This is a guest post from Aurora Adams, a student at the University of Edinburgh and NUS Scotland’s International Student Officer.
At 11pm last night (29th August) the UK Border Agency announced that London Metropolitan University’s ‘Highly Trusted Status’ has been revoked, and consequently has lost the right to recruit international students from outside the EU.
This is a response to Julie Henry’s article in the Telegraph here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/9450533/Universities-accused-of-socially-engineering-intakes.html
In my role as Student President, I often make the case that the University does not do enough to serve society and make sure that places are given to those who would benefit most. So it makes my job considerably more difficult when articles like the one in the Telegraph today, attacking the use of contextual data, come out. Needless to say, the entire argument is little more than a train wreck of elitism and middle-class sense of entitlement, but I feel that I must respond.
This was originally posted on STV Local on Sunday 29th July.
In March students at the University of Edinburgh elected me to be their Student President, so I now represent all 30,000 of them to the University, government and wider community.
I ran on a clear vision of what universities should be. They should be public institutions, focused on learning and knowledge, where students and academics work together to further understand and improve our world.
They shouldn’t be motivated by profit or commercial interests, but by its mission to serve society. Universities should be run for the benefit of staff, students and the wider community, so the people with the most to gain from education should be able to access it.
We at EUSA believe that education should be free, and that tuition fees should be opposed across the board. But when it comes down to transforming words into action, all too often all of the focus is on UK undergraduates. Of course, it’s a great tragedy that for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the University of Edinburgh is now the most expensive place to study in the UK, but this is not the only example of unfair fees on our campus.