When I last gave an update on my minor obsession with the number of ‘bogus colleges’, I had written to BIS to ask whether all those who had been removed from the UKVI sponsor list were indeed ‘bogus’. Jo Johnson had said, by clear inference, that they were all ‘rogue providers and dodgy operators’. I asked what impact that would have on a provider who was removed from the register but who BIS continued to designate for students gaining loans from the UK government to pay fees.
I asked, again, that if the Government does not know what proportion of those who have been removed from the register are bogus, then it should stop quoting the total number as if they were all ‘bogus’.
I’ve had a response.
In most ways it is a study in refusing to answer the question; after all it was a BIS minister who aligned the number of providers no longer on the register with ‘rogue providers and dodgy operators’. We are told
‘Where a sponsor is failing to meet their responsibilities as a sponsor their licence may be revoked. However, there is no data able [sic] on the reason for revocation’.
My contention is that a number, probably at least 100, have come off the Tier 4 register for entirely their own business choices. Tier 4 sponsorship has changed since 2010. If BIS has no data available on the reason for revocation, then surely its ministers cannot quote a number as representing ‘bogus colleges’.
And so I wait for the ‘comprehensive answer’ from the Home Office. Meanwhile I’ve asked for the list of those removed from the sponsor list so I can try counting them myself.
Still waiting for the Home Office, but at least they’ve apologised for the delay in getting me the information.