Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/732/15165

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 September 2012

London Met university crisis

Staff and students unite to fight government's enforced deportations

Claire Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Students organiser
UCU  members on strike at London Met university in 2009 say No Job Cuts, Save our staff, and Education not for sale , photo Paul Mattsson

UCU members on strike at London Met university in 2009 say No Job Cuts, Save our staff, and Education not for sale , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The UK Border Agency's decision to revoke London Metropolitan's licence to teach international students was cruel and calculated. It threatens to wreck thousands of lives. Over 2,000 students, currently midway through their courses, face the prospect of enforced deportation.

While a (recently extended) 120-day 'grace period' has been given in order for students to attempt to transfer to other universities, the reality is for many, if not most, that this will prove impossible.

As well as the horrendous effect on current London Met students, those expecting to come to London to begin courses in September are also going to be hit. They will be unable to begin their studies as planned.

The unprecedented move to revoke this licence has sent shockwaves throughout the UK's higher education system and has been met with fury and defiance by London Met's staff and students. A protest held on 30 August saw dozens of students angrily demonstrate outside Downing Street. For the government this is an opportunity to appear tough on immigration. For ordinary students, their futures are at stake.

Privatisation

This is not the first set of bad headlines to hit London Met. Just under a month ago the university's management announced plans to privatise all so-called back room services. Everything other than teaching and the vice-chancellor's office could be handed over to the profiteers. These private companies put making money ahead of the interests of staff and students.

The impact of management's previous attempts to run London Met on the cheap can be seen. Without sufficient staffing levels, how can over-stretched and underpaid workers be expected to comply with the government's stringent requirements for 'student monitoring'?

While the university's management now pleads innocence, it is clear that their priorities have not been aligned with the needs of staff and students for some time. There is a strong possibility that London Met's partnership with the private college London School of Business and Finance was a contributing factor in the UKBA's recent decision.

Clearly the licence issue cannot be separated from that of privatisation. The university's management bears a substantial amount of responsibility for the dire situation the university now finds itself in. The revocation of this licence puts the entire future of the university in jeopardy.

Need to fight

Fighting this draconian decision is absolutely crucial. Not only does it threaten thousands of London Met students, it sets a grim precedent for the future. As this is the first publicly funded institution to have its licence revoked, it marks a new and changing attitude towards international students.

Universities management and the government have long seen those who come to study from outside the EU as lucrative 'cash cows' who they charge exorbitant fees.

This emphasises the need for those opposed to what the government is doing to argue for education that is fully funded, publicly owned and universally free at all levels - international students included. International students should not be treated as cash cows one day and marched home the next, all at the whim of politicians representing the 1%.

New government targets to drastically reduce the number of people entering the country mean international students are now seen as an irritating block on them lowering net immigration figures. If the government gets away with this move unchallenged, it is likely that London Met students will not be the last to face this outrageous treatment.

Fighting this is therefore given an added urgency. While we must demand an immediate reversal of the decision to ban international students from London Met, at the very least an amnesty for current students, to allow them to complete their studies, should be sought.

Campaign

This campaign should be a top priority for the National Union of Students. Writing in the Guardian, NUS president Liam Burns correctly expressed opposition to the decision, but failed to offer any leadership to students who want to fight for their right to study at London Met. Instead he pledged that NUS would help support students in transferring to other universities.

While Socialist Students does not oppose NUS offering this service, this should not be a substitute for fighting to stop students being forced to change university or face deportation.

Unfortunately Liam Burns' attitude has been mirrored in the way that the NUS officers have approached the campaign so far. In meetings discussing the course of the campaign they have argued for small scale actions involving only selected students rather than for mobilising maximum numbers to protests.

In order to push back the government a mass campaign must be organised. This will need to involve students, university lecturers and support staff and members of the wider public if it is to be successful.

The trade unions at London Met, alongside London Met students' union have taken the initiative by calling a lobby of the UKBA on 5 September. This should be the beginning of a mass campaign, organised democratically, involving students, staff as well as the wider population.

A mass campaign can force the government back, protect international students and save London Met from the government, management and profiteers, all currently steering it on a course to destruction.

Socialist Students demand:

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 5 September 2012:


Fight the cuts

On 20 October... March Together and then we must... Strike Together! to end austerity

Osborne's cuts plans aren't working


Socialist Party news and analysis

Southampton council pay dispute

London Met university crisis

Con-Dems criminalise homeless people

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Marikana massacre ignites a political volcano


Countering the far-right

EDL rally stopped by anti-racists in Walthamstow

Stopping the far-right - The need for democratic debate


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton: Save Oaklands Pool

Building TUSC in Manchester

Fight begins against massive outsourcing by Knowsley's Labour council

Campaign Kazakhstan: Solidarity concert for those facing oppression

London Paralympics; protests against disability cuts: "Atos kills, kill Atos!"

Hospitals lacking services? Save our NHS!

Boris' workfare - no solution

Brighton Pride 2012: anti-cuts group blocked

Socialist Party subs appeal


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison Higher Education Service Group

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments

From addiction to recovery

Volunteering at the Games


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 September 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

University:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleUniversity of Leeds workers walk out

triangleFreshers week campaigning reports

triangleFight for free education

triangleWhy do young people need socialism?

London:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: "You can't have capitalism without racism" (Malcolm X)

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Young people need socialism!

triangleJustice for Tube cleaners demo

Students:

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

triangleLeeds Socialist Students marks 'International Safe Abortion Day'

triangleGoldsmiths Socialist Students & South London Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - How do we fight back?

NUS:

triangleNUS leadership: Blairites supported by establishment

Education:

triangleFight university's 'sackers' charter'

Deportation:

triangleSupport for Socialist Party campaigns at biggest ever Leeds Pride

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

13/10/17

Labour

The end of the Tories?

11/10/17

Tories

Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

11/10/17

Black history

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

11/10/17

Housing

Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

11/10/17

Universal Credit

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

11/10/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

11/10/17

NHS

NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

11/10/17

IMF

IMF helps cause inequality it slams

4/10/17

NHS

Tories wreck our NHS

4/10/17

Workers

Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers

4/10/17

Capitalism

Capitalism and human progress

4/10/17

Trump

Bending the knee v Trump

4/10/17

Tories

The Tories must be driven out

29/9/17

Labour

Labour Party conference: Action against establishment sabotage still needed

27/9/17

Anti-austerity

Anti-austerity opposition needed to seize on Tories' weakness

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2