An international student at the University of Stirling claims she was forced to return home after Student Programmes failed to provide the documents required to apply for a visa.
Fourth-year student, Khaliun Batbayar, had to fly back to Mongolia in September after the University failed to give her CAS documents despite several emails asking for help.
Batbayar failed modules in third-year accountancy. Knowing this would impact her ability to study further, she initially contacted Student Programmes in May.
At the time, she made it “very clear” that she is an international student and was “concerned about visa implications”.
The document required from the University is a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). This is required for international students’ visa applications.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
A CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) letter is an electronic document issued by the university in support of your application for a student visa.
The CAS letter is typically issued after you have accepted an offer and paid the required deposit to secure your place.
You cannot apply for a student visa without the CAS letter.
After several more emails, including requests to change programme and the implications that may have for her visa, Batbayar remained without any confirmation. She said: “When I reached out to the international advisor, I was told I needed a new CAS and reapply for a visa from Mongolia.
“When I had requested help through the visa process and on the delay several times, I never got a response.
“When I emailed enrolment, I was told everything was up to student programmes.
“When I emailed admissions requesting a new CAS several times, I never got a response. “There wasn’t any way to call or text or set up a meeting with student programmes and student hub’s only advice was to wait.”
As a result, Batbayar has had to pay close to £1200 for a flight back to Mongolia as her visa is yet to be sorted for this coming academic year.
She said: “I still haven’t received my CAS, no one has responded with information of where I can receive it, admission who sent my CAS previously hasn’t responded at all to my enquiries.
“I still can’t enrol.
“The enrolment team hasn’t responded to me.”
Batbayar believes that the administrative team are to blame having put her “full trust in their ability to deliver a decision with time to sort my visa out”. She said: “The administrative team at Stirling failed to account for any struggles that came with being an international student from a third country in the UK.
“Whether this is a fault of one person, or the fault of university staff being underpaid and overworked, or a blatant ignorance of non-EU international students, I believe the university should be accountable for the damage caused to my studies.”
In response to the issue, a Spokesperson for the University of Stirling said: “The University does not comment on individual students.
“The University provides specialist advice and guidance to all our student visa holders through the Student Immigration Team.
“In instances where a student visa holder decides to change their degree programme, it is necessary for them to apply for a new visa. UK Visas and Immigration specify that such an application cannot be made from the UK and the student is therefore required to return to their home country to make their new application.
“Any student who decides to change their course of study is fully supported by our Student Programmes Team, which considers the student’s academic progress to date and the requirements of the course they want to move on to.”
Currently, Batbayar is still in Mongolia awaiting a visa to return to Stirling. Four weeks into teaching, she remains concerned about her ability to continue studying at university.
Featured Image Credit: Ciara Tait & Harry Williamson