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Points-based Immigration

Points-based immigrationThe government is embarking upon a major attack on the civil liberties of staff and students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Among the draconian measures included in the crackdown are:

  • forcing overseas nationals from outside of the EEA to negotiate a series of hurdles which include disclosing personal financial details.
  • using overseas nationals as guinea pigs to pilot the forthcoming, universally unpopular ID card scheme.
  • expecting EU nationals currently working in a university or college to assume roles commensurate with being an extra arm of the UK Borders Agency.
  • turning academic and support staff into agents of the state expected to monitor compliance with the immigration rules without prior agreement or consultation of any kind.

Download UCU's briefing on points-based immigration (.pdf) below for more about the new system and the duties it imposes on colleges and universities - and the union's campaign to change the law.

'The new points based immigration system sits in line with policies seeking increased income from international students, exposing the UK brand as interested in money and not people. The claim of institutions becoming "international" becomes nothing of the sort, as responsibility shifts towards surveillance and removal, and away from welcome and cultural exchange. Southampton University UCU opposes the introduction of the points based immigration system and supports the motion of the UCU black members' conference denouncing its introduction.'
Dennis Wong, Southampton UCU branch

Concerns for UCU

The system has significant implications for members working in both HE and FE. HEIs will be the highest volume users of the new immigration system but a number of the proposals for the operation of the system are not appropriate for HEIs as they have been developed for employers and employees rather than education institutions and students.

Setting aside for the moment the overarching, principled objection to a system which will in the long run impair the global reach of our academic institutions and fundamentally challenge the international dimension of our home based academic research framework, it is important to focus on the impact this will have on UCU members.

One of the more pernicious effects of this new system will be to turn our members into an extra arm of the police force placing monitoring and reporting responsibilities onto academic and support staff.

It is vital that we build the campaign against the new point-based system, working with external organisations, sister unions and students.

The campaign

We are organising a campaign to fight the implementation of the new system. As part of the campaign we are looking for information as to how the new system is being rolled out in universities and colleges. Has your institution registered to be a sponsor organisation? Have they appointed the key personnel responsible for implementation? Have you or the branch/LA been consulted on the possible changes to working conditions with regard to the monitoring and reporting on student absences for example?

Please fill in the online questionnaire to let us know how and what your branch/LA is doing to fight this.

Other ways you can get involved in the campaign to fight this new system, including:

  • pass a motion at your branch or LA to raise awareness
  • complete the member survey
  • hold branch, local association or regional meetings raising the issue. Include your local NUS/Unison colleagues.


Briefing on points-based immigration.pdf48.47 KB