Packed joint union meeting said staff will oppose any international students being forced off campus because of UKBA decision on visas


Unions at London Metropolitan University say they will oppose any student being forced off the campus as a result of the decision by the UK Border Agency to revoke its license to grant visas to international students.

(Pictured: students protest UKBA ruling outside Downing Street last week)

Officials estimate up to 200 members of staff packed a joint UNISON/UCU emergency meeting on Monday, following last week’s decision by the Home Office’s immigration agency.

As many as 2,500 London Met students have been told they must find another university which will accept them and allow them to complete their studies, or they could face deportation from the UK.

Union members overwhelmingly backed a call to an amnesty for all London Met’s international students, to allow them complete their degrees.

They also said all foreign students in the UK should be taken out of immigration statistics and should not in future be handled under the remit of UKBA.

The meeting also called on the university Board of Governors urgently to investigate whether a judicial review of the UKBA decision is possible.

Chair of the UNISON branch, Max Watson, told UnionNews: “We refuse to accept any staff cuts or students losing their places at London Met because of this act of aggression by the Home Office.

“We are urging all our members to attend a protest rally on Wednesday outside the Home Office. So it’ll be our priority now to organise that.”

Union officials say that while there was a great deal of anger at decisions by senior management at the university which they believe may have led to the UKBA audit, the immediate focus of concern is to try to overturn the Border Agency’s decision and secure the right of London Met’s foreign students to be allowed to remain.

The union rally is due to take place outside the Home Office building in Westminster at 1pm on Wednesday (5 September).

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
Author avatar