Liberation Conference Policy - Borderless

BORDERLESS: Representing and fighting for International Students

You can download the full set of submissions on this topic here.

Which Students’ Unions have been involved in proposing?
Aberdeen University Students' Association

What’s the issue and how does it affect students?
The Home Office's points-based immigration system turns universities into sponsors for their non-EU students. Sadly, instead of being a safe space, universities reproduce an unwelcoming environment for international students. No access to public funds, strict limitations on working hours, and less internships, scholarships, and employment opportunities are among the many disadvantages faced by them. Meanwhile, most universities are increasingly being funded by international students’ inflated fees (often 3 or 4 times higher than Home/UK ones). In 2020-2021 there were 584,100 overseas students in the UK: 22% of total, 15.7% of all UG and 39.1% of all PG .

What changes would we like to see in society to change this?
Considering that NUS’s mission is to promote, defend and extend the rights of students and in accordance with the Equality Act 2010, NUS will not tolerate, and shall seek to eradicate, discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin, religion, age, nationality, caring responsibility status, creed or gender identity. This proposal calls on us to actively fight against hostile environment policies at a national level and develops the mechanisms and spaces for the experiences of students affected by them to be represented and included in the organisation’s decision-making processes.

Impact Assessment

How does it impact FE students / Apprentices?
Only data available is from 2015 and suggests there's at east 7000 international students on FE. Those students will often be affected by the same hostile environment.

How does it impact on International Students, Postgraduate Students, Part Time and Mature Students?
Postgraduate and mature students are also disproportionally from an international background, and specially international, mature PGT are one of the fastest growing populations amongst students.

How does it impact on black, disabled, LGBT+, trans and women students?
International students are disproportionally BAME compared to UK ones. Additionally, students who are already vulnerable to the hostile environment face even more barriers when they belong to a protected characteristic and are often more hesitant to engage in liberation activities due to fears of being deported.

Does this apply across the UK or specifically in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland?
There are differences between institutions with regards to rules. Difference amongst nations in terms of percentage of international students but the barriers set by hostile environment affect all nations.