This outlines some key priorities in The Gold Paper on immigration (pp.31-33)


In recent years the UK government has adopted and enacted policies relating to immigration and migrants that are xenophobic, racist, and fundamentally discriminatory. Since 2010, the UK government has pursued hostile environment policies intended to systematically degrade the quality of life, security and wellbeing of foreign individuals in the UK. In 2011 it expanded the Prevent counter-terrorism strategy which seeks to block vulnerable individuals of all ages from being radicalized or exploited by terrorist-related activities. 

These and related policies sanction discrimination on the basis of nationality; justify the idea that individuals of other nations present an innate threat to the safety of the UK and its citizens; and feed into a growing atmosphere of xenophobia and intolerance. They also harm UK nationals by forcing them to be complicit with policies that go against their beliefs; and disproportionately affect BME and LGBTQIA+ communities, regardless of nationality, by advocating the application of discriminatory practices such as profiling. 

Unreasonable border policies such as these have a huge negative impact on universities, including Goldsmiths. They greatly impede the ability of institutions, lecturers, and students to participate in the global exchange of knowledge and information that is crucial to academia today. Compliance with tougher border enforcement is a deterrent to international students, visiting lecturers, conference organizers, and funding bodies. Degraded standards of living in the UK directly linked to the tactics of violence enacted by hostile environment policies are equally demoralizing for UK and non-UK individuals in academia.

The intolerant, xenophobic values, and the practices and effects of discrimination and victimization enacted by such policies have no place in Goldsmiths or any other educational institution. Yet in practice, these effects are experienced on our campus as much as elsewhere, with specific policies and practices (e.g. around data collection, fee structures, visa control, disciplinary procedures) actively reinforcing and extending them. The current government’s policies and approaches to migration, globalization, and academia are lamentably out of pace with the world we live in. 

As a university, we should be refusing, resisting and actively challenging these policies, along with the extension of border policing on to the campus in any form. Such measures are not only detrimental to future sustainability and growth,[1] but more importantly form part of the steady creep of racism, xenophobia and intolerance into contemporary life. 


  • Become a sanctuary university like UEA, Warwick and other HE institutions[2]  
  • Form a staff-student working group to review the impact of Home Office policies on international students at Goldsmiths and the mechanisms by which they are implemented.
  • Pay for all IHS and visa fees when employing international staff for staff and their dependents.
  • Provide housing for international staff and students to avoid predatory letting practices and bypass the unique difficulties faced by international staff and students in coming to the UK and property-letting for the first time.
  • Refuse all unreasonable cooperation with the home office, which at present includes charging disproportionate fees to international students while providing minimal opportunities to seek bursaries and find work; surveillance practices such as data collection through registers and entry cards. 
  • Review existing complaints procedures and give recommendations on how protocols can be adapted to allow individuals to lodge complaints about discrimination on the basis of nationality or race safely in the same way they now can for complaints of sexual violence.
  • Keep under permanent review the policy for staff and students on protections against discrimination, harassment and bullying on the basis of protected characteristics (including nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender) and ensure that these measures are being implemented.

[1] Universities UK proudly declares that “our universities also make up one of the most successful British exports, with spending international students worth £7.3 billion a year to the economy.”

[2][2] The University of East Anglia, Sheffield University, Warwick University and others are already sanctuary universities, and the Republic of Ireland has already four universities of sanctuary: UCD, UCC, UL and DCU.Brían Donnelly, “UCD Becomes the Fourth University of Sanctuary in Ireland,” University Observer (blog), accessed August 24, 2018,