Top Chinese computer expert told to leave UK: Academic told job should go to European

A LEADING Chinese computer academic has been ordered to leave Britain within a month on the ground that his job should be given to a citizen of the European Union.

Dr Xu Li-Quin, who has been working in Britain for more than four years, is regarded as one of the world's leading experts on artificial intelligence. His prospective employer said yesterday that it was very disappointed by the Government's decision.

Dr Xu, who has bought a house with his wife in southern England, was told by the Home Office on 15 June that he would have to leave Britain within a month. 'Everything is here,' he said. 'I've been working for four years and paying tax. And I have nowhere to go, and no job to go to.'

The Home Office said it could not comment on individual cases but added that it was normal to expel illegal immigrants to leave within 28 days. A spokesman said: 'If he has a problem then he should contact us.'

The Department of Employment, which rejected his work permit application, said it was unable to comment on the case or to confirm that Dr Xu has no right to appeal against the decision.

The decision, which will fuel concern about the sense of the Government's immigration policy, has been denounced by other academics. Graham Tattersall, a lecturer at the University of East Anglia, has called on John Gummer, his local MP, to intervene. 'You will not want us to shoot ourselves in the foot yet again by throwing away a much-needed talent,' he wrote in a letter of 20 June - to which there has been no reply.

The University of Abertay in Dundee, which had offered Dr Xu a job as lecturer in computer science, condemned the decision. 'We appoint the best candidates for a job and we are very disappointed by this,' said David Hogarth, an assistant principal.

He said Dr Xu had been selected because other candidates, some from European countries, were not as good. The university had applied on Dr Xu's behalf for a work permit in March. Two months later, the Home Office said the application had been rejected because the role should be filled by an applicant from the EU. The university has extended its offer by a month in the hope that the Government will reconsider.

The university offered him the job because he had a 'uniquely suitable mix of skills' and 'wide experience of artifical neural network techniques'. British candidates were considered inferior.

Dr Xu, 32, came to Britain from China in 1990, when he was awarded a Royal Society/British Telecom research fellowship at the University of East Anglia. When the fellowship ended, he worked at the University of Sussex, and then King's College, London.

Dr Xu said: 'I have worked hard here and I hope I have made some contribution to science in this country, and then I am told to leave within a matter of days. It is very sad for me.'

Mr Tattersall said: 'This appears more like the actions of an East European state in the 1970s than the actions of a country in which I could feel pride'. (Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
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 General

Recruitment Genius: LGV Driver - Category C or C+E

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national Company that manu...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - OTE £30,000

£13000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Assistant

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Maintenance Assistant is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?