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12th October 2011

650 pupils stranded as university goes bust

– Foreign students left stranded after sudden closure of University of Wales affiliated college. – Bailiffs arrive just hours after closure is announced

Hundreds of overseas students have been left stranded in the UK after a London college closed suddenly last Friday.

Students at the Tasmac London School of Buisness were said to be left feeling emotional and in a state of shock when it was announced that the college had ceased trading on 7th October.

Tasmac awarded both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in business validated by the University of Wales (UoW).

Speaking to the BBC, Sameer Dua, who was the joint managing director of Tasmac UK business school, said that the college had been forced to close after changes to UK visa regulations brought in by the UK Borders Agency.

“These changes have not only impacted Tasmac, they have impacted many more colleges that could be shut down,” he exaplained. “Most of our students are non-EU students. All these students require visas to come. It became difficult to sustain ourselves.”

Mr Dua also stated that the UoW is now working hard to transfer the stranded students onto courses at partner colleges.

Representatives from the UoW last week met up with students at Tasmac in a bid to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, staff at Tasmac have been quick to criticise the college. Joanna Oman, who was the marketing manager for Tasmac school of business, claimed that the sudden collapse of the school had left students in the lurch.

“Tasmac is extremely unlikely to transfer any… tuition fees towards the new colleges as the company has gone into liquidation in the UK,” she said.

If Ms Oman is correct, this will mean that students have to pay more if they choose to transfer to another college affiliated with the UoW. Many of the 650 students had paid their fees upfront, with some Masters students paying as much as £7,850.

Ms Oman also said that as the student’s visas had been tied to their place at Tasmac it would be difficult, if not impossible, for them to get a new visa. This means that many students, some from as far afield as Nepal and Cameroon, may be forced to return home.

Staff at Tasmac have also described how vans arrived to remove furniture and computers from the colleges’ Wembley campus just hours after it was announced that the institution was set to close.
The sudden closure of Tasmac casts doubt over the future of the University of Wales, which has been hit by numerous scandals over the last 12 months.

The Welsh Education Secretary Leighton Andrews has even gone as far to say that the university should be shut down given its recent troubles.

“I made a statement in the assembly earlier this week which made it clear that the Welsh government is very concerned about the University of Wales and the damage it is causing to the reputation both of higher education in Wales, and of our country around the world,” said Andrews, adding. “I think the University of Wales probably requires a decent burial.”

Joe Sandler Clarke

Joe Sandler Clarke

Joe Sandler Clarke is the head of student media at the University of Manchester. He was longlisted for Amnesty International’s Student Human Rights Reporter of the Year in 2012. He was a News Editor at The Mancunion in the year 2011-12

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