To: Universities UK

To UniversitiesUK re UKBorder Agency and Surveillance in Universities

We, the undersigned, oppose the decision of Universities UK to act as an extension of the UK Border Agency. We object to the actions of universities which:
• Treat UK/EU and non-EU students differently
• Deploy surveillance technology such as biometric scanning systems and electronic signing-in mechanisms to single out non-EU students
• Monitor behaviours which may be unrelated to academic endeavour and allow this data to be used by UKBA to determine the legal status of non-EU students.

We note that UUK released a document on Monday 10th February 2014 in response to the House of Lords’ second reading of the Immigration Bill. Here, among other issues, UUK expressed concern that landlords would be required to check the immigration status of tenants. We urge UUK to go further and strongly oppose the proposed measures above. We call on Universities UK to oppose the discriminatory treatment of non-EU students in all forms and publicly affirm:
• That academic standing be primarily determined for all students by the quality of their academic work,
• That all students be treated equally regarding their attendance at classes, and that their right to privacy be respected,
• The autonomy of the universities’ decision on progression and retention of non-EU students.

Why is this important?

UUK - condemn the discriminatory surveillance of non-EU students in British universities, and act to stop UK universities acting as UK border guards.