16 October 2012

Protect London Met international students and their university

Letter sent to the Guardian on 15/10

Dear Editor,

Following significant campaigning from students, staff, and supporters, the High Court conceded that London Metropolitan University can proceed to full Judicial Review (London Metropolitan University wins reprieve in student visa row, Guardian, 21 September) to challenge the revocation of its Tier-4 HTS licence to recruit international students.

Late last week the High Court formally agreed a one year ‘amnesty’ to enable current international students to continue their studies at London Met. However, this fails to address the needs of over 500 current London Met international students with more than one academic year of study remaining. This is an invidious position to place such students in. Further, the decision to revoke the university’s Tier-4 licence has left the university with anticipated losses of £10M’s. Such losses jeopardise the university’s continuation as a community-based public university, primarily serving two of the poorest boroughs in London and the UK – Tower Hamlets and Islington.

We therefore wish to add our names to the demands of the 1,000+ signatures to a petition demanding the following from Home Secretary, Teressa May: an immediate amnesty for all of London Met’s current international students so they can fully complete their courses and programmes of study at London Met; reverse the decision to revoke London Met’s Tier-4 license; protect the long term financial viability of London Met as a community-based public university by requiring the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) to appropriately reschedule the university’s £15M+ repayments due to it.

The full petition can be found here.

——

Mark Campbell, London Metropolitan University UCU (Chair), UCU NEC

Max Watson, London Metropolitan University Unison (Chair), Unison NEC

Syed Rumman, London Metropolitan University Student Union, Vice-President (Education)

Adnan Pavel, London Metropolitan University Student Union, Vice-President (Media and Campaigns)

Tony Benn

Jeremy Corbyn MP

John McDonnell MP

Catherine West, Leader of Islington Council

Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader

Alan Gibson, NUJ NEC (pc), LMB Branch (Chair)

Dr Priyamvada Gopal, Cambridge University

Nick Grant, NUT NEC

Professor Jane Hardy, University of Hertfordshire, UCU NEC and UCU Education Committee

Zita Holbourne, Co-Chair Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC), PCS NEC

Owen Jones

Tony Kearns, Senior Deputy General Secretary, CWU

Dr Elizabeth Lawrence, Sheffield Hallam University, UCU NEC and UCU Equality Committee

Martin Powell-Davies, NUT NEC, SERTUC Public Services Committee (Chair)

Dr Nina Power, University of Roehampton

Michael Rosen

Dr Edmund Schluessel, National Union of Students International Committee

Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary

Dr Jim Wolfreys, King’s College London

Jamie Woodcock, National Union of Students NEC

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