Tuesday 04-10-2016 - 17:30
The National Union of Students (NUS) is concerned proposals announced today by the Home Secretary Amber Rudd will lead to further discrimination against international students.
During her speech at the Conservative Party Conference, the home secretary announced a consultation on all current work and study immigration rules, with the intention of linking student visas to the “quality of an institution”.
NUS does not think immigration rules should be tailored to universities and colleges based on their teaching quality, and all universities and colleges should be of a high quality. International students studying at Top ranking universities make up a very small proportion of those studying in the UK.
NUS maintains its position that international students should not be included in net migration targets. NUS is concerned about the government’s treatment of these students, which is driving many to choose to study elsewhere, where they would be treated with respect and dignity.
It was also announced that landlords who knowingly rent to undocumented immigrants will face a criminal conviction. We have wider concerns about the Right to Rent scheme, which risks discrimination against people without British passports, or people with foreign sounding names or foreign sounding accents. A higher penalty for failing to conduct the checks is a move in the wrong direction and is likely to exacerbate these problems. We have witnessed scammers obtaining the information of international students and targeting them over the past few months which many speculate is as consequence of the Right to Rent scheme.
The Home Office continues to ignore strong opposition to the introduction of immigration status checks for tenants from NUS, housing charities, migrant rights charities and private landlords. Furthermore, the government is extending its immigration checks to educational institutions with its new proposals. We will be making our voices heard to expose the flaws and prejudice inherent in the newly proposed policies while maintaining our strong opposition to the Right to Rent project.
Mostafa Rajaai, NUS international students’ officer, said:“The government’s hostile attitude towards international students has already caused irreversible damage to the reputation of the UK higher and further education sectors overseas. The new proposals assume the vast majority of international students studying across the country are immigration threats and will lead to further discrimination. International students, like all migrants, should be treated with respect and dignity. NUS will be opposing these proposals every step of the way.”