London Met foreign students ban sends damaging message to the world

30 August 2012

UCU said this morning that the chaotic handling of the decision to revoke London Metropolitan University's licence to teach foreign students would send a damaging message to the rest of the world that the UK no longer welcomed international students.

The union said government efforts to sound tough on immigration might play well to some parts of the domestic audience, but the mishandling of the London Met situation risked causing huge problems on the international stage. UCU said no matter how it was dressed up, the message that the UK deports foreign students studying at UK universities would reach all corners of the globe.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The UK remains one of the most popular destinations for foreign students because of our proud international reputation for excellence and we need that to continue. No matter how this is dressed up, the damaging message that the UK deports foreign students studying at UK universities will reach all corners of the globe.
'Foreign students bring in billions of pounds every year, but the benefits are not merely financial. UK students profit enormously from exchange programmes with foreign universities and also through mixing with, and working alongside, students studying here.
'The last thing we can afford to do is send a message that international students are no longer welcome here. Yet government efforts to impress a domestic audience by sounding tough on immigration, coupled with the chaotic handling of this affair, risk doing exactly that.'
Last updated: 11 December 2015