The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Students walk out in support of refugees and international students

The NUS organised a day of action which included students walking out of lectures to show solidarity for refugees


On Tuesday the 17th of November, a small collection of students left their lectures and seminars to protest in support of migrants, refugees and international students. The protest was organised at nationwide level by the NUS with the support of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC).

Students from universities across the UK, including London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Reading, Liverpool and Birmingham, joined the protest. To show support to the walkout, they tweeted using the hashtag #students4migrants.

Explaining the purpose and the importance of this protest, NCAFC said: “The day, called under the banner ‘International Students’ Campaign Day of Solidarity’ aims to encourage all students to stand in solidarity with migrants and tackle anti-migrant rhetoric and policies in the UK. Students will be walking out of classes and holding rallies, demonstrations and stunts in support of this.”

The University of Manchester Students’ Union organised the walkout at 12pm, encouraging the students to speak out their support to the cause also in class. A gathering of students was arranged outside University Place at 12:30 to manifest with banners and megaphones.

The message of this protest was to encourage students to take action to respond to the new immigration policies, which are affecting international students, as they represent a big portion of migrants in the UK.

Mostafa Rajaai, NUS International Students’ Officer, said: “We want to send a clear message to the government that students in this country overwhelmingly reject the attitude and direction that the UK has adopted regarding immigration.

“The failure to respond adequately to the refugee crisis, the mistreatment of international students and the constant attacks on migrants’ rights are all part of the wider anti-migrant sentiment which is on the rise in the UK political establishment.”