Home Office

Academics refused permanent UK visas because of field trips abroad | Education

When Dr Nazia Hussein spent six months researching class and gender identity in Bangladesh for her PhD at Warwick University in 2009, she had no idea that, a decade later, the Home Office would use this to refuse her application for permanent residency. Hussein, a Bangladeshi expert on gender, race and religion, now a lecturer at the University of Bristol, was “absolutely shocked” when her application for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) was rejected last year on the grounds that…

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Cambridge sociologist’s visa fight ‘sends shockwaves’ through universities | Education

The UK is “open to global talent”, the government declared last week, with a new visa designed to woo the best overseas researchers. But angry academics say their protests about the Home Office’s “shocking” refusal to grant residency to Dr Asiya Islam, an “unequivocally superb” Indian sociologist at Cambridge University, have fallen on deaf ears. Senior academics warn that unless the government reins in its aggressive application of immigration rules, talented international researchers will not want to come to the…

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‘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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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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US academic given two weeks to leave UK after eight years | Education

After eight years researching music history at Glasgow University, Elizabeth Ford hoped her request for a visa extension would sail through this summer. Instead, the Home Office gave the American academic two weeks to pack up her life and leave the country. Ford has held a research fellowship at Edinburgh University – which, like Glasgow is in the elite Russell Group – and is due to begin a new research fellowship at Oxford University. But this is in jeopardy after…

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Schools in England to give extra lessons on dangers of knives | Education

Pupils in schools in England are to be given additional lessons before the summer holidays warning them of the dangers of carrying knives. Children at risk of knife crime are known to be vulnerable during the long summer break, especially if they have time on their hands and, with the schools shut, have no safe space. Campaigners say that, due to government cuts to youth services, there is also a shortage of activities for young people during the six-week holiday.…

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