So the government is seeking to enforce tough new rules on foreign students coming to the UK to study. Haven’t we been here before? Isn’t this an old news story that has been doing the rounds for many years? So why is the government taking action now?
Well, this is an election year. A time for politicians to make their mark, pander to popular opinion and attract votes from a largely apathetic electorate. No chance to make a headline grabbing policy announcement will be avoided. No opportunity to criticise other parties will be missed. Mud will be slung in the hope that it’ll stick to political opponents.
Here we have an ideal target group. Foreign students who do not have the right to vote in the upcoming General Election. These unfortunates are also foreigners and ideal scapegoats to attract the popular anti-foreigner sentiments that are frequently, if not accurately, attributed to the supporters of the BNP and UKIP.
Our current government is desperate to remain in power and is more than happy to tempt potential voters using any means at its disposal. This latest policy announcement could be seen as a prime example of pandering to popular opinion concerning illegal immigrants and the perceived threat to the jobs of UK citizens.
If this government had been truly concerned over this issue they could have taken action years ago. Waiting until the last minute appears to be little more than pure electioneering. Yes, there is a problem with bogus students coming to the UK on Student Visas and then absconding. Yes, some of those students are only motivated by the chance to come to the UK and live and work as an illegal immigrant. This has been going on for many years. Yet a real crackdown on this situation is only now being announced? Suspiciously close to a General Election?
We need foreign students. Both for the income they bring into our educational system and for the alternative viewpoints and cultures that enrich our learning experience. They should not be punished because our government couldn’t manage those who came before them. Nor should they be treated as political pawns. They are guests in our country and deserve to be treated as such.Tweet