Academics urge Government to stop using universities as 'border guards'


More than 250 academics have signed a letter to The Independent urging ministers to stop putting pressure on universities to act as “border guards” and police immigration controls.

The academics have been incensed at moves by at least two universities to fingerprint international students to prove their attendance at lectures.

The 280 who have signed the letter argue: “As academics, we have a duty of care towards all our students and such policies undermine that relationship.”

They urged the two universities concerned - Sunderland and Ulster - to abandon the practice and for the Government to stop putting pressure on universities to enact immigration policies. “This damages the international reputation of UK higher education institutions,” they add.  “We are educators, not border guards.”