Goldsmiths and the Racist Attacks On Staff and Students
A meeting to organise against immigration controls on campus.
Wednesday 31st October // 1pm // Goldsmiths, outdoor square in the centre of Richard Hoggart Building (by the canteen) //
Goldsmiths Migration Solidarity
Following from the government’s election pledge, seeking to pander to racists and xenophobes, that immigration would be reduced by 90%, international students have been targeted as a way of implementing these reductions. These changes have happened alongside a privatization agenda that seeks to make education make money for those that already have the majority of it. The relationship between these twofold aims – reduction of immigration and privatization – is by no means clear or non-contradictory. The removal of state funding for higher Ed intensified the need for universities to recruit international students so that the shortfall in funding might be patched up by the premium paid by international students. However, the atrocious and exploitative treatment of international students has intensified despite the increased need for their money. The UKBA recently saw fit to remove London Metropolitan University’s ability to sponsor visas because of perceived faults in their surveillance of the international students enrolled there. Thousands of students were forced into the precarious position of awaiting the appeal against this decision, finding other universities who would allow them to continue, or terminating their studies and leaving the country. That this has occurred first at London Met is telling, both because it has more students of colour than the entirety of the Russell Group Universities, and also because it was being positioned at the forefront of experiments in the privatization of Higher Ed.
Three years ago, when the government announced its intention to make university professors act as border agents by forwarding attendance records to the UKBA, staff and students at Goldsmiths built a strong campaign and publicly refused to comply. Goldsmiths members of the UCU have reaffirmed this position of non-compliance with a recent statement. The removal of the London Met’s right to issue visas is designed to send a clear warning to other universities. Goldsmiths Senior Management, in response to this, have hired a UKBA compliance officer to ensure the university fulfills the racist and fear-mongering techniques of border building and classroom surveillance stipulated by the state. We refuse the false divisions between staff and students, or between international and home.
We will not be complicit. We will not comply.