NUS to intervene in London Met legal action
NUS stages third-party intervention in judicial review of UKBA decision
by Charlotte Keith
Thursday 20th September 2012, 16:31 BST
The National Union of Students today announced its decision to intervene as a third party in London Metropolitan University’s legal challenge to the UK Border Agency.
This move comes in the wake of London Met’s announcement that it had filed for judicial review after the UKBA’s decision to revoke the university’s Highly Trusted Sponsorship (HTS) licence, the certificate which allows institutions to recruit international students.
Third party interventions can enable a person or organisation not otherwise involved in the litigation to submit specialist information or expertise to the court – effectively allowing the third party to contribute to the legal decision-making process.
NUS President Liam Burns said that “the students at London Met who have been affected by this decision came to London in good faith and have already spent tens of thousands of pounds on their education.” The NUS intervention, he explained, will attempt to “ensure that their voice is heard in the legal proceedings”.
The NUS cited concerns about "the fairness and proportionality of UKBA's decision on both the students affected by the decision and the wider student body" as reasons for the decision, claiming to act in the interests of both international and domestic students at UK universities.
The number of international students directly affected by the UKBA’s decision is thought to be as many as 2, 600. After the 1st October, those with valid student visas will have three months to find another university course or arrange to leave the UK.
Saadia Khan, a solicitor at Bindmans, the law firm acting on behalf of the NUS, explained that the court will now decide whether the organisation can intervene in legal proceedings. This is the first time that the sponsor status of a public institution has been revoked, so this case will set an important precedent. Khan claimed that the court’s decision “will have implications for thousands of international students already in the UK or considering coming here to study”.