Sunday, 6 June 2010

SNS on youtube

To see the latest development in the Goldsmiths students Not suspects campaign please visit youtube and watch our 5 videos in response to the question:
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

On-line Petition

Students NOT suspects have composed the following on-line petition which is designed to engage the new Warden at Goldsmiths on the matter of PBIS. Please read the text below, follow the link provided (or click on the title of this post) and lend your name. This petition, by the way, is open to all, and in fact would benefit from a wide demographic of supporters.

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.


The Undersigned

Monday, 29 March 2010

Campaign Pack

We've posted all of our campaign material here for anyone who would like to make use of it for their campaigns.

Here you will find:
Goldsmiths Departmental Statements in Opposition to PBIS
A Student Information Booklet
A Factsheet
Old event flyers
T-shirt graphics

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

SNS Public Event @ Goldsmiths

Education without Frontiers: Has the UK Border Agency Overstayed its Welcome?

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.

Speakers include:
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 to register your attendance.
Also, check out our Facebook page.

Monday, 22 February 2010

More Immigration Troubles

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

Experiences of PBI

We have spoken with so many students who have needlessly suffered at the hands of the UK border agency and other bureaucratic bodies. The problems students have had to endure range from the inconvenient to the traumatising and we will be posting a few accounts here on the blog to give you an idea of what sort of treatment foreign nationals wishing to study in Britain can expect.

(The first of which can be viewed directly below)

These bureacratic actions have very serious human implications.

The Reality of PBI

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

Public Meeting at Goldsmiths with Tony Benn.

Our campaign at Goldsmiths is gathering steam and our next event is the public meeting on the 8th February, at Goldsmiths SU.

We have a panel of guest speakers, including reps from the UCU, PEN and NUS, plus Tony Benn. They will be discussing the impact of PBI and the threat it poses to our civil liberties, both for overseas and British students.

Hope to see you there

Friday, 29 January 2010

We Are Not Border Agents!!

For those of you new to the debate surrounding Points Based Immigration, here's a BBC article explaining what is being asked of university academics and why many of them are refusing to comply.

Let's keep our universities from becoming branches of the UK Border Agency.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

No Borders, No Nations, Stop Deportations

Indymedia report from this weekend's No Borders demo.
A march from St Pancras International, through the heart of the city.

Take a look!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Weekly Organising meetings [Thursdays 5pm RHB138]

We had our first weekly organising meeting today, please come down and join us next week! We're in RHB 138 at 5pm every thursday. We're focusing on many things but look for a page of links concerning advice and support for affected students.

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

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Our activity this week

Hi All,

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

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,

Monday, 18 January 2010

Hello everyone and welcome to our new webspace!

Excuse the basic nature, but we are still in the process of setting up after last week's brilliant organisational meeting (thanks to all who attended!). Hopefully this blog will function to provide a visual element to our campaign and give others (students or no) a chance to get to grips with the issue, read some first hand accounts from those who have experienced the horrors of our current immigration system and establish what they can do, as individuals, to help us move forward.

More details of future meetings, action and events will be up in the next few days.