Don’t deport London students

London Metropolitan University demonstration fighting against cuts – it now faces closure with over 2,000 of its foreign students under 60 days notice of deportation

From daily News Line in Britain:

Friday, 31 August 2012


THE NUS, UCU and Unison yesterday condemned the Home Office attack on London Metropolitan University and its international students, and demanded that not a single student be deported.

London Met Vice-Chancellor Malcolm Gillies said in a statement: ‘The University regrets to announce that as at 8pm on Wednesday 29th August 2012, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has revoked its Highly Trusted Status for sponsoring international students.’

The decision means around 2,000 current international students at the institution will now receive notification that they have 60 days to find another sponsor or face deportation and being unable to complete their degrees.

London Met Unison branch chair Max Watson said: ‘Management’s attempt to privatise London Met University is the cause of this current crisis.

‘We will resist any attempt to make students and staff pay the price.’

Unison branch secretary Alan Price told News Line: ‘This comes as highly distressing news. We are considering the impact on staff and students.

‘We have to consider what we can do to protect the best interests of staff and students.

‘We are already in dispute about the university’s outsourcing of services.

‘We have to look at the possibility of the university being closed and mass redundancies.’

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: ‘No matter how this is dressed up, the damaging message that the UK deports foreign students studying at UK universities will reach all corners of the globe.

‘Foreign students bring in billions of pounds every year, but the benefits are not merely financial. UK students profit enormously from exchange programmes with foreign universities and also through mixing with, and working alongside, students studying here.

‘The last thing we can afford to do is send a message that international students are no longer welcome here. Yet government efforts to impress a domestic audience by sounding tough on immigration, coupled with the chaotic handling of this affair, risk doing exactly that.’

The National Union of Students (NUS) said the government had treated international students like a political football.

It added: ‘NUS have today contacted David Cameron and Theresa May to express anger at the way that decisions have been made in recent weeks and to reiterate the potentially catastrophic effects on higher education as a £12.5bn per year export industry for the UK.’

Liam Burns, NUS President, said: ‘It is disgusting that international students continue to be used as a political football by politicians who seem either incapable of understanding, or are simply uncaring about the impact of their decisions on individuals, universities and the UK economy.

‘This decision will create panic and potential heartbreak for students not just at London Met but also all around the country.

‘The needs of students must be at the heart of any process to find new places of study and NUS will be working with UUK and HEFCE to support affected students and ensure as far as possible that they can continue studying in the UK.’

Burns added: ‘This heavy-handed decision makes no sense for students, no sense for institutions and no sense for the country.’

Martin Freedman, head of pay, conditions and pensions at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: ‘The government’s obsession with students abusing immigration regulations is sending a message to foreign students that they aren’t welcome here, and risks UK universities missing out on the top overseas students with all the damage that could do to academic research and sharing of ideas.’

Foreign students at London Metropolitan University threatened with deportation: here.

London Metropolitan University international students are victims of the government’s racist immigration policies. And the fiasco shines a light on a row within the Tory party: here.

Hundreds protest against UKBA threats to London Met students: here.

MORE than 200 students, lecturers and other workers demonstrated angrily outside the Home Office yesterday afternoon, denouncing the plans to deport up to 3,000 London Metropolitan University students: here.

Theresa May‘s new immigration policies are bordering on insanity, says PADDY McGUFFIN: here.

At least 10 politically active students at King’s College London (KCL) were barred from accessing the university campus on March 19, as part of security arrangements for a visit by the queen and Duchess of Cambridge. The activists’ names were also passed along by the university administration to London’s Metropolitan Police. This deliberate intimidation of left-wing students is a grievous attack on democratic rights and the freedom of association. There was never even an indication that the students had any intention of protesting against the queen’s visit, which they would have been entitled to do in any case. The university and the police have given themselves the power to exclude individuals from campus solely based on their political beliefs. All the students in question are involved with KCL’s Action for Palestine and Justice4Cleaners protest groups. Action for Palestine is a registered society at the university and campaigns “to end our own institution’s complicity in the illegal occupation of Palestine, serve as a platform for students to learn about social justice, and to educate the wider community about the situation in Palestine.” Justice4Cleaners has carried out a years-long campaign to end the university’s use of heavily exploited, outsourced labour for their cleaning staff: here.

6 thoughts on “Don’t deport London students

  1. Pingback: Romney’s far right speech on economics | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. I once worked for a ivy-league university and was dumbfounded by their lack of care when inviting foreign students and visiting professors for study and technology exchange. The problem is that no one realizes the magnitude of the problem until it gets so big it can not be controlled. This is especially true in a university where one school does not know what another school is doing. The only inter-school information they have is an article in the university paper saying what a great job one school is doing by inviting students and visiting faculty – – – and then the competition starts!


    • Hi, in the London case the problem seems to be not so much the university’s lack of care for students per se (which the article is not really about, so I don’t know how good or how bad that is), but a mixture of government policies and the university management’s privatisation policies.


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