Published on November 6, 2013 | by Ruby Sigurdardottir0
‘Racial scapegoating’ of international students
UAL’s non-EEA international students will have to pay an extra £200 each academic year for access to NHS services if proposed government legislation goes through.
Sabby Dhalu, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, has said that the government’s plans to toughen the immigration system are “racist” and will have a negative impact on international students.
A petition against the ‘unfair NHS charges’ on the website change.org has labelled the plans as “discriminatory, counter-intuitive and impractical”.
It also states that while treating international students cost the NHS £12 million in 2011 – approximately 0.01 per cent of its annual budget of £106 billion – international students injected £7.9 billion to the UK economy that year.
In a speech at the Student Assembly Against Austerity rally held at UCL on Saturday, Dhalu said: “International students already pay more than British students for university courses, now they are being asked to pay even more.
“The government are trying to make international students pay for the economic crisis caused by the one per cent,” she added
International students studying a BA degree at UAL currently pay £13,800 per year, compared to UK and EU students who pay £9,000.
Adnan Pavel, an international student from Bangladesh and deputy president of London Metropolitan University Student’s Union said: “My course is four years long, so under these new plans I would have to pay £800 to use the NHS.
“I’ve only been to the GP once in four years, so I don’t think this is practical. The government is targeting international students and treating them like a cash cow.”
During her speech, Dahlu also accused the government of ‘racial scapegoating’ Muslims following David Cameron’s announcement that he will “back up” universities that ask Muslim women to remove veils.
She said: “Our Prime Minister said that he agrees with banning the niqab in certain circumstances. This is simply an attempt to grab headlines and deflect attention away from his unpopular austerity policies.”