Sunday, 6 June 2010
Why is the new Points-Based System for Immigration such a bad idea?
1) The new rules disrupts the student-teacher relationship
2) PBIS is prone to bureaucratic error
3) The new rules are Racist and Classist
4) We want vibrant classrooms
5) Disrupts international exchange of ideas.
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
To: Pat Loughrey, Warden, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dear Pat Loughrey,
I am writing to express my grave concerns with the implementation of the UK Border Agency's (UKBA) Points Based System of Immigration (PBSI) at Goldsmiths. By imposing the UKBA's agenda of national security and border control on universities, PBSI has effectively turned students into suspects and staff into border agents. These xenophobic and reactionary tendencies run counter to the openness and free exchange of ideas necessary for research, teaching, and learning to occur.
Furthermore, the UKBA has transferred the financial and administrative burden of PBSI, which is considerable, onto individual staff and students, resulting in elevated workloads and stress. By increasing the cost and complexity of the visa application process, the UKBA has rendered universities less accessible and less welcoming to non-EU nationals, thus potentially damaging the reputation of higher education in the UK.
The result will be less cultural and social diversity in higher education, to the detriment of Goldsmiths and the sector overall.
I therefore urge Goldsmiths Senior Management to meet with:
Universities UK and the UK Council for International Student Affairs to campaign strongly against PBSI, and for the interests of the higher education sector
Goldsmiths UCU and UNISON to discuss how staff who conscientiously object to PBSI can be protected from disciplinary action
Goldsmiths Student Union to determine how students negatively affected by PBSI can be provided with additional information and support
the entire Goldsmiths community (students and staff) on an on-going basis to report back on its advocacy activities and to solicit input
In general, I would like to see Senior Management take a proactive role and be transparent and accountable in its practices in relation to PBSI, including taking responsibility for, and immediately correcting, any administrative errors.
This is because Goldsmiths students have had visas refused for minor clerical errors, which has caused great disruption to their studies and personal lives.
Monday, 29 March 2010
Here you will find:
Goldsmiths Departmental Statements in Opposition to PBIS
A Student Information Booklet
Old event flyers
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Speakers, Workshops, Music & Food! March 18th, 5pm til late.@ Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross.
We stand united, as students and staff, in opposition to the new points-based immigration rules. They frame students as suspects and turn staff into border agents. Join us, meet others and help further the campaign.
Frances Webber (Human Rights Lawyer)
Les Back (Goldsmiths Sociology Department)
Phil Booth (No2ID)
Valerie Hartwich (Manifesto Club)
Sandy Nicoll (SOAS Living Wage Campaign/Justice For Cleaners) + speakers from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, No Borders and more.
Hosted by Goldsmiths Students' Union and Goldsmiths UCU.
Speakers and workshops in RHB 141 (Main building) from 5pm to 8:15pm. Food/social in the common room (Students' Union) 8:15-10pm;Live Music 10pm til late.
Directions: Main Building (Richard Hoggart Building), Goldsmiths, Lewisham Way, New Cross, SE14 6NW. Train stations: New Cross, New Cross Gate. Buses: 21, 36, 53, 136, 171, 172, 177, 225, 321, 343, 436, 453.
Please email us at email@example.com to register your attendance.
Also, check out our Facebook page.
Monday, 22 February 2010
A student from New Zealand, who applied to Goldsmiths from within the UK, has been the victim of a mistake by the university administration, and will shortly have to fly back to her country to prove her identity.
‘In late August I received my visa letter from Goldsmiths with a “typo” saying I was from Japan' she said. 'I repeatedly called and emailed the administration during the course of the month, but never obtained a reply. I then sent my application, fearing I might otherwise miss the semester. Late September I was refused by the UKBA.’
After significant pressure from students, the Goldsmiths’ administration has since agreed to refund her tuition fees and has also offered to refund the visa application fees. They apologised for the clerical error, but maintained that it was the student's fault since she came under a tourist visa, instead of a Tier 4 Visa.
The student comments: ‘Currently, the price of a flight is a great concern to me, as a one-way flight to New Zealand is around $1000. The fact that I was to study post-colonial studies only makes my case all the more ironic.’
Thursday, 18 February 2010
I am a final year Undergraduate student at Goldsmiths University, studying Media and Communications. During my final year, when applying for an extension to my student visa I was refused on the grounds of the points system. I replied to the relevant case worker responsible for administrating my application, emphasizing that I had literally only a few months left before finishing my BA (Hons) degree, and could prove that I had moneys necessary to cover all costs which would incur during this time. His response was that it was out of his control and that I had to reapply for another visa.
Since then, I have been in touch with my lawyer. It is clear that the reason for my refusal is because the money that was necessary to be in my account under the points system was actually in my account 1 day after the appointed day (being the date of the deadline of my application). I am about to appear in court to appeal this decision.
My perspective on this matter is that the Home Office, who administrate Student Visas, should work on each application/appeal on an individual basis, as the circumstances surrounding each individual are potential diverse.
Since October 2009, the process of trying to complete my degree whilst coping with the ongoing stress surrounding finding a way to stay in the country has been emotionally/mentally draining. I find it appalling that the system cannot be more sensitive to individual circumstances. By taking a little more time when looking at specifically my application it would have been clear that I had not only invested nearly £40,000 into the education system but was also in the middle of applying for further education.
Saturday, 30 January 2010
Our campaign at Goldsmiths is gathering steam and our next event is the public meeting on the 8th February, at Goldsmiths SU.
Friday, 29 January 2010
Sunday, 24 January 2010
Thursday, 21 January 2010
also, here's two dates for your diaries.
Mon 8th Feb - Public meeting in the Strectch (top floor GSU). We're booking a range of speakers and looking to take a different angle than December's meeting. More on that soon.
Thurs 18th March - PBI Teach in. We're gonna have a range of academic speakers from within our uni and further afield and follow this up (hopefully) with some arts and music in the common room. Speakers and acts tbc. An artist group called Cabaret without borders hosted a similar event last year. We're gonna contact them to see if they're interested in collaborating. You can see their show here http://www.worldbytes.org/programmes/008/008_005.html
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
This week you may have seen us in the corridor by loafers. We've been doing three things.
1. Raising awareness about PBSI
2. Asking people to sign a pledge against PBSI
3. Looking for international students who have suffered personally because of the new laws.
At the moment, we feel this last point is the most important. We've had responses from several students which indicates a fair number of international students are being unfairly harassesed as they try and enter the UK. We're appealing for all students who have experienced unfair and unwarranted treatment to contact us and get involved. We are aiming to set up a support page to give students information on their rights and advice on the best courses of action. So if you have been affected, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomorrow we have an organising meeting in RHB 138 at 5pm. On the agenda we'll be discussing
-Strategies to publicise PBSI further within Goldsmiths
-Making links with other rights groups and universities. we're aiming for national co-ordination!
-Collecting student testimonies and offering legal advice and support
-details of our next public meeting (feb 10th top floor GSU) and details of a proposed teach in (sometime in March)
-anything else you feel warrants discussion.
Hope to see you there,