LONDON  - A London university has announced it was launching legal action over the government’s decision to revoke its right to sponsor visas, a move that threatens thousands of students with deportation.London Metropolitan University had its Highly Trusted Status - which allowed it to sponsor visas for students from outside the EU - stripped by the UK Border Agency on Wednesday after a six-month audit found “serious and systemic failings”. The university released a statement on Monday confirming it had instructed its lawyers “to commence urgent legal action... so that its students can return to study as a matter of urgency.“Following the leak of the UK Border agency’s decision eight days ago which ‘announced’ the revocation, the university has now had the opportunity to read the report,” it added.“Working with its advisers, the university has conducted a thorough review of UKBA’s ‘evidence’, and in the strongest possible terms challenges the outcome.” The university said it would reveal more details of the legal action later this week, maintaining there was “no evidence of systemic failings” at the institution.Immigration Minister Damian Green said inspections had shown that students’ English fell short of the necessary standards and that the university had failed to monitor if students were turning up for classes or not. Other checks had shown that more than a quarter of the students at the university who were checked in a random sample lacked the necessary permission to remain in Britain.Green told BBC radio that the Border Agency had found “a serious systemic failure where it appears that the university doesn’t have the capacity to be a proper sponsor”.British lawmakers on Tuesday condemned an “extraordinary” immigration policy that they say has allowed some 50,000 economic migrants to come to Britain by falsely posing as students.The UK Border Agency (UKBA) introduced new rules for overseas students in 2009 without ensuring that proper controls were in place, parliament’s Public Accounts Committee said in a report.As a result, the committee said, between 40,000 and 50,000 people from outside the European Economic Area abused the system in 2009 and came to work in Britain while pretending to study.“The result of the UKBA’s poorly planned and ill-thought out course of action was chaos: an immediate high level of abuse of the new system and a surge in the number of student visas,” said committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge.The new policy meant universities and colleges became responsible for testing whether students were likely to comply with their visa conditions, rather than the UKBA.Controls such as spot-check interviews by border officers were done away with.The UKBA has been forced to spend the past three years trying to clamp down on abuse of the system, Hodge said, but it was “unacceptably slow” to react.The report comes a week after the UKBA stripped a London university of its right to sponsor visas for students from outside Europe.Inspections found that students at London Metropolitan University did not have sufficiently good English and that the university failed to check that they turned up for classes, Immigration Minister Damian Green said.In a random sample, more than a quarter of the students lacked the necessary permission to remain in Britain.Thousands of legitimate students at London Metropolitan University could now face deportation if they cannot find somewhere else to study.Some 2,000 students at London Metropolitan University have 60 days to enroll in a course elsewhere or they will be deported, according to the National Union of Students.The university has said it will launch legal action against the decision.