In the beginning of May, Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC) launched a mutual aid fundraiser to support Tier 4 students impacted as a result of no recourse to public funds (NRPF). We have given up to £60 for grocery support and up to £150 for rent support to Tier 4 students left stranded because of NRPF.
NRPF came into effect under Labour with the passing of the Immigration and Asylum Act of 1999, which prevented international students, along with other migrants access to public funds if they are ‘subject to immigration control’.
Since May, URBC has given over £5,000 of funds to over 100 Tier 4 student affected because of NRPF. We have many more students on a wait-list subject to when funds are available. Some Tier 4 students have been struggling to feed themselves and are surviving on one meal a day, while others are spiralling into depression because of a lack of funds to sustain themselves. Many of these Tier 4 students are postgraduate students who came to the UK in January 2020 to start their courses.
However, not only Tier 4 students scrambling to survive during the UK Covid lockdown, but many are also receiving threatening letters from their universities demanding that if they do not pay the rest of their tuition fees that they will be suspended and forced off their courses.
Tier 4 students are sponsored by their respective universities. Removing Tier 4 students off of their courses because they are unable to pay their tuition fees is a draconian measure that will put them in an immigration situation with the Home Office that could result in making them undocumented.
URBC believe that NRPF and threatening measures imposed by UK higher education institutions during the COVID lockdown have made more precarious the plight of Tier 4 students.
Working with the Migrants’ Rights Network (MRN), URBC believes that structural change is needed to stop the further exploitation of Tier 4 students at this critical moment.
For this reason, we have two letters that we urge supporters to sign before the deadline of Tuesday 14 July 2020.
1. End NRPF for Tier 4 Students:
2. Tuition Fee Amnesty for Tier 4 Students:
Both letters are addressed to the government and appropriate individuals within organisations and universities. URBC and MRN will be delivering both letters after the Tuesday 28 July 2020. Please share both letters within your student organisations, unions, grassroots groups and other platforms. Let’s ensure that Tier 4 students are not exploited, find themselves destitute or made undocumented as the COVID lockdown continues.