University cancels procurement following ''dramatic'' shift in finances

23 October 2012

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23 October 2012 | Adam Leach

London Metropolitan University has cancelled the procurement of a shared services centre because it can no longer afford it.

In a statement published on Friday, the university announced it was cancelling the plans. It explained that as a result of losing the ability to sponsor foreign students – which pay significantly higher fees than domestic students – the arrangements for the procurement were no longer suitable.

In August this year, the university was stripped of its power to sponsor overseas students by the UK Border Agency after an investigation identified a number of concerns about its foreign student programme. It found a number of students did not have permanent leave to remain, could not demonstrate English language proficiency and that the university couldn’t provide attendance records for over half of its foreign students.

A university statement said: “Our student and financial landscape has shifted dramatically since the revocation of our ‘highly trusted sponsor’ status on 29 August, and notwithstanding our success in the High Court on 21 September [where existing students were permitted to complete their courses], our business has changed. We no longer feel that the basis on which we opened the competitive dialogue for shared services is now the best match for our new circumstances.”

The university has said that it will now turn its efforts to “rapidly” procure a third party to help it manage its support service needs. It thanked the bidding parties which participated in the procurement, which was launched earlier this year for a five-year contract to provide IT, payroll and library management. In particular, it thanked BT Global, which had already pulled out of the process, Capita and WIPRO.

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