The National Union of Students (NUS) today (Monday) welcomed firm clarification from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) that universities do not need to have more onerous monitoring procedures in place for international students than for domestic students.
The clarification comes in a letter sent to major sector bodies following confusion over the necessary levels of monitoring which led to some universities introducing checkpoints and biometric monitoring for international students. London Metropolitan University lost its licence to recruit international students in 2012 and other universities have been worried about ambiguity in UKBAs rules on attendance monitoring.
The announcement coincides with Prime Minister David Cameron’s trip to India where he has sought to allay fears there that the UK is no longer welcoming to international students.
Daniel Stevens, NUS International Students Officer, said:
“It is positive to see the Prime Minister speak of the value of international students to the UK on his trip to India and to see UKBA making their position clear. However, their words need to be backed up by actions on the ground that make international students feel welcome in the UK.
“Even though these represent small moves from government, universities should now end draconian monitoring practices that treat international students with suspicion.
“The Home Secretary must stop using international students as a political football in her quest to reach arbitrary immigration targets. International students should not be included in permanent migration figures.”
NUS (National Union of Students) is a voluntary membership organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of students and its member students' unions.
We are a confederation of 600 students' unions, amounting to more than 95 per cent of all higher and further education unions in the UK. Through our member students' unions, we represent the interests of more than seven million students.