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SWAN’s position on the decision by the UK Border Agency to suspend London Metropolitan University's power to recruit students from outside the EU

The Social Work Action Network (SWAN) denounces the decision by the UK Border Agency to suspend the power of London Metropolitan University to recruit students from outside the EU. This means that 2,700 current overseas students must find new courses within 60 days, or face deportation from the UK. The University itself faces serious questions about its financial sustainability.

Alongside other disciplines affected by the decision are the social work courses. SWAN has members among the social work lecturing staff at London Metropolitan University who tell us that two of their students have been struggling to deal with the fall-out of this decision.

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A guest post by a member of the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group and SWAN London shares his reaction to this week's report by the Policy Exchange think-tank on social housing. The report, Ending Expensive Social Tenancies: Fairness, higher growth and more homes, advocates selling off council homes in wealthy areas where property values are at a premium, attracting sympathetic comments from Grant Schapps, Housing Minister, and the suggestion from the Policy Exchange's Director that the poorest have 'no right' to live in rich areas.

His experience of social housing and the realities for people at the 'wrong' end of the gaping social spectrum,  includes a valiant demonstration of collective action and resistance by people up against the worst impacts of this government's policies:

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The following letter was sent in response to an orginal article in the Morning Star newspaper

Re: 'Pay day for the shonksters', Morning Star feature, Friday, August 10, 2012

We reply to Solomon Hughes' feature 'Payday for the shonsksters' while anticipating Channel 4's Dispatches programme scheduled for Monday 13 August, 'Tricks of the Dole Cheats'.

As Solomon Hughes observes, “Our taxes whiz past the unemployed, doing them little good, before they pay for [the Work Programme company Ingeus owner's £3m in UK dividends].” The Department of Work and Pensions has not only barred Ofsted from inspecting Work Programme companies that have proven pasts of under-performing. The DWP gives fraudulent Work Programme companies forced to pay back unmerited bonuses the advantage of 'no publicity', and maximum publicity plus criminal records to the tiny minority of fraudulent benefit claimants. (Of course, Atos Healthcare are never fined for what they have written of Employment & Support Allowance claimants who win their tribunals.)

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