U.K. government told it had a “duty of care” towards genuine students

British MPs on Monday told the government that it was wrong for it to order foreign students affected by the crisis at the London Metropolitan University (LMU) to “pack their bags” and leave.

In angry exchanges in the House of Commons as Parliament resumed after the summer recess, they said the government had a “duty of care” towards students who faced an uncertain future following its decision to revoke the university’s licence to teach non-European overseas students.

Joining growing calls from Vice-Chancellors, student groups and businesses for a “rethink,” MPs accused Ministers of wrongly penalising hundreds of genuine students who have been told that they must either find places in other universities over the next few weeks or return home. They warned that the decision would damage Britain’s reputation abroad.

Senior Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn asked the government to allow students, already studying at LMU, to complete their studies. The decision to apply the ban on all students, he said, had created an “appalling” situation.

Shadow Immigration Minister Chris Bryant questioned the validity of telling students to “pack their bags.”

Immigration Minister Damian Green, however, remained unmoved and said the government was determined to “enforce the rules.” He said the university had “significant systemic problems.”

Many students had been found to have no legal right to stay in Britain, while some lacked adequate knowledge of English. The university failed to monitor the attendance of its overseas students as required under the terms of its licence.

Mr. Green assured that advice and support would be provided to displaced students.

Up to 500 foreign students could be deported after the UK Border Agency reportedly determined that they had no legal right to stay in Britain because of problems with their visas.

Nearly 2,700 students, including 300 from India, find themselves in a limbo after the government banned LMU from sponsoring and teaching non-European students for failing to ensure that they were genuine scholars and not potential immigrants in the guise of students.

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