This letter is written by a group of international students at Goldsmiths who wish to voice their concerns about international students' conditions at the University. They're asking for solidarity from students and staff, and would like to reach out to other international students for further action.
Some initial shared concerns include:
- The situation of international students who were left without adequate support, finances, food and housing security during lockdown
- Inappropriate and threatening letters from Fees, debt-collection agencies, Credit Control (including reporting students to the home office) demanding immediate payment of tuition during the lockdown
- The lack of advice and contradictory communication about basic services such as implementation of payment plans, questions on visas, and how to access healthcare
- Leveraging of exorbitant fees for compromised educational programs during the lockdown, especially with regards to practice-based degrees
- The loss of income opportunity due to Goldsmiths canceling Associate Lecturer and Graduate Teacher Trainee positions
- Unclear status of future annual bursaries in some departments, initially promised to international students to curtail exorbitant tuitions.
- Lack of active outreach for funding for scholarships or active institutional commitment to reallocate budgets towards scholarships for students from the Global South.
- The current role and mode of communication of the Immigration Advisory Service as one that polices students, rather than a body that enables and supports them.
- The control the Home Office asserts over higher education, rendering students disposable outside their capacity to pay fees (for example, by making post-study visas extraordinarily difficult)
- The continous abuse of diversity rhetorics in UK’s structurally gentrified educational model due to the reasons mentioned above
So please, sign in solidarity with the international students at Goldsmiths, spread the word, and get in touch with Cashcows@riseup.net to get involved with future actions.
They especially want to hear from other international students about their experiences, to assemble and engage with decisions regarding the future of Goldsmiths.