Academic experts

‘Xenophobia in the system’: university staff launch fightback against hostile environment | Education

Karen Wells, professor of human geography at Birkbeck, University of London, was outraged to be informed that before she could conduct a PhD viva exam at another university she had to submit her passport for Home Office checks. Wells says this sort of heightened surveillance is part of the same “hostile environment” that has seen academics threatened with deportation and unable to bring their children into the country. In recent months the Guardian has reported on numerous cases in which…

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What hypocrisy, I think guiltily, as I jet off to academic conferences far and wide | Jonathan Wolff | Education

“What did you do on global climate protest day, Daddy?” “I was in the city centre, and joined the protest for a while. But I had to leave, as I needed to get to the airport to fly home.” I was in Hamburg that day. To speak at a conference, of course, one of many recent academic trips abroad, to China, the US and Europe, almost all by plane. Academic travel is seen as a perk of the job, although…

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Home Office reverses visa decision for second Oxford academic | Education

The Home Office has made a sudden U-turn on its decision to ban the young children of an Oxford University professor, Amber Murrey, from living with her in the UK – the second time in a week it has reversed a visa refusal for the child of an Oxford academic following reports in the Guardian. Now the university and the elite Russell Group of universities, of which Oxford is a member, are calling on the Home Office to change its…

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UK to deport academic to Democratic Republic of Congo – which she has never visited | Education

Furaha Asani, a young academic at Leicester University, was shocked when her visa application was rejected in August. But real fear set in when she realised Britain plans to deport her in three weeks’ time to the Democratic Republic of Congo – a war-torn country she has never visited and where the Home Office agrees sexual violence is pervasive. Dr Asani came to the UK on a full scholarship to do a PhD on infection and immunity at Sheffield University,…

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Oxford professor’s children refused visas to join her in UK | Education

Amber Murrey, an American academic, was “ecstatic” about being appointed associate professor in geography at Oxford University last year. But the dream turned sour two weeks ago when the Home Office refused to grant visas for her two daughters, aged four and nine, to live with her in the UK. Dr Murrey used an immigration lawyer to make sure the visa applications for her daughters, who have US passports, went smoothly, and was not anticipating a problem. Her husband has…

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