UEA to investigate claims foreign students offered admission with lower grades

The University of East Anglia has pledged to investigate allegations made in a national newspaper that foreign students are being offered university places with lower grades than UK students.

The University of East Anglia has pledged to investigate allegations made in a national newspaper that foreign students are being offered university places with lower grades than UK students.

It has temporarily suspended its relationship with a third-party agency based in China which acts on behalf of foreign students seeking UK university places, while it seeks assurances about the advice being offered.

A Daily Telegraph investigation today claimed that Golden Arrow Consultancy told students they would be able to study maths or science at the UEA with three B grades at A level, when the usual entry requirements are higher.

The agency also allegedly offered to write personal statements and instructed students to tell authorities they would return home after their studies, even if they did not plan to.


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Foreign students pay higher fees than their British counterparts, with the 2011 cohort of non-EU students worth as much as �35.6m over the course of their studies.

The UEA said yesterday it would seek assurances from Golden Arrow 'that its counsellors are offering appropriate advice to all applicants.'

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A spokesman said: 'Agents are used to signpost students to the universities most appropriate to their grades. They cannot and do not make offers. We decide who to admit or reject.

'We can demonstrate that we make exactly the same offers to international and British students. We do, however, sometimes accept students (from the UK or overseas) who narrowly miss the terms of their offer, on a case by case basis.

She added: 'It is important to bear in mind that international students do not, and cannot, take places that could be filled by UK students.

'We are fined if we exceed the cap for UK students placed on us by the Government. International student recruitment operates outside the UK targets.'

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