Complaint to the Mayor over treatment of international students

Yesterday I sent a letter of complaint to the Mayor, Boris Johnson, after international students have been forced to queue all night in the rain to obtain registration certificates from the police.

The story was reported in the Guardian on Tuesday 2nd October, together with Youtube footage showing international students waiting outside a police registration centre at 6am to obtain police registration certificates (PRCs).

This comes after the Government and the UK Border Agency removed Higher Trusted Status (HTS) from London Metropolitan University, prompting legal action and a campaign from students and trade unionists to reinstate the university’s license to accept international students.

In the letter to the Mayor, I wrote: “We wish to echo the comments made by the NUS international students officer, Daniel Stevens, who has suggested that the police can take a number of straightforward steps to ease the situation in the short term, including introducing a ticketing system and increasing staff numbers.

More to the point, however, we believe the whole process of registration to be unnecessary, given that the UK Border Agency (UKBA) already possesses the necessary information. Not only this, we wish to state our opposition to the growing system of controls to which international students are subject, including PRCs, which in our view are a pernicious and xenophobic development.

This latest debacle comes only weeks after the Government and UKBA’s disgraceful treatment of international students at London Metropolitan University. It appears as if the Government, and the Conservative Party in particular, is intent on sending out a message that people from elsewhere in the world who wish to come to this country, whether for study or for any other reason, are increasingly unwelcome. Such an attitude can only be to the detriment of London’s diverse and multicultural character.”

I shall update you if I receive a response.

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