Saw an interesting article on the Radio Jamaica website which stated Jamaican students intending to study in the United Kingdom (UK) could find themselves singled out for extra scrutiny at ports of entry if the Conservative Party should win Britain’s next election. http://www.radiojamaica.com/content/view/24216/26/
What is unfortunate of such articles is that they tend to fuel negative stereotypes and does not balance out the real issues as to what the Conservative party is trying to address which is the problem.
What is the problem? It is really that the student visa system is woefully inadequate, and the Government’s inability to sort out its failings has been scandalous.
For years Labour Government has ignored warnings about abuses of the student visa system by people looking to find a way into the UK. The consequences include tens of thousands of bogus students in the UK; and hundreds of unregulated colleges providing student visas but little education.
As at 2 December 2009, 1,925 organisations had been approved by the UK Border Agency to sponsor migrant students, yet there are only 165 universities and Higher Education colleges in the United Kingdom.
Placing it in perspective Conservatives want to encourage the brightest and best students to our universities and colleges, and recognize the important contribution made by legitimate foreign students to both academic life and the economy. But it is time the system was tightened up. Conservatives want to see a robust but responsive system, with clear rules enforced by competent specialists.
Commenting, Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“The student visa system is a huge loophole in our border controls, and despite years of promises the Government has completely failed to deal with the problem. This loophole has not only allowed large numbers of people to enter the country who would not have been able to do so otherwise, but is now a genuine security risk for us. In the current climate we cannot possibly go on like this. Our proposals will transform the system, making it much more difficult for those who want to abuse it, whilst protecting genuine students, colleges and universities.”
I would say this is somewhat a far cry from Jamaicans students being possible singled out for extra scrutiny at ports of entry when it is a global issue and it applies widely but i guess it was a media frame.