London: Britain's immigration authorities have agreed to allow 400 of the over 2,600 non-EU students to complete their courses at the London Metropolitan University, whose licence was revoked last month to admit and teach foreign students.
The 400 current students are those who are at an advanced stage of completing their courses, such as handing in their last assignment (dissertation).
Such students will not have to transfer to another university to complete their courses, official sources told.
Some Indian postgraduate students at an advanced stage of their courses are expected to benefit from this allowance.
Others will need to transfer to a comparable course at other institutions identified by a task force formed after the university's licence was revoked.
The sources said the task force will start functioning from September 17.
It has identified 15 institutions that had agreed to accept LMU students affected by the licence revocation.
Most of the 15 institutions are based in or around London.
There is much expectation among LMU staff and students that the judicial review petition against the UK Border Agency's decision coming up in the high court on September 21 may lead to a stay on the implementation of the licence revocation, which may enable existing students to complete their courses.
"The UK Border Agency has now agreed that just under 400 postgraduate students who have submitted or are about to submit their dissertations can be assessed by London Metropolitan University, and will therefore not need to transfer", a spokesperson of the Higher Education Funding Council of England (Hefce) said.
It was also disclosed that the 2 million pounds fund announced by Universities minister David Willetts yesterday will cover repeat visa application costs and help legitimate students who are in hardship to meet additional costs they may incur by moving to another institution to complete their studies.
The fund will also include discretionary payments to cover, for example, lost deposits on accommodation if students have to move somewhere else to study, the sources said.
The institutions that will participate in the task force's efforts to transfer Indian and other non-EU students at LMU are: Brunel University, City University, University of East London, University of Greenwich, London South Bank University, Middlesex University, Roehampton University, University of West London, Westminster University, BPP University College, College of Law, Greenwich School of Management, IFS School of Finance, London School of Business and Finance, and Regent's College.