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Passion Islam I June 2009 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 11
Suspicion deters foreign students
The governments restrictions on of Cass Business
entry visa for overseas students are School.
deterring many law-abiding foreign “If UKBA officials
students who contribute billions can’t get it right how
of pounds to the British economy, are overseas students
academics and education experts are going to fare?”
warning. “Students are apparently Not only students.
treated with great suspicion by most Even overseas
British authorities, when 99.9% are academics are facing
absolutely legitimate,” Professor the same dilemma of
David Weir of Liverpool Hope lengthy delays and
University’s business school told The inconsistencies in visa
Guardian. decisions.
The government introduced in In one case, an
universities, contributing an estimated
March a new points-based immigration academics application was rejected
£2.5 bln each year in tuition fees.
system for overseas students coming because a copy of a degree certificate
The British Council estimates
from outside the European Union. from 20 years ago had been submitted,
international students are worth
Some of the laws are extremely rather than the original.
more than £8.5 bln to the national
complicated that many students fail “It’s also adding extra layers of
economy.
to abide by. difficulty and bureaucracy in trying
The Quality Assurance Agency, the
“We’re very worried. We’re hearing to recruit high quality international
university watchdog, said earlier this
different stories from the Home Office faculty,” laments Jonathan Slack,
year that some universities were now
and agencies around the world about chief executive of the Association of
financially dependent on overseas
how they interpret the rules,” says Business Schools.
students.
Professor Julian Birkinshaw, the Academics warned that the
Duncan Lane, director of advice
London Business Schools’ deputy deterring laws are harmful, not only
and training at the UK Council for
dean for programs. to students but to Britains educational
International Student Affairs, fears
Home Offices Border Agency institutions. “If 10% of our non-EU
that the tough visa laws is likely to
(UKBA) officials make decisions students who have been accepted
cause problems.
based on photo backgrounds and onto our programs are denied entry,
“Word gets round quickly,” he
addresses written in the wrong order, that puts us in a really dangerous
explains.
experts say. place because we rely on those
“There are bound to be teething
“This is a one shot game students people to cover our costs,” says
problems but high rates of refusals
don’t get a second try if there’s a Professor Birkinshaw.
will cause students distress and
mistake on their application form,” Overseas students have become a
threaten the UK higher education
notes Andrew Clare, associate dean lucrative source of income for British
export market.”
UK using ‘enhanced’
US missiles in Afghanistan
British pilots in Afghanistan are firing equipped with lighter anti-tank Hellfire they are being used according to
an increasing number of “enhanced missiles, which are said to simply strict rules of engagement,” Harvey
blast” thermobaric weapons, designed make a “small hole” in a building warned.
to kill everyone in buildings they strike, and allow the enemy to run away According to the Guardian, he
the Ministry of Defence has revealed. unscathed. said that human rights groups have
The admission, was made by ex The Liberal Democrat’s shadow “serious concerns about the effect of
Defence Secretary John Hutton in a defence secretary Nick Harvey, who these weapons in populated areas,
written parliamentary reply, obtained the information on the UK and their legality seems to be a grey
Hutton reported that more than firing the enhanced US missiles, area. “
20 US-designed missiles, which are accused the Ministry of Defence of “The last thing we need in this
officially described as having a “blast becoming “trigger-happy” given its counter-insurgency campaign is the
fragmentation warhead,” have been reluctance to admit even using the allegation that civilians are dying at the
fired by pilots of British Apache attack weapons. hands of some kind of terror weapon.
helicopters so far this year, the same “If these controversial weapons Parliament must be reassured these
number as in the whole of 2008. are being fired on a weekly basis in are a weapon of last resort,” Harvey
British Apaches were initially Afghanistan, we need to know that told the daily.
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