By Cllr Catherine West, Leader of Islington Council
“I was shocked to hear that the UK Border Agency and the Conservative Lib-Dem Government have withdrawn London Metropolitan University’s licence to recruit overseas students.
The Government’s attack on LMU has very serious consequences for Islington. The University is one of the borough’s largest employers, it is important to the local economy and more Islington residents study there than at any other university.
Whatever the administrative problems were at LMU, I’m sure these could have been resolved without the Government threatening to deport thousands of students and potentially damaging the jobs and education of tens of thousands more.
Islington residents are asking why the Government has not tried to support the university and the students affected. Together with Jeremy Corbyn MP, who is making some important interventions in Parliament, I have requested an urgent meeting with the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, to ask that the government sort out whatever problems there are in a way that is less damaging to Islington. I’m sure this can be done.
I have also written to LMU to offer my support and I stand with the thousands of affected students and staff.
The last few months have seen such good news for education in the borough: our best ever GCSE and A-level results and confirmation that Ofsted puts Islington in the top 10 areas in the whole country for quality of schooling.
London Met has a fine record of offering an education to people who would otherwise not have the opportunity to go to university, and this must be protected.”
Thursday 30 August 2012