Below is the quickly written email sent to my local MP
Dear Ms Thomson,
I am an Associate Professor of Management at Heriot Watt University, with responsibility for overseeing the PhD programme in my department. Through this role and my teaching I spend a lot of time supporting international students through their studies. The proposals of the Conservative govt to stop non EU (Tier 4) students from undertaking PT work and to be forced to leave the country to apply for work visas after the end of their studies is alarming. For brevity I have bullet pointed my concerns below and I will also link to a letter I sent to Theresa May, but received no reply to
1. UK higher education, including Scotland, benefits financially and culturally from international students. They bring skills, cultural diversity and of course their fees. In fact many schools wouldn’t be able to manage financially without international postgrad students
2. Many schools rely on providing PhD students with teaching – this supports UG students and provides the PhD students with valuable, career enhancing opportunities to engage in research led teaching. To deny students the access to do this is appalling and will damage the provision of the excellent teaching Scottish universities are known for.
3. The proposed provision to prevent spouses from working will bring us inline with policies in countries like Dubai (not something we want). This will mean that only wealthy students will be able to attend university in the UK. Widening the class divisions in the HE
4. I sent this letter to Theresa May when these ideas were floated last year, but to date have not received a reply https://migrantacademics.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/letter-to-theresa-may-re-international-students/comment-page-1/#comment-17
One of my areas of research expertise is migration in academia – it is key to the internationalisation agenda – ensuring the transfer of knowledge and development of all within the sector. On a more personal note, it is distressing to see my friends and students so upset and scared of being deported the moment they submit their PhD thesis.
I would like to know where the SNP stands on this policy and what, if anything, can be done to resist these changes.