as part of their studies to gain practical knowledge.

If you have any specific questions or comments, or need advice, you may email me: or phone me on 020 8905 1822

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Posted on Nov 26, 2008 - Last updated on Jul 28, 2009

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