In less than a week I’ll have left this country, in all probability for good. There is no point clinging to it like a rejected lover, simpering and begging to stay, when the odds are clearly stacked against people who do not have sponsorship to work here or cannot afford to pay massive amounts of money for the required visas.
The economy is in the doldrums, and it is only fair that the UK wants to protect its citizens’ jobs from foreign competition. However, it does seem a bit harsh to squarely write off all the non-EU students who bring in the largest amounts of money in fees. Contrary to popular belief, we aren’t all rich: not all of us spend the summer in mainland Europe. For those grumbling about the steep prices they pay for tourist visas to India, we pay an equally absurd amount for student visas as well.
I would have liked to stay on here for a bit, not because I want to deprive an EU citizen of a job, but because I enjoy being here. Before I got back to the stifling bureaucracy and the reverse discrimination of my own country, I would have liked to see how things worked here. That isn’t to be, of course, because while we waffle on about free markets, we continue to make it difficult for people to move across borders and learn from new environments. Places that pride themselves on their diversity have now decided that they have had enough: surely the balance can be righted by spreading out tuition fees among international students as well, instead of treating students from India, China and Africa as the gift that keeps on giving?
In developing countries, degrees from the West will continue to be valued, a fact that it will keep cashing in on. In India, we have an extremely long way to go before we can hope to match the broadminded attitudes of learning in the UK or the US. Until then, we shall keep paying through our noses to earn the stamp that serves as the passkey to an important job in most parts of the world- or for an unpaid internship, which is more likely today.
Connections, money, the right passport- and the naive think it is merit that counts.