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Rooting out the rogues

An investigation finds that millions of pounds have been spent on almost a thousand students who were not eligible for support.

Some £5.4 million has been spent on 992 European Union students who were not eligible for publicly funded support, according to a report published today by the National Audit Office.

It found that the number of students registered at alternative providers of higher education had increased seven-fold in the three years to 2013. Five providers accounted for half the total growth. The vast majority are based in London and enroll students onto 2-year higher national certificates and diplomas. Some 40 per cent of students registered with alternative providers come from the EU, compared with 6 per cent for traditional publicly funded institutions. And 70 per cent of those who had been ineligible for support but who were paid it anyway attended just 16 institutions. These included St Patrick’s International College, Nelson College and RTC Education/Regent College.

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