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