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Sessions BC & B

Sessions BC - Thursday 29 June, 9am-12 noon

BC1 / DE1 Stop Press (repeated as DE1)

Category: Immigration

Based on our Stop Press course, this session is designed to provide participants with updated information on international student issues and changes in legislation over the last 12 months. As in previous years, the breadth and depth of immigration changes are no doubt going to provide the whole agenda for this session! The course is intended for experienced advisers who already have a good understanding of existing provisions affecting international students. Participants who attended one of the UKCISA Stop Press training events earlier in the year are advised not to attend this session as it will cover the same material.

Presenters:  Advice and Training Officers, UKCISA

BC2 Tier 4 refusals

Category: Immigration

When can a refusal be prevented? What can be mitigated? Which refusal decisions are discretionary, mandatory or require a bit of flexibility? This session will consider how best to advise students who present situations which may lead to a Tier 4 application being refused. Aimed at experienced advisers, you will learn to navigate the Immigration Rules to understand and help prevent applications at risk of refusal.

Presenter:  Heather Knight, Advice and Training Officer, UKCISA    

BC3 Dealing with the love stuff: an overview of the immigration routes to stay in the UK on the basis of a relationship

Category: Immigration

Students do fall in love while they are studying in the UK! This session will explore the options available for students to remain in the UK on the basis of their relationship whether this is with a British, EEA or non EEA national. This workshop is suitable for experienced advisers.

Presenters:  Jo Holliday, Senior Immigration Consultant, Parker Rhodes Hickmotts Solicitors; Chris Cole, Partner and Head of Immigration, Parker Rhodes Hickmotts Solicitors

Jo Holliday has over 25 years experience of advising international students on immigration matters within the HE sector. She is now working as a freelance immigration consultant with Parker Rhodes Hickmotts Solicitors and specialises in relationship and work related immigration cases. She has a 100% success rate in Partner applications under the complex FM rules which were introduced in 2012. Her understanding of the interaction of the Points Based System and other immigration routes is particularly valued by clients.

Chris Cole is Partner and Head of Immigration at Parker Rhodes Hickmott Solicitors. He specialises in complex Asylum and Human Rights cases, although he has extensive experience across the whole spectrum of Immigration Law. He has been recognised as a Leading Individual in Immigration Law by the Chambers UK Directory for a number of years, having been praised for his “sharp intellect and inspiring level of knowledge and commitment” and the 2013 review states he "is brilliant," according to one interviewee, who adds: "He has such good knowledge and is really up to date with the case law and uses innovative points”.

BC4 Crises intervention

Category: Student experience

The training will focus on the change occurring over the last 5 to 10 years in crises support to students in HE. I will be discussing the reasons why it is good practice to support students during and after a crises in a timely manner and how the first 8 to 10 hours can be the most crucial time in reaching out to students to offer support. I will address topics surrounding good practice, basic skills and management planning.

I will be sharing a triage form/plan that we use to determine; who is at risk, who needs to be contacted both internally and externally, timeline of staff contact and debrief, what steps to take next, follow up and incident report coordination. I would ask delegates to provide incidents to workshop strategies from the first report and actions to ending the crises reaction stage and transitioning to welfare support.

Presenter:  Christopher Tucker, Head of Campus And Residential Support, University Of Sussex

Christopher Tucker has been the Head of Campus and Residential Support at the University of Sussex for the last 13 years.

Christopher has over 20 years' experience of managing out-of-hours pastoral care, crises intervention and emergency student support within the university setting (both in the university managed and private student residential sector).

Christopher provides training for campus security staff, residential advisors and university management teams in the areas of mediation and conflict resolution, crisis intervention, discipline procedures and judicial protocols both internally and externally. He was most recently asked to speak at the AAUCUHO-i conference in Australia and delivered bespoke training to local universities in both Sydney and Melbourne.

Christopher also has extensive training and experience in the security field for over 17 years which includes managing security at entertainment venues and stadiums as a lead steward/door supervisor, focusing on staff management, crowd control and emergency response issues on match day.

Christopher holds an MSc in Mediation and Conflict Resolution, a PG Certificate in Mental Health and is currently finishing an MSc in Mental Health.

BC5 Making connections with our Chinese students: staff training developed at the University of Sheffield

Category: Staff support

This interactive session aims to introduce participants to the background and development of the University of Sheffield's support initiatives and staff training relative to Chinese students. This includes the creation of student support videos in both English and Mandarin, use of the main Chinese social media (Weibo and Wechat) and staff training in "Support of Chinese Students" and "Help with the Pronunciation of Chinese Names". These sessions are now among the most indemand staff training on the University's roster and are now also regularly offered to individual faculties and departments on a bespoke basis. In the second part of the session, participants will have the opportunity to take part in the "Pronunciation" training and learn to pronounce students' names with confidence, the first step to improving relationships with Chinese students. The session will be useful for all HE staff who come into contact with Chinese students.

Presenter:  Tim Cooper, International Student Support Officer, University Of Sheffield

Tim Cooper has worked as an International Student Support Officer at the University of Sheffield (a non-immigration role) since 2012 and has helped develop the University's Orientation and Global Campus initiatives. During this time, when the number of Chinese students at the University has doubled, he has managed a project looking at the specific needs of this group and developed staff training in this area. He was formerly a lecturer in History and Archaeology at the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester and Hull.

Sessions B - Thursday 29 June, 9-10.15am

B1 Graduate entrepreneur: an evolving model at Imperial College

Category: Immigration

The International Student Support team have been managing the Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme at Imperial for 5 years. Due to increasing government interest in entrepreneurs and Imperial’s strategy to increase entrepreneurial activity, we are making some significant changes to how we approach this scheme to provide a dedicated programme managed within the College for our Graduate Entrepreneurs which is more aligned with some of the other entrepreneurial activity which is already being undertaken. This presentation will aim to showcase some of the work that the team has undertaken to date including developing and preparing a business case and gaining senior management support. We will outline how we intend to develop this further and give an opportunity for participants to explore ideas and share best practice around the Scheme.

Presenter:  Christian Adams, International Student Adviser, Imperial College London  

Christian has worked as an International Student Adviser for more than 7 years. In addition to working in a busy office advising students on Tier 4 issues he also manages the Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme at Imperial College and is currently the Chair of the AISA South East and London region group.

B2 Life at the sharp end - the challenges of managing Tier 4 compliance and advice in modern universities

Category: Immigration

An interactive, open and honest forum to share best practice and experience amongst members who feel that they are experiencing a high degree of scrutiny under current Tier 4 policy.

We will share our personal experiences to date, including the contrasts made apparent through working at different institutions, and offer participants an opportunity to tell their own story in an open and confidential arena. We'll open the floor to discuss strategies, interventions and processes, including mitigation against the effects on you and your staff. Finally, we'll look forward and discuss possible approaches to future policy.

Aimed at managers and senior staff of Compliance and Advice services from FE and HE.

Presenters:  Lynsey Berrecloth, Head Of Student Services, London Metropolitan University; Ross Porter, Head of International Compliance & Advice, University of Greenwich   

Lynsey has provided immigration advice for international students in Higher Education since 2006, with increased focus on compliance activities in recent years. She holds the UKCISA Certificate, graduated in the first cohort of the University of Nottingham PG Cert International Student Advice and Support and is a seasoned UKCISA conference contributor, presenting at nearly every conference since 2009. More recently she has devised, co-written and presented specialist UKCISA training on administrative reviews for credibility refusals. Lynsey has worked at London Metropolitan University since 2014, joining as the Immigration and International Student Advice Team Manager and was appointed as the Head of Student Services at the end of 2016.

Ross is the Head of International Compliance & Advice at the University of Greenwich where he has strategic oversight of Tier 4 compliance & advice activities on behalf of the University. He cut his teeth in Tier 4 at Middlesex University, where he worked since 2010 in a multitude of compliancefocussed roles, cumulating in Assistant Academic Registrar (Student Visa Compliance). He has experience in identifying and implementing Tier 4 risk management techniques and can testify first hand just how sharp the Home Office stick is!

B3 The power of presenting: the whys and hows

Category: Further education, Staff support, Students' Union

Presenting to an audience can be a daunting task for many of us, but the ability to present confidently is an important skill to develop. This session will explore why it is important to build confidence in presenting, how you can try to achieve that and will also give some practical considerations that you can take away to use when planning to present in future. If you are thinking of presenting at the UKCISA conference in the future, this is ideal for you.

Presenters:  Duncan Lane, Director of Advice and Training, UKCISA; Lizzie Huckle, Head of International Student Support, Imperial College London

Duncan Lane is Director of Advice and Training at UKCISA.

Lizzie Huckle is currently Head of International Student Support at Imperial College London. She has worked in a number of different institutions and has over 15 years experience working within international student advice.

B4 A holistic approach to delivering orientation and induction programmes

Category: Student experience

The current education environment has seen an increased focus on student satisfaction and experience. With this in mind it’s important to remember that first impressions count. Providing students with a positive start can also have a key impact on the rest of their experience. This interactive session will present two case studies exploring what makes a successful orientation programme, and how orientation can fit with academic inductions.

University of Hertfordshire will share their experience of adapting their orientation programme and offer some suggestions on how to tailor your programmes to cater for a wide range of factors, including the size and timing of the intake and differing groups of students.

University of Leeds will present the approach and first outcomes from an ongoing project to enhance the experience of international taught postgraduate students. As well as delivering a core orientation programme for international students, the International Student Office has been working with colleagues in academic schools and other services to pilot new holistic induction programmes designed for UK and international students together, aiming to foster intercultural interactions, build community, and support student wellbeing at a time of significant change.

There will be an opportunity for participants to discuss the case studies and share their experience of orientation and induction programmes, so by the end of the session colleagues will have some fresh ideas to incorporate into their own programmes.

Presenters:  Christina Peters, Head Of International Student Support & Tier 4 Compliance, University Of Hertfordshire; Jenna Isherwood, Project Manager, University of Leeds

Jenna Isherwood is a Project Manager at the International Student Office at University of Leeds, currently working on a range of new international student support and intercultural opportunity projects. She studied for a Masters in the USA and has a background in advice and community engagement work in the Higher Education and Third sectors.

Christina Peters has gained nearly 20 years’ experience in international student support through her work at three UK institutions. She has worked in HE and the private sector and has been Head of International Student Support & Tier 4 Compliance at the University of Hertfordshire since 2004. Throughout her career, Christina organised and delivered a variety of orientation programmes.

B5 Action plans and revocations – what next?

Category: Immigration compliance

With significant changes taking place to the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance on a regular basis, coupled with a more robust stance being adopted by UKVI with regards to compliance, more sponsors are receiving intention to revoke letters. At this critical time, communications should be carefully managed and thought given to what the best course of action is for both the sponsor and its sponsored students.

We aim to share our positive experience of challenging and negotiating with UKVI to secure the best possible outcome for both the institution and students involved. Attend this session to understand more about making effective representations; managing communications; considering legal challenges; responding to action plans and dealing with reputational damage.

Coming from both an immigration lawyer and general Counsel experienced in Judicial Review, this session will offer realistic guidance on what may be the best outcome when facing a revocation.

Presenters:  Francesca Smith, Associate, Eversheds LLP; David Mitchell, Barrister, Ely Place Chambers

Francesca has significant experience in advising clients predominantly in the education sector in relation to a wide range of immigration matters including right to work and sponsor licence issues under Tiers 2, 4 and 5. Francesca has assisted a number of institutions during their inspections and also regularly undertakes mock inspection audits in preparation for Home Office compliance visits and has been successful in negotiating with the Home Office positive outcomes for clients following revocation letters and action plans. Francesca’s recent experience involves advising clients in relation to Interim Relief and Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court of Justice.

David Mitchell (2004 call) of Ely Place Chambers practises in the areas of Administrative and Public, Employment and Media law. He is appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of civil counsel. He regularly acts both for and against the Secretary of State for the Home Department in judicial review proceedings. He has advised and acted for a number of Tier 4 sponsors.

B6 HEAT inspection survival kit

Category: Immigration compliance

All sponsors will at some time be inspected, but the dreaded HEAT inspection need not be a cause of panic and stress. This session will prepare you in all elements, ranging from inspection triggers; policy review; interview preparation; monitoring systems and how best to present your student files, policies and practices for inspection. Our vast experience of running mock audits and assisting with Home Office inspections means we are well placed to offer up to date guidance and useful tips on how to demonstrate to UKVI that your institution is a model sponsor. We will not only look at inspections from a legal and compliance viewpoint but Helen Eastham will offer advice on best practice, having recently survived a HEAT inspection herself.

Whether you have been recently inspected, are expecting an imminent inspection or have no idea when the Home Office will come knocking, this session is for you.

Presenters:  Nerys Ireland, Senior Associate, Eversheds LLP; Helen Eastham, Acting Assistant Director for Student Services, University of Birmingham 

Nerys has widespread experience of providing strategic advice to schools, FE colleges, universities and private providers on all aspects of immigration. As a result of the increasing importance of immigration considerations particularly within higher education priorities Nerys' audience on these issues is typically at senior leadership team level. Nerys undertakes inspection audits, provides action plans and advises on all aspects of compliance. Nerys also represents institutions in UKVI negotiations, specifically in relation to Compliance Assessments and litigation, including interim relief, judicial review proceedings and in The Immigration and Asylum Tribunal.

Helen has extensive experience of Tier 4 including provision of workshops and training with UUK/UCKISA during the introduction of PBS and through her roles in leading International Student Advisory teams at three Universities. Helen is currently Acting Assistant Director for Student Services at the University of Birmingham and has responsibility for compliance management for Tier 4, Tier 1 (GE) and other immigration categories for visitors coming to the University. As part of her role, Helen works closely with colleagues across the University to balance ongoing support and enhancement of the international student experience whilst ensuring ongoing compliance across a range of institutional activities, issues and practices including those activities support activities that impact positively on the Basic Compliance Assessment.

B7 Adapting to life after graduation: the dilemma of international students

Category: Special interest

One of the greatest concerns of international students is their ability to settle back and have work opportunities after graduation. However, this is not necessarily the case with recent graduates over the past years given the increasing unemployment rates and the competitive global economy. This presentation is based on a case study of Nigerian alumni, from a UK university, who are currently at different stages of their career path after graduation.

Through focus groups and interviews with alumni, we found that adapting back to life and work in their home country had its peculiar challenges which include: reverse culture shock and adapting to work ethics, employment and self-employment issues. It also shows how their learning experience in UK has impacted upon their employability and lifestyle upon their return. At the end of the session participants will be enlightened about the challenges faced by returning international students and discover ways in which universities can equip and prepare them better for life after graduation. This session will be beneficial to staff who work with international students to improve student experience and satisfaction.

Presenter:  Stella Adagiri, Director/ Consultant, Portsbridge Educational Services

Dr Stella Adagiri is the Director of Portsbridge Educational Services UK, an international Educational consultancy, aimed at bridging educational resource gaps. In collaboration with the School of Education and Childhood Studies, University of Portsmouth, She has developed and facilitated professional development, management and leadership training programs for International Educators and Higher Education Executives from Nigeria and other countries. Stella has worked as a consultant on internationally funded Educational research projects and has delivered papers and facilitated workshops in the UK and Nigeria. She is passionate about inspiring others by encouraging shared best practices for educators, from her experience and work with international students.

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