As part of Refugee Week 2020, student organisers from No Tech For Tyrants joined forces with representatives of Unis Resist Border Controls to host an informative webinar about higher education, technology, and the hostile environment. The webinar, titled Universities Without Borders: Higher Education and the Technologies of Hostile Environments, took place on June 19.
Speakers from No Tech For Tyrants introduced the links between familiar automated border control/migration management technologies and the everyday surveillance and policing of migrant communities. Drawing from experiences at their UK universities, organizers explained how universities reimport the border through initiatives like PREVENT, attendance monitoring, and partnerships with technology businesses that uphold the cloud industrial complex.
Unis Resist Border Controls highlighted the historical context of anti-migrant policies in the UK: the links between the border and higher education stretch back far before the current hostile immigration environment. URBC also shared preliminary findings from their groundbreaking survey of universities’ usage of attendance monitoring technologies in the wake of COVID-19.
Both organizations affirmed the need to address systemic racism and xenophobia at the university. Attendees included students, activists, and other community members engaged with Refugee Week 2020.
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Unis Resist Border Controls