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New immigration system will damage UK reputation abroad says UCU ahead of minister's speech

4 March 2009

UCU said today that a controversial new points-based immigration system will fundamentally taint the UK university brand and damage its standing in the lucrative international student market.

Ahead of a speech today from minister for higher education, David Lammy MP, at a conference on attracting international students, the union said its members should not see their excessive workloads increase or, more worryingly, be expected to spy on their students.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'At a time when we need to appear more, not less, attractive to students and academics from overseas, this system will fundamentally taint the UK university brand and limit our recruitment of international students to UK universities.

'We do not believe it is appropriate or effective to task colleges and universities with the policing of immigration. UK higher education is rightly proud of the diversity of its staff and students. These measures would see reluctant lecturers acting as border guards and send an unsettling message around the world of a fortress Britain culture.'

Last updated: 11 December 2015