Listen: How an education campaign for young migrants forced the UK to change the law
"This is Connor Lennon from U N us education is recognized the world over as cordray of development and improved job prospects. But for migrants, even those who have the legal rights to reside in a new country getting access to a classroom can be an uphill struggle for many young migrants in the UK the idea of going to university can be an impossible dream because that charged overseas student fees, which can be around double those of so-called home students. However, thanks to the work of lettuce. Learn a UK based campaign for equal and fair treatment for young migrants their options have slightly improved as Chris Jarrett the founder of lettuce. Learn explained to you and news when she took part in a migration debate at union headquarters in New York, a twenty fifteen court victory has made a big difference. Too. Many young UK students born abroad outbreak break kinda came in the supreme. Mm court case whereby we recognizer two thousand young migrants every year that was stopped from going to university because of their immigration status and the government changing the law, so the despite being lawfully resident in the country of being told that she no you're not going to move forward with your education. I spray shins and two thousand fifteen we managed to submit over twenty nine case studies is a supreme court on a case that were very similar to ourselves and said, you know, what this law is discriminatory, and it has to be changed at a systemic issue in place and back in two thousand and fifteen we call back success, and we managed to influence government policy, which means that hundreds if not thousands more young migrants every year able to go off to university and access student learned that they will pay back and prior to that that wasn't the case. So we've had a magnificent success regarding equal access it started off with a lot of young migrants recognizing that she at the age eighteen the separated from their peers Ella treated quite differently because of the color of their passport or the status in the country despite them having. There for more than half their lives to ROY now in the UK, what do migrants have access to and what don't they have access to so young Margaret's in particular. I think the breaking point and when they recognize an issue regarding the status an access is when they go off to university and instead of being charged home fees and off young migrants, charged international fees in the country, again, they call home, and international fees are almost twice the amount that home domestic students have to pay. And so that's one area of differentiation as for me. A young myself. I have lived my life since I was eight years old in the U K. I'm now twenty four years old, and I've been afforded amazing opportunities, and I've taken them, and I've taken advantage of them the UK's an absolutely amazing country of loss of Shane ities. But there are some points where there are holes in the system and a lot of young people become unintended consequences of valley or hostile policies, which is quite unfortunate. So the case great, but it can do better political atmosphere seems. To have changed in the last few years for various reasons, how has that impacted on the work that you're doing recent political developments in the UK have helped highlight the need for wide immigration reform and not just fragmented approach show. I liberation reform whereby we change this system only for some people and leave the rest suffering from the hostile policies. Brexit, for example, has highlighted that with European Londoners. But also the winner scandal whereby a lot of KOMO citizens that came to the UK in the late nineteen fifties. And Arbor to citizens managed to fall through the loops because the government didn't recognize that they're hostile policies will prevent a lot of people from proving this status and subsequently left to a low of lives being put on hold. But I think there's an opportunity in this. The both winter scandal on Brexit has allowed us the opportunity speaks policymakers to say junior war. There are certain policies have been going for very long time. And these things is now showing that there's cracks in the system is time. For white conversation that we must have and be truthful that policies that we have currently in the UK regarding immigration is simply not fit for purpose and his all of this Bank Graham made you and make people in similar situations to feel differently about your place in the UK. I'm confident that regardless of whether or not the British government seamy as British and whether or not I have a different possible. I feel my identity has been molded within British society. And all my hopes and dreams have been formed and a lot of dreams actually and aspirations have manifested in the UK. I've lived here since I was eight years old. And it doesn't take a piece of paper to prove that I think I can speak for a lot of other young people within lettuce, Len my is Asian that we definitely know that there's a fight worth fighting for his there's an a cause and we recognize as an of untapped potential that could be stopped and a lot of young people who could be prevented from moving forward simply because the government overlooked them. And so for us this. Is an opportunity to really have those really hard conversations to really review the impact of certain policies to say, do you know, what this isn't fit for purpose? And here's how we can fix it. So it's been useful to sue the government. We want to have that conversation. We aren't hostile. We want the change to just move on with our lives."