A private Birmingham college which had to make four members of staff redundant after an administrative mix-up meant it was labelled as ' bogus' by the Government has celebrated the best exam results in its history.
Overseas students who applied to Aspire Training, which is based in Hockley, were refused extensions on their visas because the Department for Education and Skills told them it did not recognise the institution.
The college, which offers classes for adults in first aid, business and food hygiene among other subjects, said it had not been told that, from January, it had to register with the DfES.
The Government department created a register of institutions as part of a crackdown on bogus colleges which were being used as a front for illegal immigration.
More than 250 institutions were closed last year when immigration investigators from the Home Office discovered they were being used for visa scams.
But despite the college losing thousands of pounds from students who deserted courses believing them to be part of a scam and having to move premises, Aspire recorded its best results yet.
Some 95 per cent of its pupils passed their exams, compared with 70 per cent last year, and 11 out of 16 students obtaining a pass or merit in their GNVQs.
Elaine Powell, who runs Aspire, has not drawn a salary for eight months and still relies on unpaid volunteers and teachers to help out at the college.
She said: "I am delighted at the exam results, but it is difficult to be optimistic just yet after all that has happened.
"This has been a great worry for our students over the period of their exams and they are to be congratulated for such fantastic results.
"It has been remarkable that so many people have offered their time for free to help out at the college."
Aspire has now been given approval by the Immigration and Nationality Department of the Home Office as a recognised provider of training for the purposes of visa requirements.