One fifth of all students at new higher education colleges aren’t even registered to sit exams, as thousands use bogus educations and student loans as a source of free money, with some of the proceeds from this fraud likely being used to fund terrorism.
The report, released today has highlighted the apparently widespread fraud where lecturers teach near-empty classrooms in colleges like ‘London School of Business and Finance’, as ghost-students from the UK and the EU sign up for courses they don’t attend. Between the 2,963 students identified who had fraudulently accessed student loans and grants this way, it is believed taxpayers have been defrauded up to £50 million.
The drop-out rate of these new institutions is five times higher than the traditional university average. The Guardian reported on findings from a separate investigation into similar fraud, which found 1,000 Romanian and Bulgarian ‘students’ who had claimed £5.4 million in loans in the UK while masquerading as learners.
This news comes just five days after a spokesman for Scotland Yard revealed they were investigating a “number of cases” of student loans being sent abroad to fund terrorism. Assistant Commissioner Terri Nicholson said: “We are seeing a diverse fraud, including substantial fraud online, abuse of the benefits system, abuse of student loans, in order to fund terrorism”. Scotland Yard are investigating tens of thousands of pounds that has apparently been sent to terrorist groups after being taken out as student loans.
Conservative MP Philip Davies said of the Student Loans and other misuses of taxpayer money: “I know the Government has been cracking down on benefit fraud. It seems to me that this shows that if anything, they need to go further.
“It is sickening to think that [UK money is funding terror plots] but whenever there is any money being doled out, it’s obvious that terrorists will be trying to get their hands on as much of it as possible”.