STIRLING University has been accused of ignoring calls to provide support to a student who was detained by the Home Office for more than two months.

Muhammad Rauf Waris (below) spent 70 days at Dungavel House immigration removal centre in South Lanarkshire after coming to Scotland from Pakistan to study business management at the university. 

He was arrested at a grocery shop in Glasgow in June for allegedly working more than the 20 hours per week permitted by his student visa.

In August, Waris was released from the facility.

However, he was initially barred from continuing his studies as the terms of his release included the suspension of his student visa.

This has left Waris unable to undertake part-time work and financially support himself through his degree. 

The National: Muhammad Rauf Waris spent 70 days in a Home Office detention centreMuhammad Rauf Waris spent 70 days in a Home Office detention centre (Image: Supplied)

The University of Stirling later confirmed that he would be permitted to continue his postgraduate studies.  

His legal team have since stated that emails concerning his case have been ignored by university management.

A letter signed by 341 students, staff and concerned members of the public called on the university to grant Waris access to the Student Assistance Fund as well as granting tuition amnesty for the remainder of his studies.

It also urged bosses to write a letter to the Home Office expressing support for Waris’s case to remain in the UK and complete his course.

Stirling University failed to respond to the letter by the deadline of November 24, with the organisation Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC) accusing bosses of ignoring the plight of Waris. 

Grant Buttars, vice president of the University and College Union (UCU) Scotland, said: “While it is welcome that Muhammad has been readmitted to his course, the University's duty of care means that it is incumbent on them to give him the necessary support to allow him to complete his studies.

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“UCU members in Scotland and beyond have been active and vocal in our support for Muhammad and will continue to do so until this is resolved.”

URBC has established the #WeAreAllMuhammad campaign, helping with his living costs via an online fundraiser as well as supporting his mental health needs.

Indeed, Waris said he has been left with post traumatic stress disorder and has trouble sleeping due to his detention in Dungavel House.

A representative from URBC said: “#WeAreAllMuhammad campaign illustrates disturbingly that if the University of Stirling can treat a vulnerable international student in such a disposable manner, this mistreatment will also trickle down to home students within the system.

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“This is why URBC is campaigning for Muhammad and demanding that better pastoral support be given to him and all other international students at the University of Stirling.

“The University of Stirling are well aware that Muhammad’s case to remain in the UK is predicated on him being a postgraduate student at their institution.

“Without proper pastoral care and support, the university is making it easier for him to fail in his studies.

"A withdrawal from the University of Stirling would mean that Muhammad’s student visa would be revoked and he’d return back to Pakistan, thousands of pounds in debt and no qualification.”

Waris’s lawyers are seeking to secure a judicial review of his case and have asked the Home Office to substantiate the allegation that he was working outside the terms of his visa.

A spokesperson for the University of Stirling said: “We do not recognise the account given.

“We have been, and continue to be, in regular contact with Muhammad to offer support.

“To enable us to provide further support, we would encourage Muhammad to engage fully with our student support team.”