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Annual Conference 2016 highlights

University of Sheffield, 29 June – 1 July 2016

The UKCISA Annual Conference is a key event in the training calendar where members come together to attend a broad range of sessions delivered by peers and professionals alike. Sessions cover topics such as immigration, compliance, student experience, students and working, recruitment, and much more. This is also a fantastic opportunity to network during evening social events.

Opening Plenary Wed 29 June 2016: International students and the UK: Perspectives on value and future policy.

The Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Sheffield, Prof. Sir Keith Burnett opened the conference. 

Our opening keynote address was with one of the most prominent, not to say outspoken, commentators on international student policy in Westminster, UKCISA president Lord Bilimoria 

He reflected on the current political narrative surrounding visas, net migration targets, access to work, skills and talent and how any of these policies might develop in the future.  From economic benefit to soft power, international competitiveness to responding to the refugee crisis – not to mention of course the EU Referendum which took place only a few days before.  Where next for the UK’s international student strategy?

UK Visas and Immigration plenary: Open House Q & A Panel Session: challenges and future plans
To allow all delegates to hear from UKVI, we held an additional plenary session with the largest and most senior group of UKVI staff ever to attend a UKCISA Conference! 

Closing Plenary Friday 1 July 2016 : Our closing keynote was with  Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central who also presented his view of value of international students to the UK and future policy. We also presented the NUS Internationalisation Awards.

In addition over 60 interactive sessions and workshops and an extra welcome session for new attendees. There was plenty of networking opportunities throughout the three days with the gala conference dinner on Thursday evening at Sheffield City Hall.

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