Tier 4 sponsor licence problems: information for students

11 July 2014

This news item is now out-of-date but we have left it on our site for historical interest. Please do not rely on its content as an accurate representation of the current situation.


Tier 4 licence suspensions

On 24 June 2014, the Home Office decided to temporarily suspend the Tier 4 licence of Glyndwr University, and of 57 private colleges.  Until the Home Office has completed its investigations, these institutions cannot issue confirmations of acceptance (CASs) to support a student’s Tier 4 application, either overseas or in the UK. 

If you are waiting for a CAS from one of these institutions, or if you already have a CAS but you have not yet made your Tier 4 application, contact the institution for advice.

If you have already made a Tier 4 application using a CAS from one of these institutions, the Home Office will hold your application until the outcome of their current checks on the institution.

On its website, Glyndwr University has provided detailed guidance specifically for Glyndwr students.

Our website has general guidance for:

A suspended Tier 4 licence will either be reinstated (in which case the sponsor can resume issuing CASs as normal), or it will be revoked.  A revocation would affect all current students, as well as those planning to start courses in the future.  Sometimes, even though the licence is not revoked, a private college may decide to close the business permanently.

We have prepared guidance for

Frozen CAS allocations at two universities

On 24 June 2014, the Home Office also temporarily froze the allocation of CASs at University of Bedfordshire and University of West London. These universities’ licences have not been suspended, so any Tier 4 application using a CAS issued before 24 June 2014 will be processed as normal.   

The University of West London has set up a helpline for their students who have questions about how the current situation affects them. See the university website for full details.

University of Bedfordshire has issued a statement on their website.

More information and guidance

The Home Office web-page about approved English language tests now includes Guidance for students on sponsor suspensions. The guidance includes a list of the 57 private colleges whose licences have been suspended.  It also has a dedicated telephone number for queries:

  • 0114 207 1688 (+44 114 207 1788 from outside the UK)
    Open 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday, and 09:00 to 13:00 on Saturday (UK time).

The National Union of Students (NUS) is keen to hear from students who have been affected.  See their website for information and a brief survey.

Read UKCISA's information about on-going developments and the Sponsorship Working Group set-up to look into these issues.