Maybe You Just Aren’t The Talent We Need..?

The UK is “open to global talent”, the government declared last week, with a new visa designed to woo the best overseas researchers.

But angry academics say their protests about the Home Office’s “shocking” refusal to grant residency to Dr Asiya Islam, an “unequivocally superb” Indian sociologist at Cambridge University, have fallen on deaf ears.

Hmmm, what’s her value to this country, then? Do we desperately need sociologists? Is she studying British issues?

Dr Islam, 31, an expert on gender and class in urban India, has lived in the UK for a decade but the Home Office refused her application for indefinite leave to remain in November, saying she had spent too many days out of Britain during the application period. She had spent a year in Delhi conducting field research for her PhD – which has been backed up by Cambridge University.

Well, fine. So long, love! I think we’ll cope without you. We did for a year, after all…

Prof Beverley Skeggs, distinguished professor in the sociology department at Lancaster University, says: “What hope is there for bright young global talent if they are treated like this? And if this is happening at Cambridge, one of our most elite universities, what on earth is happening elsewhere?”

The same, I hope!

Dan Engström, a professor in building construction at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, says that many international academics are watching the treatment of academics like Islam with horror.

He and his wife had been considering a move to the UK in the future, but the harsh immigration environment had “completely put me off”. He adds: “The silent acceptance of xenophobia and the hostile environment policies would have to go first.”

Hmmm, on reflection, I think I have to say: “Nope! We’re keeping those. Because it’s keeping people like you out. Somehow, I don’t think any buildings will fall down as a result…”

8 comments for “Maybe You Just Aren’t The Talent We Need..?

  1. Mark
    February 14, 2020 at 9:45 am

    Can you contribute?

    Have you skills or knowledge we don’t have or are short of?

    Can you fill an important but currently vacant position?

    Fine. Welcome and enjoy your new life.

    If not, why should we let you in?

    Like applying for a job really.

  2. Penseivat
    February 14, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    ….an expert on gender and urban class in India…”
    Is this the country with an horrendous caste system which keeps “the vermin” down where they belong? Are there any movie stars, pop stars, business magnates, or millionaires from the ‘untouchable’ caste? Is this the country where women, and children, are dragged off buses and gang raped by men from a ‘higher’ caste? If this woman is such an expert in this subject, why Isn’t she in India trying to change things? Wrong caste, perhaps?

  3. Mona
    February 14, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Imported Sociologists just what we need to cure the ills of our Country, India has great need of these Sociocrats so why is Britain depriving it of them ?.

  4. john in cheshire
    February 16, 2020 at 11:30 am

    JuliaM, here is an example of the kind of people we need more of in our country. Preferably home grown but a highly beneficial immigrant if she was ever foolish enough to leave Australia:

    It’s a pity Australian media is as bigoted as our own.

    • Valentine Gray
      February 16, 2020 at 5:20 pm

      A reason we have imported so many third world misfits is because so many Brits were encouraged to emigrate, the £10 poms is an example of losing our precious population after WW2, look at the state of our crime ridden country now.

    • February 17, 2020 at 10:34 pm


  5. February 17, 2020 at 12:24 am

    I sympathise with Professor Dan Engström ‘and his wife (who) had been considering a move to the UK in the future’ (past is past after all), or anywhere else for that matter. His Sweden has been over-run by people of quite objectionable backgrounds, habits and criminal tendencies (just the stuff of a sociologist’s wet dream) that even India would be an improvement. Try there Prof.

    • Ted Treen
      February 18, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      I think you enjoy schadenfreude almost as much as I.

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