40 students walked out of their classes for ‘Day of Solidarity’

It was to support migrants and international students

Strathclyde students staged a class walk-out yesterday at 10.30am to recognise a “Day of Solidarity” in support of migrants and international students.

Approximately 40 students participated in the walk-out, gathering at the general gardens.

The university was informed in advance in order to warn lecturers, ensuring nobody was penalised.

Campaigners on the 'Day of Solidarity'

Campaigners on the ‘Day of Solidarity’

The “Day of Solidarity” came after recent legislation implemented by the UK government which had a significant impact upon international students.

With the support of the UK University and College Union,  numerous unis across the country participated in the walk-out to protest against changes made within the home office, the immigration bill, and the prevent strategy, which have caused difficulty for international students.

The original planning for the event started two months ago.

Raj Jeyaraj, the VP Diversity for Strathclyde University said, “We are disgusted by recent changes to the home office, and the introduction of the immigration bill.

“We are trying to raise awareness not only to locals, but to international students who don’t know how legislation works.

“We want to see that international students are not alone.”

The post-study work visa was scrapped in 2012, making it more difficult for international students to remain in the UK after their studies, and limiting their ability to obtain further employment within the country.

International students working within Britain are expected to earn a minimum salary of £20,500, and employees are expected to act as sponsors.

Raj said: “Many companies aren’t willing to do this. Bigger companies often do it, but smaller ones don’t.”

Raj Jeyaraj, VP Diversity at Strathclyde University

Raj Jeyaraj, VP Diversity at Strathclyde University

Those participating in the walk-out would like to see the eventual implementation of a guarantor scheme, with Strathclyde University and others across the country eventually acting as a UK based guarantor.

Participants in the walk-out were also campaigning on these issues, and had already managed to secure 200 signatures by Tuesday lunchtime, with numbers continuing to grow as students across the university offered their support.

Raj said: “I would like to urge universities to take a stance, and publicly declare that international students are an integral part of the student community.

“I wish they would express that they want international students to come here.”

Leaflets highlighting the cause of those who took part in the walk-out were available throughout the uni, allowing other students to see the core message of those who were involved in the “Day of Solidarity.”

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