UK failed to treat deportation threat overseas students like human beings says leading vice chancellor - Education News - Education - The Independent

UK failed to treat deportation threat overseas students like human beings says leading vice chancellor

 

The UK failed to treat more than 2,500 overseas students threatened with deportation at London Metropolitan University like human beings, a leading vice-chancellor claimed today.

Professor Eric Thomas, president of Universities UK - the body which represents vice-chancellors, told his annual conference at Keele University:  “Let's all ponder on how we would have reacted if that had happened to our sons and daughter in foreign country.”

He was speaking as Universities Minister David Willetts sought to soothe vice-chancellors' anger over the deportation threat by announcing that - in future - the government would keep closer tabs on the number of foreign students leaving the country after their courses.

In addition, student numbers would be disaggregated from national figures on immigration so ministers would get a clearer indication of their impact on the overall figures.

Overseas students at LMU have been given three months to find alternative courses following a decision by the UK Border Agency to revoke its licence to teach foreign students after alleging one in four from overseas at the university did not have visas.

However, Professor Thomas, who is vice-chancellor of Bristol University, argued: “Around 3,000 students, of whom the vast majority were bona fide students, found themselves in a foreign country in a foreign country far from home without a course.

”I have had no rational explanation of how that fulfilled our duties to them as human beings never mind as students.“

He added: Everyone involved in this needs to remind themselves that families have paid for these courses and that, for these students, this is one of their major lifetime chances.

”Why were their needs not given absolute primacy in all these considerations?“

Professor Thomas' comments come the day before LMU seeks the go ahead in the courts for a judicial review of the decision to revoke its licence to teach overseas students.

In his address to the conference, Mr  Willetts, acknowledged the importance of overseas students to the economy - estimating they brought in more than £8 billion a year in terms of fee income and spending.

He announced that he and Professor Thomas would be writing a joint article for publication in overseas newspapers - stressing there were no restrictions on overseas student numbers in the UK.

He added that the Government had set up a £2million fund to cover any costs incurred by overseas students having to transfer to other universities in the UK.

”I do hope no other institution will face a similar situation in the future,“ he went on, "but it makes sense for the sector to plan now as to how it would manage that risk if it does arise."

Both vice-chancellors and university lecturers said the Government's move in disaggregating the figures did not go far enough.  They want student numbers recorded separately.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: ”It appears that the Government has finally recognised the damage its student visa policy coupled with threatening to depart thousands of fee-paying overseas students is doing to our international reputation.

“However, today's fudge will not solve the problem. Simply providing a mechanism to count overseas students does not remove them from net migration figures.”

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Teaching Assistants urgently r...

Primary Teacher

£85 - £135 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:We are looking for a ...

Primary Teacher

£85 - £135 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education is the UK ...

KS1 Teacher

£80 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Key stage 1 Teacher - Gloucest...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week