227 Views
1 Comments

#DontDeportLuqman is about Luqman and so much more

As a supporter of the #DontDeportLuqman campaign, when I asked what to write for this article about the campaign Luqman replied “What do you want to write about – justifying why my life matters?” And this struck a chord with me. This campaign is about saving the life of a student, and bizarrely enough, our state does not see his case as ‘exceptional’. The actions of Theresa May and the Home Office suggest that, for them, his life does not matter.

Luqman Onikosi, a Sussex Masters student suffers from Hepatis B which requires much medical attention, which he fears is unavailable in Nigeria, as his two brothers have also died from the same illness in the country. Luqman fears deportation to Nigeria is likely to be a death sentence to him, yet the Home Office have rejected his demand for leave to remain in the UK on medical grounds.  On receiving this news the University of Sussex has withdrawn his Masters, even though he has submitted all the work required.

As deportation would likely be a death sentence for Luqman, this article is not going to argue why we should campaign against the deportation of Luqman; there is no debate, his life does matter. The stakes are so high, and as such support, fundraising for legal fees and publicity is needed. Demonstrations, fundraiser lunches, occupations and further actions are all justified to demand our University support Luqman.

Instead, I want to draw attention to the wider aspect of this campaign. This campaign exists because universities have seemingly become complicit with the Home Office, acting as border guards deciding who can stay and leave our country. Also, this campaign exists because universities and student unions do not listen to and successfully represent international students, meaning that grassroots campaigns such as this are almost fighting against the institutions that should be there to help and represent them.

This campaign is fighting the ‘coloniality’ that exists within the British state, its universities and Student Unions. Coloniality refers to link between the global colonial past of racism and the way in which some of these ideas still ‘invisibly’ contribute to todays’ systems of power and representation.  Other examples of this are the lack of non-white representation in Parliament and the fact that black people are a lot more to stopped and searched “randomly” by the police. And if you think this is just a new buzzword, keep reading.

As a result of our Universities complicity with the Home Office, one of the demands of this campaign is for the University of Sussex to “end collaboration with the Home Office, including legally and politically challenging Prevent and International Student Licensing”. We want the university to question the Prevent programme and condemn it as staff at Warwick University and the National Union of Teachers have recently done, along with Sussex’s student union.

The current government’s Prevent agenda can be seen as inciting coloniality. This programme unfortunately only leads to further generalisations about students, with teachers being confused as to whom to mark out as at risk of radicalisation. Both students and teachers claim that this programme undermines freedom of expression and leads to unfair targeting of non-white students.

Alongside supporting Prevent, our university still has colonial elements embedded in its education system. Heeding calls from ‘I, too am Sussex’ and ‘Sussex- Decolonizing Education’ the #DontDeportLuqman seeks to decolonise our University. This means that our teachers, university staff and readings resources should become less Eurocentric and move towards better representing the diversity of knowledge and understanding in our world.

This is why this campaign demands for ‘an immediate review of the curriculum with the Sussex School of Global Studies initiative; Decolonizing Education: Towards Academic Freedom In Pluriversality, DETAFIP’.

Non-EU international students also pay up to twice as much as Home and EU students, yet do not receive any better service; in fact they receive inadequate academic and pastoral support compared to other students. For example, only 42% of international students receive a First or 2:1 in their degree compared to 80% for Home and EU students.

The University and the Students’ Union have failed to adequately address these issues, in part because the Students’ Union fails to represent international students adequately. This can be seen on international students’ lack of engagement with the Students’ Union and the under-supported, voluntary part-time international student representative within the Students’ Union.

As has been shown above, this campaign goes beyond the bounds of Luqman’s individual case. He is threatened with deportation in part due to the UK government’s anti-immigrant ideology and our Universities complicity in supporting it.

This is why the campaign must continue; our University and Students’ Union should support international students better and ensure that our campus really does have a global outlook, reflected in its curriculum and staff, rather than just increasing international student numbers for profit.

This articles hopes to have made clearer the all-encompassing importance of this campaign, for Luqman, International students and all other students, who should not accept the coloniality of their University and Students’ Union and its complicity with a xenophobic state.

To see the full list of the campaigns’ demand, and the University’s initial concession go here – http://thebadgeronline.com/live-report-from-the-bramber-house-occupation/

Annie Pickering

Image credit: Luqman Onikosi

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
732 views1
Campus News
732 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
173 views
Arts
173 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
187 views
Arts
187 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
181 views
Arts
181 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
224 views
Arts
224 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
229 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
219 views
Arts
219 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
211 views
Arts
211 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
337 views
Campus News
337 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
173 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
472 views
Arts
472 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
215 views
Arts
215 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
313 views
Artist Focus
313 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
220 views
Interview
220 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
298 views
Arts
298 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
337 views
Arts
337 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
376 views
Arts
376 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
272 views
Artist Focus
272 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
284 views
Books
284 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
369 views
Science
369 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
340 views
News
340 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…