UCLU Backs Students Over Visa Farce

UCLU criticises immigration policy after thousands of international students wait in unacceptable conditions to register with police

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UCLU yesterday weighed in on the recent trouble London’s international students have had in registering with the police for student visas.

In an official statement, signed by Sab. Officers Edwin Clifford-Coupe and Candy Ashmore-Haris, the Union condemned the “xenophobic treatment of our members” after only one police station in South East London was used to register thousands of students from 42 different countries.

Such were the numbers that queues began forming at 12am and closing at 6:30am while new students waited in cold and rainy conditions.

UCLU’s stance echoed the statement of ULU Vice-President Daniel Cooper who was similarly critical of the xenophobic treatment received by students. Cooper even felt it necessary to write personally to Boris Johnson explaining how he deemed the registration process to be “unnecessary” as the UK Border Agency already has the relevant information about all incoming overseas students.

The UCLU further described the shambles as another “facet of the callous immigration policy of this country”, citing the London Metropolitan University licence fiasco last month as a further example.

After these two debacles, immigration has once again become an issue under scrutiny. UCL takes pride in the thriving international component of its student body and the Union’s backing of the NUS attempt to have students removed from net migration numbers will be welcomed by the overseas community at UCL.

However questions must be asked over why the university itself has, at time of writing, failed to come forward and clarify its position when the welfare of both its students and its international reputation is potentially on the line.