Students’ Union Officers are campaigning against plans for the possible introduction of NHS fees for international students.
The proposal, put forward by the government, suggests that non-UK students from outside the European Union should pay a minimum of £200 in order to procure NHS treatment.
Currently all international students staying in the UK for longer than 6 months have free access to the NHS.
A petition protesting the proposal has been set up by Clifford Fleming, Campaigns and Citizenship Officer for the University of Manchester Students’ Union.
“International students should not face added financial worries regarding their healthcare,” said Flemming. “If the government proposals pass in parliament many international students may avoid healthcare registration due to the added financial pressure.”
He added, “The proposals further discriminate those from countries outside the EU, and doesn’t respect the huge net benefit our international students provide, which the department of Business, Innovation and Skills estimates at £7.9bn every year.”
The Union has also endorsed the ‘I am not welcome’ campaign which protests the introduction of increased surveillance of international students.
Wellbeing Officer Kazi Tasweef said, “We hope to persuade the UK Border Agency to change its monitoring process and end unnecessary hostile action towards non-EU international students.”
Earlier this year the Home Office called for greater surveillance of international students. The University of Sunderland and the University of Ulster have since introduced fingerprinting systems to monitor attendance of international students.