MORE than 200 students, lecturers and other workers demonstrated angrily outside the Home Office yesterday afternoon, denouncing the plans to deport up to 3,000 London Metropolitan University students.
Ayoula Onifade, President of the London Met National Union of Students, told the rally: ‘They are playing with people’s lives. This is so unjust and we will not accept it.
‘The UKBA (UK Border Agency) must be made to withdraw the revocation of the licence to sponsor international students at London Met. We refuse to accept the UKBA decision.
‘It is our right to choose where to study and we will not abide with what the UKBA says.
‘We can defend our students and we will defend them. We are saying we are not illegal immigrants.’
Later, Ayoula told News Line: ‘We want everybody’s support. The National Union of Students and the TUC must fight for us.
‘We are coming to the TUC in Brighton on Sunday to call for the support of the TUC.’
Mark Campbell, Chair of the London Met UCU lecturers’ union branch, told the lobby: ‘These are our students and we will stand with them whatever it takes.
‘We are calling on every university and every college in the country to hold a lunchtime protest next Friday.
‘We defend our students absolutely and we will fight for our students.’
PCS National Executive member Andy Jennings told the lobby: ‘The PCS National Executive unanimously passed a resolution this morning pledging its full support to defend London Met.’
Kathy Taylor, President of the UCU lecturers union told the lobby: ‘We are here to bring solidarity from the entire UCU to congratulate you on the stand you are taking.
‘This attack on international students could affect all universities across the UK.’
London Met National Union of Students Vice President Bello Lukman told News Line: ‘What has happened has had a terrible effect on our students.
‘We are going to the TUC to call on them to give their support.
‘This is an issue not just for London Met students but for all students throughout the country.
‘If these revocations are allowed to go on at London Met it will happen anywhere.’