UNVA shuts down, worry for Indian students
UNVA shuts down, worry for Indian studentsUNVA, WikimediaCommons

The University of Northern Virginia (UNVA) was recently ordered to shut down, jeopardizing the academic careers of a large number of Indian students, many of whom are from Andhra Pradesh.

The university which used to function in the ground floor of an office building in Virginia, Washington suburbs, was revoked of its operating license by Virginia's State Council for Higher Education on 16 July.

The move taken against the university was mainly because it remained unaccredited for five years from any recognised group, which meant that any degree from UNVA won't be recognised. Also, it had failure to secure four audits which points to inability in 'hiring faculty' and 'set appropriate curriculum'.

Earlier, the university was dragged into a sex scandal after an immigration raid in 2011 exposed the then university chancellor David Lee's 'sex dungeon advertisement' which sought 'attractive submissive' women. The raid also found that the college enrolled mostly foreign students, particularly from India, and helped secure visas.

David North, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, had visited the college last week in the guise of a student's uncle. On finding just four classrooms in the campus he said, "Somehow this tiny outfit managed to produce 189 alleged grads, who got short term work permits (29 months) because of high-tech degrees from this place," reported Washington Post.

The university, founded in 1998, had received accreditation only once in 2003 from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools which later refused to reaccredit it later citing "insufficient evidence that the distance education faulty is reviewed by the administration" and "insufficient documentation that the institution follows its Satisfactory Academic Progress policy."

The closure of the university brings into question the fate of numerous Indian students who opted for admission in the fraudulent college.

The State Council of Higher Education has asked the foreign students with FI Visa to approach the Department of Homeland Security over immigration issues.

The council's decision of calling for a shutdown of the university on 16 July will bring into question the careers of 500 Indian students who were enrolled in various courses at the time.

Some of the Indian students were said to have shifted to the UNVA from Tri-Valley University, another bogus institution in California that shut down in 2011.