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4 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I June 2009
UK lecturers opposed to
spying on foreign students
Britain’s university lecturers are be liable to fines and possible jail educational institutions.
considering a boycott of new sentences if they fail to comply. “Politically, UCU is absolutely
government rules that they say would If the motion is passed, officials opposed to this legislation and
turn them into ‘immigration snoopers’ from Britain’s biggest union of we know that many members
on foreign students. lecturers will be asked to campaign have strong and principled moral
The government introduced a to repeal both the ‘discriminatory’ objections as members of society and
points-based immigration system regulations and the overseas student as professional educators,” said UCU
for non-EU staff and students in general secretary, Sally Hunt .
April as part of its drive to combat “One of the more pernicious
terrorism. effects of this new system will be to
Foreign students will have to turn our members into an extra arm
carry biometric identity cards, of the police force, placing monitoring
while universities must monitor and reporting responsibilities on to
checks and report any unexplained academic and support staff,” Hunt
absences to the Home Office. said.
But at their annual conference In 2007, the UCU voted
in Bournemouth have debated a unanimously to reject proposals
motion expressing concern that the to instruct university staff to report
new arrangements turns ‘educators students for ‘extremism’ and called
into immigration snoopers’ and could identity cards. on members to ‘resist attempts by
irreparably damage the reputation of The lecturers already complain government to engage colleges and
UK higher education. that the new rules will put off overseas universities in activities which amount
It argues that lecturers would in students coming to the UK, which to increased surveillance of Muslim or
effect act as as ‘Home Office agents’ generate vital income for the country’s other minority students and to the use
to carry
260209_148x210_STD_Passion IslamPage 1 27/02/2009 10:37:10
out policing and surveillance universities and colleges, and will of members of staff for such witch-
work, and warns that lecturers could damage the international status of hunts’.
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