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UCU opposes new 'spying' proposals

10 November 2008

UCU said today that new proposals for staff to monitor foreign students risked jeopardising the crucial relationship between students and staff.

The union's general secretary, Sally Hunt, is one of 200 signatories to a letter that argues 'police-like surveillance is not the function of universities' and calls on MPs to oppose the new rules and put pressure on the government to withdraw them.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We have grave concerns that new rules on monitoring foreign students have been pulled together without any consultation with the people who would be tasked with their implementation. We do not believe it is appropriate or effective to task colleges and universities with the policing of immigration.

'Despite writing to the departments involved, at no point have we been consulted by either the Home Office or DIUS. At a time when we need to appear more, not less, attractive to students and academics from overseas, these proposals will fundamentally taint the UK university brand.

'We have been down the road of asking staff to monitor their students before and UCU robustly opposed such measures. As we said then, if people wanted to go into the monitoring or spying game they would have become spooks. We believe that, if implemented, the proposals could only harm the important relationship between staff and students, as well as having a knock-on effect in terms of work load for our members and therefore has contractual implications.'

Last updated: 11 December 2015