Protesters gathered on the Parkinson steps on Friday showing their anger over the possible deportation of London Metropolitan University students.
At midday representatives from the Socialist Workers’ Party, Leeds Met Socialist Revolution Society and others unfurled banners and handed out leaflets attacking the Government.
Demonstrators labbelled the planned deportation of non-EU students from the former London polytechnic an example of “racism from the very top”.
Christian Hogsbjerg, a Leeds Met lecturer and member of the Education Activists Network, accused the Government of “hypocrisy” having threatened to deport international students just after the world’s athletes descended on London for the Olympics.
Problems began at London Met when the UK Border Agency (UKBA) revoked the university’s right to teach international students, meaning those who entered the country on student visas can no longer stay in the UK.
It has also recently been revealed that London Met failed to make sure its international students were attending lectures.
Critics of the decision say it is unfair that students who have already been given visas are now at risk of losing their right to stay in Britain.
The UKBA has given the 2,000 Met students sixty days to either find places at other British universities or leave the country.
Will Howlett, a demonstrator, told Leeds Student that the Coalition’s “disgusting” policies are making students scapegoats for ongoing economic difficulties. He added: “if they can get away with this, who knows what is next?”
The Socialist Revolution Society branded the move “a collective punishment designed to make the government look tough on immigration”.
The BBC has revealed that two other universities are currently seeking legal advice in case of having to deal with similar threats.
The High Court will review the UKBA’s decision on the September 21.
Words: Max Bruges and Ellie Parkes
Photos: Leo Garbutt