By Manisha Ganguly and Naiara Marmol
The Home Secretary urged a stronger admission system in “lower quality courses”
Amber Rudd called for “tougher rules” for overseas students, announcing stricter two-tier visa policies during her speech at the Conservative Party Conference this morning. She also announced stricter work visas, underlining that overseas students will not be allowed to compete for jobs that deserve to go to “British people”. To this effect, companies may soon have to disclose the proportion of international staff on their payroll.
Rudd announced mandatory immigration checks for foreign students under the new laws, which would be put into effect in December as well as a £140m “controlling migration fund”. Students coming to the UK will be required to be proficient in English, said the MP, stating that Universities extend a “generous offer” to those who come to expand their knowledge. She also said that she was aiming for “a student immigration system that treats every student in universities as equal”.The UK welcomes around 437,000 overseas students each year, according to UKCISA.
Rudd’s words generated a swift response from the internet community where she has been attacked on grounds of “racism”:
A spokeswoman from Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary, an independent, youth and student led civil rights group responded to the new policy saying: “Essentially, this is a breach of Britain’s relations with other countries- this will mostly affect African, Caribbean and Latin American students . The whole premise of anti-immigration policies is utilised for racist politics that rely on a kind of populism- treating people of colour and those coming from overseas as if they were of a second class and don’t have the right to be here. This is an opportunity for all communities to unite and defend against racist attacks, defending students’ rights.”
Mr Alp Mehmet, Vice Chairman of Migration Watch UK welcomed the new changes stating that, “The number of non-EU migrants coming to the UK is at 190,000 a year, many of whom appear to be students who are not leaving after their courses have finished. The referendum underlined public concern about immigration so it is only right that the government addresses all aspects of the problem.”
The declarations follow the lead of comments made yesterday by Prime Minister Theresa May, proposing a restriction on the large number of overseas doctors working within the UK under the NHS program. May followed up her speech yesterday by labelling Labour as “the Nasty Party”, to which the Shadow Cabinet MP Jonathan Ashworth tweeted: “Theresa given your policies on EU doctors, people as bargaining chips, students and foreign workers. You really can’t call us the nasty party”.