Spurgeon’s College has become one of the few theological colleges in Great Britain to be granted ‘Highly trusted sponsor status’ with the UK Border Agency.
According to a statement from the college, this status is ‘hugely beneficial’, because it is an essential government precondition for attracting non-EU based, foreign students.
Chris King, business manager of Spurgeon’s, said the status means that the college may now increase eleven-fold the numbers of non-EU based, international students it sponsors each year — up to 22, from just two.
The move comes shortly after agreement was reached with the University of Manchester for it to validate the college’s undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Mr King added: ‘This ends a period of great uncertainty in terms of how many non-EU students we could host, which made making accurate financial projections difficult.
‘Ending this uncertainty, as well as tying up the validation agreement with the University of Manchester and completing a smooth succession process for our new principal, Dr Roger Standing, will enable the college to go from strength to strength in 2013 and beyond’.
The Government has been cracking down on colleges and higher educational facilities so that none can be used as a front for such unlawful activity as illegal immigration or money laundering.
The crack-down has made it harder for many colleges, including Christian denominated centres, to receive funding or bring in students from overseas.