Friday, 21 September 2012

Stay of execution for LondonMet?

Good news for up to 2600 foreign students at London Metropolitan University after the UK Border agency (UKBA) revoked its licence to recruit and teach non EU students this August. They've been told they can now stay while LondonMet has been given the chance to challenge the decision through judicial review. LondonMet is not out of danger yet, as their request for the ban to be overturned completely was rejected, so they still cannot recruit new non EU students, and there is no guarantee they will win this judicial review. However, it does bring some comfort to the exisiting students at LMU who were facing possible deportation when the decision was first announced. See my previous blog entry for more background information about the situation, and below is an extract from a letter of thanks by Mark Campbell (chair of LMU University & Colleges Union) for all the public support from the students and staff;

Dear colleagues,

Thank you all so much for the wonderful solidarity you have given us over the last few very difficult weeks.

We believe it is such support for our vigorous campaign for an amnesty for our international students that has resulted in today's High Court judgement.

However, this is just the first step in our battle to save London Met as a public university. To that end, we are not suggesting our campaign now finishes. Indeed, if anything, we believe now is the time to increase pressure on the Government not only to reverse its decision to revoke our licence, but also to remove international students completely from emigration targets - no longer forcing universities to operate as outposts of the immigration service. We also believe our fight must continue against the marketisation of higher education and the encroachment of for-profit private providers - the other part of the current crisis not just at London Met, but within our sector as a whole.
Mark Campbell

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