After seeking permission to ask for a review from the High Court, private colleges have been given the go ahead to mount a legal challenge against a government clampdown on "bogus" foreign students, writes the Press Association at the Guardian.
The home secretary Theresa May announced the proposals earlier this year and said ministers wanted to restore "sanity" to the student visa system.
But private colleges say the plans are "disproportionate", "arbitrary" and "severe".
Deputy high court judge Charles George, QC, said that the association could seek a high court ruling. At a preliminary high court hearing in London, he said the association had an "arguable" case for a review. But he thought college bosses would face an "uphill task" in persuading a judge that May had acted unreasonably.
May said in March that the government wanted to attract the "brightest and best" to the UK but said the visa system had become "broken" under the previous Labour administration.
"This package will stop the bogus students, studying meaningless courses at fake colleges," she said. "It will protect our world-class institutions. It will stop the abuse that became all too common under Labour. And it will restore some sanity to our student visa system."
She said she expected the measures would reduce the number of student visas issued by 70,000-80,000 annually – equivalent to a 25% fall.