Point Blank Music College Wins Back Border Licence
Point Blank Music College in Hackney, London, has won back its licence to sponsor International students, after it had it revoked by the UK Border Agency in March, thus forcing non-UK and non-EU students to find a new college or depart the United Kingdom.
The Home Office agreed to reinstate the licence at the North London college after an inspection earlier this month showed that the institution has made significant improvements in the process of selecting their students.
According to a UK Border Agency (UKBA) spokesperson, the college’s license was suspended because it was thought they have accepted students who did not meet their course requirements.
Point Blank’s sponsorship benefits have also been restored, and the reinstatement means that the college can resume recruiting International students for courses commencing in September 2013.
The music college first faced immigration issues when the UK Border Agency refused to offer clearance for 14 prospective students accepted on courses from September 2012. The decision culminated in an outstanding rejection rate of approximately 30%, as the UKBA introduced additional checks on International students prior to their acceptance and enrollment.
In March, after legal appeals failed, International students attending programmes lasting more than six months were told they might have to leave midway through their courses. Shortly after the announcement, the UKBA gave up its status as an independent agency and joined the Home Office.
Jules Brookes, Managing Director at Point Blank College, stated that it was “most unfortunate that Point Blank, an upstanding, bonafide learning institute has been included in an apparent cull aimed at reducing illegal immigration.”
“This is not about Point Blank and our losses as a local Hackney business. It is about our current students who are halfway through their courses having been issued visas already prior to entering the country.”
Local MP Meg Hiller, who withheld the college’s license in March, explained that the decision to revoke the sponsor licence was initially well-founded, but assured the University’s faculty members and students that the improvements made by the college have won back its license.
“Point Blank is taking the duties and obligations required by sponsor licence holders very seriously, and I am therefore going to reinstate your sponsor licence,” he said.
Ultimately, Mr Brookes reviewed the heart warming news as “a great ending to a very unhappy period”.
The college is famous for having British music artists Leona Lewis and Goldie among its most respectable alumni, as well as guest lecturer Pete Tong, DJ at the BBC Radio 1, whose tuition programmes range from weekend courses to two-year diplomas, awarded by the University of Middlesex.
The British DJ has also showed his appreciation for the institution: “Point Blank Music School is an excellent learning institution and is something we should be proud of in the UK.”
“Far from revoking its licence, we should be applauding Point Blank as a fine example of UK education in the creative and media field,” he added.