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Lead Officer Role: 
Welfare & International Officer

What students need to know (This meeting notes…)

  • The university recently introduced new monitoring systems for international students on Tier 4 visas in response to an audit from UKVI at the Home Office.
  • The university has not released this audit report and has not responded to a Freedom of Information request that it be shared publicly.
  • These new systems include requiring students to physically sign in with their departments at least once every three weeks.
  • An open meeting in June with students and staff attracted over 100 people, with senior managers from the university turning up in an attempt to sabotage it.
  • The UCU has passed policy opposing these new changes.
  • The university is considering introducing an electronic attendance monitoring system for all students, where students would need to physically tap in to all classes and lectures - with a lack of attendance having punitive consequences.
  • In the spring, thousands of students voted overwhelmingly by a majority of over 90% to oppose this proposed system of attendance monitoring.
  • Students and staff launched a campaign against these policies for Tier 4 students, with the backing of the then-sabbatical officers, which hit the national media in the Guardian and the BBC. This campaign raised awareness at the July UCAS open day.
  • A survey of international students at UCL found that only 25% would recommend UCL as a place of study and that 83% felt discriminated against.

What Union Council thinks about it (This meeting believes…)

  • The government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy, with its requirement that international students be monitored by their visa sponsors is discriminatory and racist.
  • However, these policies can be enacted through a much less-intrusive ‘engagement monitoring’ that does not make unreasonable demands of international students, and can be carried out behind the scenes,
  • UCL’s incompetent reporting mechanisms should not be resolved through draconian and discriminatory visa policies.
  • UCL has refused to listen to students when they have complained.
  • Electronic engagement monitoring will be costly, detrimental to students’ mental health and wellbeing and infantilises people who attend the university.

What we should do (This meeting resolves…)

  • To mandate our sabbatical officers to lobby for the release of the audit report, and to place it on a public location, so that its recommendations can be enacted with collaboration from the student and staff communities.
  • To reaffirm our opposition to attendance monitoring, to campaign against it, and to support the UCL: Stop Policing International Students campaign group with funds and resources.
  • To support direct action against UCL’s discriminatory immigration policies.