bumpycat (bumpycat) wrote,

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Stupid stupid civil serpents

The UK Border Agency is responsible for numerous stuff-ups on an ongoing basis. I have another example to point out.

I'm a foreigner* who works for a university, so I was vaguely aware that there was a new visa system for students from 2009, call the Tier 4 system, which is ostensibly points-based. I thought it was a reasonably sensible idea, matching similar schemes overseas. I WAS WRONG. IT'S FUCKING STUPID.

I had a look at the process on behalf of someone else, and went through the application process to determine their point score. Now, I've fidgeted with immigration systems for several countries out of curiosity, so seeing a series of questions like how old are you, what course are you studying and so on made sense. Then I got to the scoring system, which is like a giant neon sign saying "THE PERSON WHO DEVELOPED THIS IS A GODDAMN MORON".

There are two - two - questions which score points. One is for the institution where you are studying, and scores 30 points. The other is for how much money you have, and scores 10 points. That's it. The pass mark is ... 40 points.

Earth to stupid people! This isn't a points-based system! This is two questions followed by a yes or no!

Why on earth score it out of forty? Why not four? Or two? Or just say "These are the two criteria - pass these and you're in"? The whole case behind a points-based system is that it's fine-grained! Two questions isn't it!

I strongly suspect that some minister said "We need a points-based system like Australia", and all the innumerable civil servants were too busy claiming expenses and taking backhanders and attending groupthink sessions and hiring costly consultants, so they gave it to a 16-year-old intern to write up in twenty minutes.

* Well, until recently
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