It was told to lawmakers in < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Britain that there could be a large number of bogus students enrolled in over 2,000 colleges in Britain that offer courses to foreigners. An estimated 2,400 colleges are considered by the British Government to be under suspicion. They have allegedly enrolled young people who entered UK using the student visa and are economic migrants in reality. The existence of so many bogus colleges is damaging the international reputation of the education sector, The Commons Home Affairs Select Committee was briefed yesterday, said a report by The Times. Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister told the committee, 'I think the existence of colleges, or so-called colleges, has been a problem for more than a decade.'
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Keith Vaz, Chairman of the select committee, asked whether there could be hundreds of sham colleges and tens of thousands of bogus students. Tony Milns, chief executive of English UK, an organisation that accredits English language centres in Britain, said that the Home office and the Border Agency were aware of the scale of the problem since 2004 when it was announced that registration of colleges would be required. Milns told that it was possible that people recruited into terrorism used bogus colleges as a means to get into Britain. He added, 'Most bogus students are economic migrants.'