05/10/2011 08:38 BST | Updated 05/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Irvin Harris Of Rayat London College, Hounslow, Suspended Over Student Degree Scam

PA -- A registrar has resigned and three other members of college staff have been suspended following allegations that overseas students were cheating their way to degrees and visas, officials have said.

International students at Rayat London College in Hounslow, west London, were helped to cheat their way on to courses to gain visas and degrees accredited by the University of Wales, an investigation by BBC Wales claimed.

Irvin Harris, the college's registrar, denies any wrongdoing but was suspended by the college and resigned, a spokesman for the college said.

Three other members of staff have also been suspended pending an internal investigation.

The college spokesman added that the allegations had been referred to Scotland Yard and the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

A University of Wales spokesman added that it had also referred information "concerning potential criminal offences apparently involving staff at private colleges outside Wales to South Wales Police".

"The information includes allegations that overseas students have been helped to cheat their way on to programmes of study and to mislead educational establishments, including the University of Wales, and the UK Border Agency," he said.

"As the matter has been referred to the police, it would be inappropriate for the university to comment further at this stage."

Professor Medwin Hughes, the university's new vice-chancellor, announced that it would stop validating courses at all other institutions and only award degrees to students on courses designed and fully controlled by the university.