The United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) has decreed that London Metropolitan University (LMU) has forfeited it’s right to sponsor foreign students. By foreign, it means non-EU students. Precisely the sort that LMU prefer, as their fees are far higher – even after the home students’ increase – than everyone else’s.
This is bizarre, misapplied jingoistic policy at it’s worst. Sure, there may be students who don’t have the right to stay in the UK; they may have out stayed their Visa, or be working – or never have studied in the first place. Find them, and deport them, but don’t stigmatise 2000 students whose sole crime is not being European.
The University should be sanctioned, fined, license restrictions imposed…but don’t penalise the students, some of whom may have bankrupted their families to send them to what they, wrongly, thought was a prestigious English establishment dedicated to truth, knowledge and the pursuit of self betterment. The reputation of the UK University sector overseas may not recover from this act. Education is a very fast moving market, and an English one is not necessarily seen as gilt edged anymore – even if it still fares well by international comparison. In such a responsive sector, Government action should be there to facilitate and support, not undermine and jeopardise.