Is Britain closing its doors to overseas academics?

Report in the Guardian today regarding how increasing visa restrictions are compromising UK HE. 

“When organisers of a workshop held earlier this month at All Souls College, Oxford, invited an eminent Algerian academic to be a keynote speaker, they assumed his visa would be a mere formality. Sid-Ahmed Kerzabi has had a long and distinguished career as a historian, film-maker and specialist in cultural heritage, and is a former director of both the Tassili National Park, a world heritage site in the Sahara, and of the Bardo Museum in Algiers. He is also connected to the Algerian ministry of culture.

But despite repeated visits to the British consulate in Algeria, Kerzabi was refused a visa. His talk had to be read out in Oxford by another delegate. There was no way to recoup his £400 airfare, which had been bought via an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant.

And the grounds for refusing him a visa? There was “insufficient proof that he was not planning to settle in Britain”. Sid-Ahmed Kerzabi is 81 years old.”

Read the full story here:

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