I am examining a doctorate next week, and the university wants to see evidence of my right to work in the UK. I have already blogged about another university which asked me to bring my passport with me. Now we have a refinement of this redundant procedure: this time, they ask for “a photocopy of the front cover and photo page of your passport”.
Now, just suppose that I were in fact an illegal immigrant. Somehow I have persuaded my own employer that I have the right to work in the UK, but the doctoral student’s university does not trust my employer. In which case, why ask me to supply a photocopy – which a cunning criminal can easily ‘doctor’ (a good word to play with in the circumstances).
And a photocopy of the front cover – well, anyone who has seen an EU state’s passport knows that the outside covers do not contain a single distinguishing feature. What useful purpose can it serve? And does the doctoral student’s university keep on file hundreds of identical photocopies of passport covers?