And non-EU staff?

THE (Times Higher Education) - - LETTERS -

A UK gov­ern­ment pi­lot scheme run­ning through Novem­ber and De­cem­ber has al­lowed univer­sity staff from the Eu­ro­pean Union to ap­ply for set­tled sta­tus in re­turn for a fee of £65 per per­son (“Sur­vey finds wide vari­a­tion in UK univer­sity sup­port for EU staff”, News, 20 De­cem­ber).

How­ever, I would ar­gue that cov­er­ing EU set­tle­ment costs and not cov­er­ing the costs of non-EU Tier 2 visa re­newals and In­def­i­nite Leave to Re­main ap­pli­ca­tions is dis­crim­i­na­tory. It im­plies that one set of em­ploy­ees is worth sup­port­ing while an­other class is not.

Ul­ti­mately, the £65 fee is a panic-re­lated Band-Aid to re­tain cur­rent staff. New EU staff com­ing in will soon dis­cover that when it comes to pay­ing for visas and visa re­newals, in­sti­tu­tional sup­port will fall away quickly be­cause this will add hun­dreds of thou­sands of pounds to univer­sity hu­man re­source bud­gets.

The Univer­sity of Leeds (not men­tioned in the ar­ti­cle) has shown tremen­dous fore­sight in this re­gard, not only cov­er­ing Tier 2 visa re­newals but also ILR costs for its non-EU staff and grant­ing zero-in­ter­est loans to cover any ad­di­tional costs. This re­moves a huge dis­in­cen­tive to staff re­lo­cat­ing to the UK and also shows very for­ward think­ing in en­sur­ing that all staff are treated equally re­gard­less of where they hap­pen to come from.

T.Devin­ney

Via timeshigh­ere­d­u­ca­tion.com Opin­ion, page 30

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