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Boris Johnson correct on foreign students

By River Reporter Dec 6, 2012

Kim Richters

I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but I completely agree with Boris Johnson.

Our Mayor, who was dubbed ‘King of England’ during his recent visit to India, had a point when he criticised the Government’s decision to create tougher entry requirements for foreign students at UK universities.

Getting tough on immigration does not surprise me as Brits always feel like foreigners are going to invade their country, steal their jobs and knock up their women. But curbing the stream of overseas students to the UK?

Yes, the student visa system didn’t work properly and it was taken advantage of. And it is outrageous that some immigrants come over here pretending to study but really work under the radar and claim benefits.

But why do honest; hard-working students have to pay for the mistakes of bureaucrats who weren’t able to do their job properly?

I am from Germany, so I felt for my fellow students from even further away when I heard that students from other countries were seen as undesirable.

The cost of being a student

I pay £3,500 for tuition fees every year, £100 a month for train fares and £400 a month rent. A crazy amount of money to be a student.

Non-EU students pay even more. Some pay more than £10,000 a year in tuition fees before they’ve even bought a flight.

I have interned for free at various companies, I work part-time for a bit more than minimum wage (I also paid taxes when I worked full-time before I started my course – unlike some big companies who don’t feel obliged to do so).

I am sure every right-minded overseas student would do the same, feeling it’s his or her duty to soak in the British culture.

So instead of putting off non-EU students who honestly want to take advantage of the internationally-acclaimed universities Britain has to offer, the Government should re-evaluate the visa registration system, increase its transparency and make sure only immigrants with an honest intention of studying in the UK obtain a student visa.

A uni without students?

Imagine Kingston without students. Kingston’s local economy would suffer drastically if there weren’t any students to pay insane rent for a Harry Potter-style micro-room under the staircase and work part-time jobs. This is on the cards if the Government carries on slashing student immigration.

My plan was to stay in London after graduation, get a job and pay back my student loan. Not anymore.

After I graduate I’m going to hide on a beach, sipping cocktails in the Caribbean until I’m 65 and my student loan debt has been cancelled.

You probably shouldn’t have let me into your country in the first place. 

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