1. Joint open statement by the LSE Students' Union, University and College Union (UCU), and Howard Davies (Director of the LSE) against the cuts, fees, and the attack on the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

2. No victimisation of Students or Lecturers involved in the occupation or any protests against the cuts.

Sign the Petition in Support

Read our public statement, here.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Call for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Refugees


“Everyone has the right to education…and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.”
Art. 26, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

People seeking asylum have been driven from their homelands by war, torture and persecution. They have fled their countries and their homes, leaving behind family, friends and their livelihood. They arrive looking for a place that will provide protection from the horrors they are trying to leave behind.

Asylum seekers often have to wait for many years to get a decision in their asylum case, partly due to a backlog of unresolved cases: during this period many young people seeking asylum are educated in British schools and colleges up to A-levels. Whilst asylum seekers are entitled to study higher education in the UK, most are denied this opportunity as they are forced into a position where they cannot afford university fees and living costs. Firstly, most universities unfairly charge asylum seekers ‘overseas’ fees. Secondly, asylum seekers are denied the right to work in the UK. Through no choice of their own, they are forced to live on Government hand-outs which amount to only £5 a day (only 50% of income support for British citizens). Finally, asylum seekers are not allowed to apply for student loans and are not eligible for grants or bursaries on equal terms with British students.

The LSESU Student Action For Refugees (LSESU STAR) Campaigns Committee echo the LSE Gender Institute in criticising “the coalition’s attack on access to education for all.” We fully support the LSE student occupation, and the demand that Howard Davies, the Students’ Union and the University & Colleges’ Union write a joint, open letter that condemns both the proposed education cuts and increase in fees for home students.

In line with this, LSESU STAR asks for solidarity in our call for Howard Davies to make the following pledge supporting equal access to higher education for asylum seekers and refugees:

“Refugees and asylum seekers who are offered places in UK universities cannot take them up on equal terms with their British born peers because of inequality in fees, access to loans and permission to work.

This University supports the right to education and is committed to doing all it can to provide equal access on the basis of merit for UK students, refugees and asylum seekers.”


No comments:

Post a Comment