Valerie Hartwich's blog

Private colleges in danger due to immigration policy

The Guardian published an article last week on the effects of the most recent immigration changes relating to students on private colleges. It concluded that the new procedures to vet colleges where inconsistent, extortionate and inadequate. Once again, it appears that in a move to overhaul and 'improve' previous measures the ones put in place have in fact further complicated things, because they were taken without proper consideration and reflection. The only logic the measures seem to follow is monetary and populist.

Oxford vice-chancellor discusses damage of immigration policies in Indian paper

The vice-chancellor of Oxford university currently gave an interview to the Hindu paper on a trip to India. For a week he toured the country in order to strengthen and renew the ties between his institution and the former British colony. He declared that the changes to be brought in on April 6th regarding student visas are likely to severely affect Higher Education in the UK, even at prestigious universities like his. He said: “We have communicated to the government our concerns that the proposed changes will make it harder for us to attract the best students in the world to Oxford.

NUS launches campaign to raise awareness on effects of immigration changes

The NUS has launched a campaign called Share your story, in which they encourage international students to tell their personal stories about how the latest immigration changes affect them and how they feel about those. Some testimonials also tell of how EU students feel about the changes, and their potential to reduce the cosmopolitan nature of the UK.
The initiative aims to collect enough stories to raise awareness amongst students, academics, but also the wider public, hopefully getting media coverage and lobbying MPs.

New warnings of the damages of visa policies on international student recruitment

On Tuesday the Guardian published a comment piece by Simon Read, managing director of Uni-Pay, an international payment and collection service for overseas student fees, in which he warns of the damages current visa policies are likely to have, echoing our own research and the numerous reports that have come out in the past year.

The testimonial and outraged reaction of a former domestic worker at the UK's new visa conditions for domestic workers.

The Guardian published a powerful comment piece of a domestic worker, who is outraged at the 'Victorian' visa conditions that will be imposed on her and her colleagues by the Coalition government.
By tying those workers to a single employer, the government is preventing them from changing employers, thus making them even more vulnerable to maltreatment, still sadly too common in that trade.

US musician Alison Crowe delighted at Visiting artists rule change

Alison Crowe, a US musician much appreciated by British music lovers, welcomed the annoucement of the new immigration for artists and academics with great joy. Deported and barred from the UK in 2009, because she wasn't aware of the requirements imposed on artists by the Points-based immigration system, Alison Crowe had declared she wouldn't return to the UK if the rules weren't changed, much to the disapointment of her faithful fanbase. The regulations simply made it much to burdensome and expensive to include British dates into her touring schedule.

A new route for visiting artists and academics or how campaigning does work

Damian Green announced a series of changes to immigration policies before Parliament today.
We shall return to them in greater detail soon, but today we would like to welcome the easier, quicker and less bureaucratic route that will open up for short term visitors. These are academics, artists, sportspeople, who the government has realised were being penalised by tier 5 since it didn't fit the reality of their work.
Though the duration of visit is limited to one month, the new route will be entirely outside of the Points-based system, meaning that visitors will no longer need a formal sponsor and will be able to be paid fees for the work they come to carry out in the UK.

Report on university-business link warns of damage to academia by immigration policies

A report yet to be made public but discussed in the Financial Times and published by the Wilson review panel has warned that immigration policies were having unintended adverse effects on universities.
Focusing on how to improve the link between higher education and the business world in order to boost the economy, the report claims that universities were being damaged in their ability to recruit international students. This in turn meant that business in the UK wouldn't be able to get the pick of the best and brightest in a few years time, when we should hopefully see the first signs of economic recovery. This would be disastrous.

Border control scandal is storm in a teacup

The briliant Don Flynn has written a piecethat looks in detail at the scandal that erupted last year when it was revealed that border agents had occasionally relaxed chcking procedures.

British council report criticises governmental migration policies

Head of the British council Jo Beall was quoted in the Times Higher education as saying about the government's migration policies that "The worst-case scenario is that these short-term gains - of a few more young people flipping hamburgers and pulling pints who are British - [come] at the cost of the strength of our industrial innovation, our research and development base, our reputation as a higher education provider, which is second in the world at the moment," she said.

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