Univer­sity re­branded?

The 120-year-old Univer­sity of Wales re­brands it­self af­ter a visa scan­dal re­lat­ing to for­eign stu­dents

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page -

The 120-year-old Univer­sity of Wales (UOW) is no more as we know it, af­ter a visa scan­dal re­lat­ing to for­eign stu­dents. A Univer­sity of Wales (UOW) - linked in­sti­tute, Rayat Lon­don Col­lege, was re­port­edly raided and sus­pended by the UK Bor­der Agency over grad­u­ate work visa-re­lated al­le­ga­tions. Col­lege of­fi­cials are re­ported to have al­legedly of­fered to as­sist in­ter­na­tional stu­dents in ex­ams for UOW cour­ses and work visas.

“On Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 21, the Univer­sity of Wales Coun­cil met to dis­cuss its fu­ture in light of the strate­gic chal­lenges set by the Welsh Govern­ment. The Univer­sity of Wales Coun­cil re-af­firmed its merger with the Univer­sity of Wales: Trinity Saint David and Swansea Met­ro­pol­i­tan Univer­sity. In a sig­nif­i­cant change to its pre­vi­ous po­si­tion the Coun­cil agreed that the uni­fied in­sti­tu­tion will be merged un­der the his­toric 1822 Royal Char­ter of Trinity Saint have to be classed as a Highly Trusted Spon­sor by it and would need to be in­spected by an ap­proved ed­u­ca­tional over­sight body by the end of 2012 as a way to en­sure that over­seas stu­dents are not made of­fers to cheat their way to UK de­grees and work visas. This means that stu­dents who are look­ing to study in the UK for the 2012 aca­demic year must look up those in­sti­tutes that are a part of the UKBA list as it en­sures that only those ed­u­ca­tion providers with a proven track record in im­mi­gra­tion com­pli­ance are li­censed to spon­sor in­ter­na­tional stu­dents. “This is the only way they would get the stu­dent visa and more­over, the cre­den­tials of such uni- David, rather than un­der the 1893 Univer­sity of Wales Char­ter…the univer­sity’s de­ci­sion was made in the con­text of the ob­jec­tives set by the Welsh Govern­ment and in par­tic­u­lar the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Re­view of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Gov­er­nance (the Mc­cormick Re­view) with re­gard to the re­con­fig­u­ra­tion of higher ed­u­ca­tion,” said the in­sti­tu­tion’s web­site.

“The trans­formed univer­sity will build on ex­ist­ing brand loy­alty and will en­hance its in­flu­ence on pub­lic life in Wales and within an in­ter­na­tional con­text. To this end the trans­formed univer­sity pro-

The cur­rent job sce­nario: “I have the post-study work visa that is valid for two years, but there is no job in the mar­ket, hence I’m cur­rently free­lanc­ing,” says Rikhil Ba­hadur, 23, who com­pleted his post-grad­u­ate de­gree in film and tele­vi­sion di­rec­tion at the Univer­sity of West­min­ster in Jan­uary 2011. In­deed, 2011 has been the year of the high­est un­em­ploy­ment rate in the UK, says coun­sel­lor Prat­i­bha Jain. “Many stu­dents are now opt­ing to come back to In­dia to work in­stead of wast­ing time look­ing for a job in the UK. More than 30 stu­dents of the 50 stu­dents we sent abroad for higher stud­ies last year have now come back to work in In­dian com­pa­nies,” she says. And with the Tier-4 visa changes, the scene looks much more bleaker, says Ga­gan Go­mani, head coun­sel­lor, Ed­wise In­ter­na­tional. “Sev­eral stu­dents are forced to come back to In­dia now,” he says. poses to es­tab­lish a Wales Trust which will act as a stake­holder group,” said the mes­sage on the web­site.

The vice chan­cel­lor of the Univer­sity of Wales and the Univer­sity of Wales: Trinity Saint David, Med­win Hughes said, “I warmly wel­come the his­toric de­ci­sion taken to­day by the Univer­sity of Wales Coun­cil. The trans­formed univer­sity will serve and de­liver for Wales. Our coun­try will have sev­eral uni­ver­si­ties which can all be re­garded as national in­sti­tu­tions, each one de­liv­er­ing to their core strengths and spe­cific mis­sion. Af­ter a decade of lead­ing aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions, I look for­ward to work­ing with the govern­ment and other in­sti­tu­tions in Wales to es­tab­lish a strong higher ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. Wales needs strong brands, and the Univer­sity of Wales has com­mit­ted it­self to an ir­re­versible change which will de­liver for our Na­tion; it sig­ni­fies a sense of his­tory but also a com­mit­ment to a new be­gin­ning.”

D Hugh Thomas also an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion as chair­man of the coun­cil.

The univer­sity has said it would pub­lish more de­tails about the pro­posed merger in the “near fu­ture”.

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