Up to 3,000 international students at London Metropolitan University face possible deportation after the UK Border Agency (UKBA) revoked the university’s licence to teach them.
The UKBA ruling means the visas of all London Met international students from outside the EU are now invalid. They have just 60 days to find another place to study—or face deportation.
Many of the students are in the middle of courses and have paid their full tuition fees to study at London Met. Most heard the devastating news from the media.
Dean Idumwonyi is studying for an MSc in computing at London Met. “It’s really terrible news,” he told Socialist Worker. “My head is all over the place and I couldn’t sleep last night. My dad in Nigeria had a heart attack after he heard about all this. I don’t know how he is.”
Dean says he has paid £15,700 to study a number of courses at London Met. “After paying all this they are telling me to go,” he said. “I’m halfway through my course and they want to push me to another university. But I want to stay with lecturers I already know. It’s such a shock.”
Tunde is another Nigerian student at London Met. He is studying for a masters degree in Information Technology. He found out the devastating news from the UKBA website.
“I’ve got 60 days to stay in the country,” he said. “I’ve paid £9,800 for nothing and no one is talking about refunds. I can’t call my mum to tell her – she is responsible for my fees. How can I tell her this?”
Shockingly this isn’t the first time that Tunde has been thrown off a course at a British university. “Before London Met I was at Halifax College in London,” he said.
“It closed. I got no letter from the college. I had to start running around to get into London Met. I paid £6,500 at the last college—for nothing. They don’t care about us.”
Some students and workers at London Met joined a small protest at the university on Thursday morning. Workers blame the Tories’ racist immigration policies and an “incompetent management” at London Met for the fiasco.
Mark Campbell, chair of the UCU union at London Met, said, “The only people who should be leaving London Met are the management.”
A group of students went to Downing Street to protest against the UKBA’s decision. Workers and students plan to meet next week to discuss further action.