What the British Have a Right to Know


Recently, one of the UK's top 10 universities who claim to be a global and international leader (according to their own website) advertised a full-time lecture post in Early Music. The search was open to anyone with the requisite qualifications, regardless of nationality. 

Having sent in my application, cover letter and CV, I was elated and quite flattered to receive an invitation for an interview after a few weeks time. As a part of the interview process, I was asked to provide a 20 minute presentation within which I answered what the role of Early Music was in a university curriculum and how my research informed my own teaching in the class room: a clever and quite difficult question to answer. After spending many long hours on my presentation, I booked my hotel and made my way across the country to spend a day being questioned and challenged by keen academics to see if I might be suitable for the position. Two days later, I received a phone call congratulating me on being their first choice candidate for the post.

Then, the next process began: getting a work visa. On the employment website of this particular university, under the overseas application's 'frequently asked questions' section, the procedure which follows after obtaining a conditional offer clearly points out that the applicant will be required to supply material (passports etc.) for the university to begin the process of sponsorship for a Tier 2 visa. However, I was never offered this option. Instead they asked if I had the means to be able to obtain a visa on my own. At the moment, the Tier 1 visas require a certain amount of money to have been maintained in your own bank account for up to 90 days. As I have been a student for 8 years now, I do not have the required amount of money sitting in my own bank account so this option was out. HR further prodded me by asking my marital status to see if a British husband could claim me as a dependent (something their equalities statement clearly says they would not do). After assuring them that I was single and completely independent, the person at Human Resources informed me that we had exhausted all options and that I was no longer considered a candidate and the books were closed on my application.

The initial application form made clear that under UKBA regulations, EU and UK citizens are to be considered priority above those who apply from overseas. This is not only fair, but to provide jobs for those within their own country, should be a part of how a government can protect its own people and I am happy to comply with government regulations. What was not made clear at any point in the process was that if the favoured candidate is not an EU or UK citizen, they are required to provide their own visa to take up the job. If they can't, the university subsequently is forced to hire the second choice candidate.

The irony of the entire process lies in the fact that I am being funded by British tax money to become an expert in my field. The job offer suggests that I have apparently been worth such financial backing. 


According to its own visa laws, the system cannot tap into its own investment. 
Something is clearly wrong here.


Immigration/ University/ Great Britain/ Global Education

Comments

cks said…
Outrageous. Spreading the word.

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