Our university client entered into a collaboration agreement with an overseas agency to recruit students. Following the announcement of the closure of the post study work (PSW) scheme and, without our client's knowledge, the agency offered students an accelerated degree course intended to enable them to take advantage of the PSW scheme before it closed and gain work experience in the UK to enable them to command a premium salary when they returned home. As a Tier 4 sponsor, our client was not able to agree to accelerate the students' course to enable them to take advantage of the PSW scheme.
As a result, our client appointed us to help resolve the potentially damaging outcomes of this situation which included resolving student claims and potential problems with the UKBA.
Penningtons' dispute resolution and immigration teams worked together to provide an integrated solution for the university's problems. This involved drawing up compromise agreements with the students which included ex-gratia compensation for the 'lost opportunity' for post-study work; a partial disclosure to the UKBA to advise them the situation had been identified and was being resolved to prevent any potential breach of immigration controls; and a recommendation to terminate the collaboration partner agreement and seek to recoup from them the compensation payments to students.