Petition for the University of Aberdeen to Support International Students

We, the undersigned, believe that international students are valuable members of student, local and national communities, and should be treated as such. We call upon the Principal of the University of Aberdeen, Ian Diamond, and the university management to do the following: 

1.1       To continue to actively and firmly resist any political manipulation of international students. We note the disturbing recent events at the London Metropolitan, Glasgow Caledonian, and Teesside Universities concerning international student recruitment, sponsorship, and visas. We call for condemnation of all hostile UK Border Agency actions against international students, and of all surveillance against international students. We expect the University of Aberdeen to fight for transparent information regarding the misuse of student visas, in order to dispel antagonistic ambiguities surrounding the issue. 

1.2       We note that confusion over monitoring practices and surveillance is placing undue stress on both staff and students. We call upon the University to clarify how they are introducing and implementing required surveillance practices. At the same time, we call on the University to collaborate with other Tertiary Education institutions to actively lobby for the abolition of such discriminatory practices. Further, we demand that the University should investigate how to resist government requests for information, alongside other Tertiary Education institutions as a bloc. 

2.1       To resist economic exploitation of international students. We call for tenure caps on international student fees. We note that non-EU student fees are disproportionately high and increase without justification every year, during the course of a student’s degree. This creates unnecessary stress and makes future planning impossible. Fees should be fixed at a flat rate for the duration of each student’s degree.

2.2       Until such time, we call for transparency and full information on fee changes in advance. We demand full justification for any future increase, including an account of why any increase is unavoidable. The University should provide a full account of how student fees are spent on provision of direct education services and student facilities. We reasonably expect explicit and advance information on any fee increases. We note that the increase in fees was sprung on students this year without any prior personal communication.

 We believe that it is in the University's interest, toward its reputation as a warmly welcoming institution for international students, to support this petition.

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