Are EU citizens ‘the best and the brightest professionals’ by default? 

Are EU citizens 'the best and the brightest professionals' by default? 

The Government apparently thinks so. Take a look at this letter a reader of ours forwarded to us…

"I just received this letter from a HR administrator of a school in Sussex. 
I think this is a very good example of how the government aims to recruit 'the best and the brightest professionals. 

"I am Hamster, a Mandarin Chinese tutor based in East Sussex. In late 2008, I came to UK from Taiwan for my PhD study. Meanwhile, I am a part-time Mandarin Chinese tutor working for a college in East Sussex. I have passed my probation period and the feedback from my students has been excellent, however, it would be unlikely for me to renew my contract without a post study work Tier 1 visa, which the Government has decided to abolish on 6 April, 2012. I also applied for another position of teacher of Chinese at another school in Sussex, but I received a letter from its HR administrator last week":

‘Dear Hamster,
I can confirm that we did very much like your application but our Government states that we must try to recruit an EU Citizen prior to recruiting someone who isn’t an EU citizen. For this role we did receive applications from EU citizens, therefore we had to select these people for interview.
Kind regards,
HR Administrator

Since 2005, there has been a sharp increase in the demand for Mandarin teachers throughout the world.

If we agree what Financial Times predicts that the 21st century will become the Asian century, it would be unwise for UK schools to recruit EU citizens instead of native speakers to teach Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic.

Whilst Damian Green, the Immigration Minister claims that Britain will give priority to the ‘brightest and the best’ immigrants under new plans to cut the number of foreigners settling in the UK, I argue that my story illustrates well the extent to which the Government’s immigration policy will result in ‘brightest and best’ individuals being denied employment based on arbitrary factors such as income and nationality rather than ability to do the job.

I wonder if this is an issue that can be raised and reviewed in Parliament because in my view it is not only unfair to immigrants who can teach foreign languages which EU citizens cannot do, but it is also potentially damaging to many of the English Language Colleges which have been maintained by recruiting international students.  

Thank you for reading my story. In addition, other people’s stories can be found at

Their stories are much more powerful and well-written than mine.

‘Too long a sacrifice/Can make a stone of the heart/O, when may it suffice?’, writes Yeats in ‘Easter 1916’.

May I wish you a blessed Easter.

Kind regards,


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