Schools Training

Students launch selfie campaign to protest against immigration bill

24 FEB 2014

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Students and staff at the University of Sheffield and its student union are taking selfies in order to protest against the government’s immigration bill.

Students have criticicised the “rushed” and “damaging” bill, which is expected to receive royal assent by the end of spring. The bill proposeshealthcare levy of at least £200 per annum for international students and will grant greater power to landlords to check visas.

Over the past months students have called on the government to rethink the bill. They say they are “deeply concerned” that the proposals in it are “open to abuse and misinterpretation”.

The student selfie campaign, which launched on Monday, uses the hashtag #StandByMe, and intends to draw attention to their concerns by celebrating the value and contribution of international staff and students.

As part of the campaign, friends of different nationalities will take a selfie and upload it online. The aim is to demonstrate the number of international friendships within the university community.

Students will also submit a short description of their relationship, explaining their nationalities, how they first met, and how long they have been friends.

Students at Sheffield say they have already petitioned and sent letters to express their concerns. The University of Sheffield’s student union and international officer even visited parlaiment on January 30. They now say they need to get creative in order to be heard.

Ally Buckle, president of the student union, says: “It’s time to get out our secret weapon: the selfie. Over the past few months we’ve been working hard to tell the government that we love our international students, and do not like the policy that is coming from parliament.

“We’ve petitioned, sent letters and met MPs and lords; but it’s time to get creative if we want to win over hearts and minds as well as influence policy.

“We will use these in a campaign that will tell the politicians that for every international student or staff member that they undervalue, there is a UK friend that is willing to fight their corner.”

 

Read full article: The Guardian