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  • Published in Education

Opposition to plans to deport 2,600 London Metropolitan students hit Whitehall today as students, staff and supporters from across London marched on the Home Office and Downing Street

London Met protest

Anger at UK Bordr Agency’s threat to deport 2,600 London Metropolitan university students spilled over today as students, staff and supporters from across London marched on the Home Office and Downing Street. Around 500 people demanded an amnesty for affected students, allowing them to remain in the UK and complete their studies. This follows the decision by UKBA to withdraw the University's Highly Trusted Status which allows it to recruit and teach students from outside the EU.

London Met union representatives handed in a petition calling for an amnesty which has been signed by nearly 8000 people in less than six days. Speaker after speaker comdemned the UKBA's decision as well as the flawed immigration rules on which it was based. Huge cheers greeted one speaker's comment that 'London Met will be here longer than Teresa May and George Osborne', while another delivered solidarity greetings from the USA. Chants of 'Teresa May has got to go' accompanied marchers as they then moved off towards Downing Street.

London Met has firmly rebutted the UKBA's charges of systemic problems with records concerning attendance, visa status and language qualifications. One London Met Student Union executive committee member, Syed Rumman, told Counterfire that, despite the UKBA's view, 'I would like to convey to them that I can speak English. We will carry on the fight until we get the result we want.'

London Met has now decided to appeal the UKBA decision, but it is vital that university students and staff step up their demand for an immediate amnesty. Wherever possible, campus meetings should be organised with a London Met speaker to highlight the issue and to focus attention on the disastrous implications for universities and students of the points based immigration rules.

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