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UCU delivers stinging rebuke to points based immigration

1 June 2010

UCU today called for an end to the government's points based immigration system (PBI). Members at UCU's annual conference in Manchester said the current rules were forcing staff to spy on students and were discriminatory against learners from non-EU countries.

In an impassioned debate delegates vowed to campaign against the rules, which fly in the face of academic freedom, and not to comply with the legislation. Members said they were angry that they were being asked to act as an extension of the UK Border Agency and were deeply concerned at the strain this would place on the relationship between staff and foreign students.
Congress also heard how the rolling out of PBI across the higher education sector had led to many applications from countries such as India, Bangladesh and Nepal being rejected.
Speaking after the debate UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'UCU remains utterly opposed to this legislation. It is one thing to ask people to be good citizens but forcing our members to act as an extension of the police and border service and to spy on students is just unacceptable. Placing monitoring and reporting responsibilities on to academic and support staff is in no-one's interest and risks placing a huge strain on the relationships between staff and students.
'We will do all that we can to work with external organisations, sister unions and students in opposing this legislation.'

Last updated: 11 December 2015