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Three UK varsities, 57 colleges banned from sponsoring international students
London, June 28: Three universities and 57 private colleges have been told they cannot sponsor any new international students in a major crackdown on suspect English language qualifications.

In a statement to the House of Commons on June 24, immigration minister James Brokenshire said he was taking the action in the light of "detailed and wide-ranging investigation into actions by organised criminals to falsify English language tests for student visa applicants".

It follows a BBC Panorama expose in February, which revealed systematic cheating in tests from an organisation called the Educational Testing Service (ETS).More than 29,000 invalid results and 19,000 questionable results had been identified so far, though "it is likely that the true totals will be higher," said Brokenshire, who condemned the organised criminality behind the fraud.

Brokenshire said the Home Office had suspended the highly trusted status of Glyndwr University, in north Wales, which enables it to sponsor the visas of non-European Union students.

Some 230 students sponsored by Glyndwr had been identified as having invalid test results provided by ETS a figure rising to 350 if questionable scores were counted.The Home Office has also told the University of Bedfordshire and the University of West London that "they are no longer allowed to sponsor new students pending further investigations which will decide whether they too should be suspended", Brokenshire added.

At the UWL, the number of sponsored students with invalid scores stood at 210 rising to 290 if questionable ones were included, he said.In addition, Brokenshire said the licences of 57 private further education colleges to recruit foreign students had been suspended. According to an official list seen by the Times Higher Education, they include the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF).

Further abuse was also taking place in the London sub-campuses of other UK universities, but they had not been suspended as they were taking steps to resolve the issues, Brokenshire added.

However, the Quality Assurance Agency had been asked to examine the London campuses to see whether any further action should be taken against the parent institutions, he said. Immigration officers had also established that a number of overseas university students were earning more than 20,000 a year despite the rule that they must not work more than 20 hours a week during term time, he said.

One university student was working a 60-hour week for six months, he said. Overseas students at several private colleges are not allowed to work, yet one college LSBF has 290 foreign students who worked and paid tax last year, he added.

A Glyndwr spokesman said the university was "deeply upset" that its sponsor licence had been suspended and was working with the UK Visas and Immigration "to investigate the issues raised".

Bedfordshire said it had audited "all current students who have progressed to us from ETS" and this had enabled it to "reassure" the UKVI that there was no "evidence of any organised attack" on the university's compliance with immigration rules.

West London vice-chancellor Peter John said it would be "working closely with UKVI over the next seven days and will issue a further statement after that time". A spokesman for the LSBF said it was "surprised and disappointed" by the visa licence suspensions. "We take our commitments very seriously and we will work closely with UKVI to resolve this situation swiftly in the near future," he said.

Liam Byrne, shadow minister for universities, science and skills, said Labour supported "any action" that protects the "hard-earned reputation" of the UK higher education "but today's threat has come from another immigration crisis that's happened on this government's watch."

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41 MPhil topics approved
Peshawar: A total of 41 out of 43 M.Phil topics were approved in the monthly meeting of the Advanced Studies and Research Board of the University of Peshawar held on Tuesday.

The meeting chaired by UoP Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Rasul Jan also gave extension to one M. Phil scholar to complete research while the M. Phil admission of one scholar was frozen on his request.

The scholar presented the research topics and gave arguments in favour of its contribution to the relevant field of study, to the board. They were accompanied by the respective supervisors.

The vice-chancellor urged the Deans of Faculties to emphasise more on preparations synopsis of the research topics and make them in line with the HEC requirement. He appreciated the research topics proposed by scholars of social sciences on the occasion.The meeting was attended by Director Admission Prof Dr Hizbullah Khan, Deans of Faculties and other members of the Advanced Studies and Research Board.

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KU announces MA result
Karachi: The University of Karachi on Sunday announced the result for MA Final External Annual Supplementary Examination 2013.

In Arabic four students appeared and two passed whereas in Economics 576 students appeared and 181 passed. 11 students appeared in English of them one passed. For General History three students appeared of them two passed. In International Relations 155 students appeared of them 71 passed. 28 students appeared in Islamic History whereas 20 students cleared the paper whereas for Islamic Studies 44 students appeared and 27 passed. Six students appeared for Mathematics whereas one passed. In Philosophy one student appeared and passed. 19 students appeared for Political Science of them 10 passed. Nine students appeared for Sindhi of them seven passed. In Urdu 49 students appeared and 24 passed.

Evening programmes
The admissions in the evening Diploma and Masters (2014-15) programs at the KU have now begun.

The admission forms can be received from the UBL Counter at the KU Silver Jubilee Gate from June 23 to July 11, between 9:30am and 5pm, according to the Director Evening Programme Prof Dr Abid Hasnain.The forms can also be received and submitted at the UBL Branch in KU from 5pm to 7pm - with a payment of Rs1,000.

However during the month of Ramazan, the admission forms will only be received and submitted at the KU Silver Jubilee Gate UBL Counter between 8:30am to 2pm. Classes will commence from August 20.

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LLB part I and II annual exams
Karachi: Karachi University (KU) has announced that LLB part I and II annual exams will commence from July 3 according to a press release on Friday. Candidates can obtain their admit cards and date sheets from their respective colleges. The news

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Updated: 14 Oct, 2014
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