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Motions on the new system

Branches and LAs are encouraged to discuss, submit and endorse motions opposing the points-based system.

Here are motions passed by branches, LA and conferences.

Emergency motion from the Black Members' Standing Committee - October 2008

The impact of points based immigration

Conference denounces the introduction of a points-based immigration control system. This system is unworkable. It is likely to increase racism and discrimination against black and international students and staff.

Conference demands that the government abandon this policy and calls on UCU to provide campaigning resources to this end.

Branch motion passed by University of Kent - November 2008

Motion on Overseas Students

This meeting notes

a) that by 2 February 2009 universities must apply to the UK Border Agency for a 'sponsor licence' to be processed by March 2009 when a new admissions policy introduced by the Home Office will be implemented for non EEA national students

b) the system requires universities to report information about students to the Border and Immigration Agency which 'will be used to take enforcement action against them'. The information required includes

  1. when a student does not enrol on the course at the expected time, the information must be given within 10 working days and must include any reason given (for example a missed flight)
  2. where a student has missed 10expected interactions (for example, tutorials, submission of coursework etc)
  3. any suspicions it may have that a student is breaching the conditions of his or her leave
  4. imposes detailed requirements of record keeping and reporting for up to two years after the student is no longer sponsored

c) that the object of the duties include the object 'to monitor compliance with immigration rules'

d) require universities ensure that students comply with the terms of their visa and comply with record keeping duties - keeping copies of passports, keeping and updating student contact details

e) that from autumn 2009 the system will be tightened further with the introduction of a Sponsor Management System - dedicated technology that will make it easier for universities to inform the UK Border Agency if students fail to enrol or miss more than 10 sessions

f) that a new maintenance test is to be introduced requiring students to show that they have £9600 for living expenses for the year plus £535 pcm for any dependants

g) as of November 25th, the government will begin issuing biometric ID cards to all non-EU students and spouses and this will extend to students applying for loans in 2010. Existing student visas will not be renewed without providing bio-metric data and obtaining the ID card.


This Branch is deeply regrets these developments and is fully opposed to the their implementation on the basis that                

  • they are unacceptably discriminatory against non EEA national students
  • that they will serve to exclude poorer students principally from developing countries from access to education in the UK
  • that they will undermine the academic freedom of the institution of universities
  • that they will undermine the trust that is such a vital part of the relationship between staff and students which has at its heart the aim of assisting students to reach their full potential
  • that they will require university staff to police the activities of students on behalf of the UK Border Agency and act as Immigration Officers

This Branch resolves to call

For an end to all nationality and residence discrimination in access to university.

This branch calls upon the General Council of the UCU to oppose the Home Office measures on behalf of its members and instruct members not to conduct this work.

UCU Motion to Black Workers TUC 2009 - January 2009

Points Based Immigration

Conference condemns the introduction of the points-based immigration system and the attempt to make workers in all sectors into informants against migrant colleagues.

Colleges and universities are being forced to police the movements of international students and staff. International students cannot study here without proof of large reserves in their bank accounts. International students must register with ID cards at their colleges and universities - although we have no systems to store such information.

UK education cannot operate without the participation of international students and staff. Many colleges and universities rely on the fees of overseas students to survive. International staff form an essential part of world-class research teams and their teaching expertise enhances the education of all students.

Conference deplores this pandering to anti-immigrant racism. Making educators into immigration snoops will damage education for all participants.

Placing barriers before international students and staff to enter the country will undermine the reputation of UK education irreparably.

Conference calls for TUC:

  • to lead a campaign against the implementation of the new system;
  • to lobby government to explain the detrimental impact on key sectors;
  • to work with NUS and other relevant groups to continue the campaign against ID cards.
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