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London Metropolitan University's future at stake

More than 2,500 foreign students all enrolled at London Metropolitan University are fighting desperately to avoid deportation after their visas were suddenly cancelled.

Foreign students at London Metropolitan University have had their visas cancelled

The students have been given 60 days to find alternative courses or be forcibly removed from the UK, after London Metropolitain University was stripped of its right to teach all non-European Union foreign students after the Border Agency said it was failing to comply with visa rules.

Stranded students said they were being treated unfairly after being given permission to come to the UK to study and paying tens of thousands of pounds in fees and costs for the chance to do so. The Government has moved to set up a task force of business and education bodies to identify genuine students and try to help them enroll elsewhere. But London Met may still face mass legal action from aggrieved students seeking refunds in the tens of millions of pounds, lawyers have warned.

Concerns were also raised that the Government's determination to crack down on immigration could impact on the finances of other universities reliant on the higher fees paid by foreign students to balance their books.

The vice-chancellor of London Met, Malcolm Gillies, warned that the future of the university, which has 30,000 students, is at stake, because the punishment for its immigration failures could blow a £30m hole in its budget.

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