The Guardian reports the case of a distinguished 81-year-old Algerian historian invited to give a keynote address at the University of Oxford being denied entry by the Home Office. No matter the trip was funded by the UK’s Research Council.
Here we are again. The Home Office continues to prioritise the boosting of its immigration credentials even if this means to undermine the UK’s Higher Education sector and its global reputation. I really don’t understand how the UK government can let the Home Office to discredit one of the cultural and economic assets of the country internationally to pursue vainglorious and ill-thought dreams of zero net migration whatever it takes. I find it even more frustrating because it happens while universities, remarkably quiet on this issue, display on the other hand a remarkable lack of critical thinking in their pursuing of a neoliberal agenda. Should they, at a minimum for the sake of some neoliberal coherence, support publicly the freedom of circulation of ideas and brains? Or is it only international fees they are after. Well, the truth is that a few more episodes like this in the news and they may not get the fees either.