College student in fees dispute

Wigan and Leigh College student Rawasi Mohamed Shalluf and her father Mohamed, with her excellent record of achievement and an award from Shevington High School for achievement in her Arabic GCSE

Wigan and Leigh College student Rawasi Mohamed Shalluf and her father Mohamed, with her excellent record of achievement and an award from Shevington High School for achievement in her Arabic GCSE

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A STUDENT who moved to Wigan from Libya 10 years ago has parted company with her sixth form college after a dispute over her immigration status.

Rawasi Shalluf, 18, is no longer attending her art and English course at Wigan and Leigh College after staff asked to check her family’s visa documents.

Rawasi, a former Shevington High School pupil, has been granted leave to remain in the country by the Home Office but was informed she may have to pay fees to attend the college’s sixth form campus, at Leigh Sports Village.

Miss Shalluf, of Wigan Lane, said: “I’m classed as a home student and I’ve spent my primary and high school education in Wigan. I love Wigan and I would like to study at Wigan and Leigh College like all of my other friends.

“But I want to be treated fairly like any other student. I’m really surprised that this issue has only been raised now and not during my first year with the college.”

According to 2010/11 guidelines from the Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA), which funds free sixth form education in this country, immigrants who have been granted leave to remain in the UK are classed as home students and are eligible for funding.

A spokesman for the Home Office confirmed Miss Shalluf had been granted leave to remain in the UK and therefore had the same rights as all UK citizens.

Wigan and Leigh College said it has now received confirmation of Miss Shalluf’s immigration status, allowing her to remain in the country, and she will not have to pay fees to enrol on her course.

A college spokesman said: “Rawasi Shalluf is entitled to enrol on a course at Wigan and Leigh College and has never been refused her entitlement to enrol.

“The college arranged a meeting with Rawasi regarding enrolment which unfortunately she didn’t attend.”

Rawasi’s father Mohamed Shalluf said: “We’re not happy with how my daughter has been treated. She is classed as a home student and funding for her college work should not be an issue.”

The Shalluf family faced deportation in 2009, under the Home Office’s points-based migration system, but were allowed to remain in the country after a campaign backed by then Wigan MP Neil Turner.

Mr Shalluf, 49, who runs a successful business providing academic services for students who come to study in the UK’s colleges and universities, and his wife Najat Dakhila came to Wigan in 2001 with Rawasi and her two sisters.

Since living in the UK, the family have had two sons who are legally British citizens. Mr Shalluf now runs a group for North Africans in Wigan to help integrate them into the community.