The Home Office’s recent decision on London Met means that over 2000 international students studying there will have to either find a new institution within the next 60 days, or face having to leave the country. This sets a dangerous precedent for other universities, and leaves international students, not only at London Met but all over the UK in a terrifying position. We need to keep challenging this decision, which is entirely wrong-headed, and need to make it clear that this represents a continuation of the Government’s abysmal approach to international students.
We need your help!
1. Write to Your Local MP
Find below a draft letter which explains the seriousness of this situation and the message it sends to international students in their own constituency. It asks them to publicly oppose the decision, and to oppose the continued use of international students in this way as a political football. Find your MP here and send the letter across to them today!
We’ve started an e-petition on GoPetition.com - sign it via the following this link.
Also be sure to circulate this letter across students on your campus, and as widely as you can elsewhere.
3. Support London Met
Students at London Met are shaken about the current situation. Show your solidarity by tweeting them (@LondonMetUni). Please publish your support on your website and Facebook pages as well as ours. And we will need to all continue making it clear that this is entirely misjudged, over the next days and weeks and we call for students to be allowed to continue studying at London Met.
Lobby your VC to publicly oppose this announcement – that must remain a focus. However, the sector should show solidarity if the worst happens and so as a contingency, if you are London or surrounding area, ask your VC to commit to absorbing the 2000+ international students who will be left without a place to study. Whilst we are still opposing the decision itself, we need to also put pressure on others across the sector to take the implications of this decision seriously.
Our focus has and is trying to reverse this decision. However, we cannot be caught off guard if the worst happens and hence we won a place on a taskforce – together with UUK, UKBA, HEFCE, BIS and London Met - to address the practical issues we now face, including ensuring that all the effected students at London Met are able to continue their studies in the UK.
Liam Burns, NUS President
Daniel Stevens, NUS International Students’ Officer
TEMPLATE LETTER TO YOUR LOCAL MP
Find out the name of your local MP via www.theyworkforyou.com
Dear [NAME] MP,
I am writing to you following the news that UKBA have revoked London Metropolitan University’s highly trusted sponsor (HTS) status – which means that over 2000 international students studying there will have to either find a new institution within the next 60 days, or face having to leave the country.
I am deeply concerned about the impact of this wholly wrong-headed decision – which of course is bad for the students concerned, bad for the institution and bad for the UK higher education sector. It is simply not acceptable to force thousands of students to find a new course at a new institution, particularly at this time when we are just weeks away from the start of a new academic year.
It is also clear that revoking London Metropolitan University’s licence in this way will further compound the growing perception that the UK is not a good destination for international students. This should be a great concern for all of us – international students bring new knowledge, ideas and perspectives from which UK students greatly benefit, and provide meaningful links to other countries and cultures, of such great importance in this globalised economy. Moreover, international students constitute an industry worth £12.5 billion a year to the British economy. It would be extremely misguided to take this for granted.
The fact that international students have so dangerously been treated as a political football in this way – and the negative impacts that this could have on those involved, and the UK economy – further emphasises the need for international students to be removed from immigration statistics, as has been recommended by the Home affairs Select Committee.
So long as the Government continue to use international students as a means of lowering immigration figures from the ‘hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands’, we continue to risk similar decisions which make the UK an unattractive destination for international students.
I very much hope that you’ll be able to raise concerns with Government on my behalf regarding the impact of UKBA’s decision to revoke London Metropolitan University’s HTS status – on the students involved, on the UK higher education sector and on the UK economy. Students who applied in good faith to study in the UK at London Metropolitan University should be allowed to continue studying there.
I also hope that you’ll be able to support our calls for international students to be taken out of migration statistics, so that they are not continually used as a political football, as they so clearly have been in this case.