The UKVI's Tier 4 Sponsor status is only given to institutions that have ‘demonstrated the highest levels of compliance’.

Only Tier 4 Sponsors such as the University of Sunderland can assign Confirmations of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to international students. The CAS is essential for receiving a Tier 4 visa.

You can see the University of Sunderland on the government's official register of licensed sponsors.