Britain’s Discriminatory Law Against Foreign Students | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Our View, Views

Britain’s Discriminatory Law Against Foreign Students

Posted: Jul 20, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The new British immigration law which seeks to eject foreign students from Britain immediately after completing their studies is a letdown. It has the propensity for invalidating the international influence of the British government and portraying them as racists. According to media reports, foreign students of which Nigerians account for the chunk are to be banned from working in Britain as directed by the country’s Home Secretary, Theresa May. The law stipulates that when foreign students complete their studies, they must leave Britain before reapplying to return under a work visa. However, citizens of the European Union, EU, are exempted from the stern law which is reportedly designed to stop people from using student visas to enter Britain, after which they get jobs and claim benefits.

We recognize the rights of the British government to make their laws, but we expect the laws to be indiscriminating. Why should Britain dismiss citizens of other countries, including those from the Commonwealth of which she is a member, and permit those from the European Union, to stay? The British government ought to explain this because that contradiction makes mincemeat of the brotherliness expected from being members of the same association.

If foreigners paid hugely to acquire education in Britain, it is just right that they be allowed to test their classroom knowledge practically within the system that trained them, or what happened to the old work permit obtainable in the country?  The Nigerian government should intervene quickly and demand that the British government give our citizens the opportunity to practise, at least, for one year in Britain before asking them to leave. If they were patient enough to collect the students’ hard-earned fees from them in school, why should they be in a hurry to dismiss them after graduation? The discriminatory crack-down on foreign students says nothing else but racism. Whatever economic pressure Britain could be facing, their immigration law should be made to accommodate the students who are not only their products but have also contributed to the development of their economy.

The Nigerians among them left home many years ago and need to work briefly after graduation to get funds that can sustain them for some time when they return home. Many of them have sustained themselves in Britain over the years with the little money they earn from the petty jobs they do while pursuing their studies there; the government should therefore be benevolent enough to keep the door of that opportunity open. This immigration law has existed for ages and we wonder why the crackdown on Nigerians and others is coming now? Perhaps Britain is uncomfortable with the fact that foreigners are getting employment at the expense of British citizens. But if jobs are given out on merit, the British government should feel proud that foreigners who they trained are doing well.

We condemn the discriminatory immigration law outright because it does not show the good relationship existing between Britain and Nigeria. Meanwhile, we urge the British government to repeal the stringent law in the interest of international brotherliness and unity.