Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Undesirables

Well, it’s been quite an eventful week around the world. Tanks full of police officers specially trained for urban combat have been rolling into Rio’s favelas. Here in London, students are turning out en masse to protest the government’s proposed increase in tuition fees. Apparently they’ve been doing such a good job that they’ve received praise from French students… c’est un miracle!

Neither of these events affects us directly, as none of my friends in Rio live anywhere near the targeted favelas. Michael is forced to pay international student tuition, which may actually (for undergrads anyway) be lowered. I think it’s ridiculous to lower international tuition, in the hopes of attracting more of the best and the brightest from overseas, while at the same time systematically dismantling immigration. What good does it do to bring us to the UK if we can’t stay afterwards? That being said, if PM Cameron is reading this, please also consider lowering post-graduate international tuition. Many thanks!

I can’t help but get the nagging feeling that the immigration thing is only going to get worse in future. This is mostly because I just attended an ‘end of publication’ party for a wonderful Brazilian magazine. Its editor in chief is moving back to Brazil, and though the party itself was excellent, it was obviously very emotional for everyone (even me, and I only met these lovely people 2 weeks ago!). The following evening, I attended yet another goodbye party* for a Brazilian who, after many years in the UK, is moving back home. Is it just me, or does this smack of a bad omen?

All the foreigners I know here are very desirable immigrants, but they’re starting to get the feeling they’re not wanted. At the end of Michael’s programme we’ll hold three UK degrees between the two of us… but who knows if we’ll be able to use them to contribute to UK society? I guess it’s never too early to begin thinking of where to go next.

*Also Johanna K's birthday party :)


jenanne said...

oy. it's the same in scotland. the vast majority of the anthropology department in aberdeen is foreign (students especially, but many profs too) & we are all feeling (even me, from the commonwealth) are feeling a sense of definitely not being wanted.

i am pretty sure i won't be staying in the u.k. for a post-doc. oy. canada or scandinavia, i am thinking...

Lisa Kauffmann said...

Unfortunately immigration policies in the UK and other parts of Europe have allowed real undesirables to immigrate. Romas that live off the dole here but have palaces in Romania, jihadists spreading their cancerous thoughts to the young and unfranchised. Home grown terrorism will be the biggest threat to any country that has had Islamic immigration over the past thirty odd years. Did you know that the most popular name in the UK for a baby boy is Mohammed? I have seen women wearing niqabs here in Calgary!
In the end, Brits are tired of this and all immigrants are getting the brunt of their frustrations, regardless of your background....Remember in Brazil I was told to go home as I was 'gringa safada'!!!