Sessions F - Friday 30 June, 9.45-10.45am
F1 Working and communicating effectively with Chinese students
Category: Student experience
This practical, interactive session is designed for anyone who wants to get a better insight into
Chinese culture and to have a greater understanding of Chinese students. It will also show you how
to use different Chinese social media platforms to engage with Chinese students prior to their
arrival, and give a taste of Mandarin Chinese. It will cover a few basics about the Chinese education
system, and highlight the differences between university life in China and the UK. The session will
also touch on the issue of culture shock and the challenges Chinese students may face during their
transition to life in UK universities as well as communication issues that can arise when working with
Chinese students and colleagues. Finally, a short, fun Mandarin lesson will help you to greet your
Chinese students and introduce yourself in Mandarin. You will have an opportunity to learn and
practice the pronunciation of 20 most common used Chinese names. You will have learnt some
useful words and phrases in Mandarin too.
Presenter: Vicky Li, International Student Adviser, City, University of London
Vicky has been co-designing and co-delivering cross cultural and Chinese culture training to staff
in a number of universities in the UK since 2010. She has an in-depth and current knowledge of
China, Chinese cultures and Chinese students, as well as an international experience of living,
studying and working in a different cultural context. She has studied and worked in China, UK and
US. Vicky has completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the UK where she started
her journey as an international student and as such experienced different stages of student life in a
new culture and environment and its related challenges. She has been working in HE (in China and
UK) for over 10 years. Her personal interest in culture and language has led her to become a
qualified Chinese language teacher in the UK in 2008.
F2 Making internationalisation real?
Category: Student experience
With the increasing number of international students on the campus, the drive for
comprehensive internationalisation is becoming an essential component of our universities'
Coventry University has implemented the whole institutional approach to internationalisation with
the aim to provide all students with international experience across all levels of study.
The internationalisation provision is wide reaching and ranges from traditional mobility to
specialised projects involving global leadership, intercultural competence, work experience and
This session aims to share and reflect upon the experience of Coventry University and to provide
best practice examples. The audience participants are encouraged to engage in lively discussion
about the role of international students in the internationalisation agenda and enhancement of their
Presenters: Albina Szeles, Intercultural Engagement Manager,
Coventry University; Alun DeWinter, Intercultural Engagement Manager,
Coventry University; Suzanna Tomassi, Acting Deputy Director at the Centre For
Global Engagement (CGE), Coventry University
Albina Szeles is currently an Intercultural Engagement Manager at Coventry University, the UK
where she is responsible for cultural education programmes for both students and staff including
experiential University-wide intercultural training. In addition, she also supports the
Internationalisation of the Curriculum agenda and Online International Learning across the
Since arriving at the Coventry University, she has played the key role in the Internationalisation
Agenda including the development of new collaborative partnerships, student and staff mobility,
visiting scholars programme, summer schools and other commercial international programmes.
Prior to starting her career in higher education Albina obtained bachelor and several master degrees
from top Universities based in the Italy, France, Russia and the UK. As a ‘global graduate’ and Higher
Education practitioner Albina is a strong advocate of intercultural preparation and importance of
intercultural competence development for both students and staff.
Mr Alun DeWinter is the Intercultural Engagement Manager at the Centre for Global Engagement at
Coventry University. Alun is the programme manager for the Global Researchers Programme (GRP),
which aims to support postgraduate research students in achieving internationalisation and gaining
intercultural competences. Having completed its pilot year, the GRP has successfully assisted a
significant number of Coventry University research students in mobility and in presenting papers at
overseas conferences. Alun has spent 10 years within the Higher Education sector and has recently
co-authored a book chapter (under the name of Alun Evans) titled 'Linking attainment to
interculturalism and global citizenship' in Steventon, G., Cureton, D. and Clouder, L. (eds) (2016)
Student Attainment in Higher Education: Issues, controversies and debates, Abingdon: Routledge. He
also has an upcoming publication titled ‘The Benefits and Challenges of Embedding Intercultural
Competencies into the Postgraduate Research Provision’, with publication details forthcoming.
Dr Suzanna Tomassi is Acting Deputy Director at the Centre For Global Engagement (CGE) at
Coventry University in the UK. In 2015-16 alone CGE supported approximately 12,000 students to
engage in internationalisation worldwide, from language classes, studying or working abroad,
international fieldtrips leadership and research development to cultural workshops, Summer
Schools, and work experience in the UK.
Suzanna has been working within the HE sector for many years. Over this time she was promoted
through a number of different jobs at three different universities. She spent 11 years in business
development, working with international partners, setting up and successfully managing
Suzanna is passionate about the HE sector and this made her complete an MBA programme in HE
Management (Institute of Education, University College London) while her PhD focused on HE and
F3 Housing guarantors schemes – a partnership approach with universities Cancelled
F4 Right to study checks: using technology to meet our UKVI requirements whilst
limiting the impact on the student experience
Category: Immigration compliance
Right to Study checks have now become part of the standard procedures for Tier 4 sponsors to
remain compliant. In September 2016 Anglia Ruskin scanned ID/Evidence of their RTS for every
student (International & home/EU) registering on campus. Using Document Readers provided by
Validate in liaison with our student management systems our objective was to collect the documents
without negatively impacting on 'Welcome' and provide an equitable experience for all our students.
This presentation will cover the background on how we delivered this project from getting senior
management buy-in/ sign off in July 2016 for delivery in September, the technical and logistical
aspects and the lessons learned. We plan to share processes with the room and facilitate the
exchange of best practice ideas on how Tier 4 sponsors implement and monitor Right to Study.
Presenters: Caroline Shanahan, Head International Student Advice
Service, Anglia Ruskin University; Alex Lock, Compliance Officer, Anglia Ruskin
Caroline is the Head of International Student Advice Service with over 20 years experience of
working with international students. She initially started her career recruiting international
students before moving onto a wider support role and leads on the delivery of orientation/welcome
activities, international student engagement and managing the international advice service at ARU.
Alex has worked as a Compliance Officer within Anglia Ruskin University since 2014. Alex is
responsible for the data integrity and projects relating to all students subject to immigration control
as well as Tier 4 Attendance Monitoring. Within the Compliance team and using his IT background
he has led on the operational aspects of the Right to Study project primarily the construction of
processes and procedures and future developments linking to our student records system. Alex is a
member of the Immigration Compliance Network (South East) and is currently based at Anglia
Ruskin’s Cambridge Campus.
F5 Reducing your refusal rate without breaking the bank
Category: Immigration compliance
Institutions face pressure to ensure they remain compliant and to reduce refusals rates. Yet
they are under increasing pressure to save money. Is it possible to reduce your refusal rate within
the confines of existing resources, and without placing additional burdens of already overworked
I will explain the challenges we faced, the measures that were taken, and the resulting significant
reduction of our refusal rate.
This session will also give colleagues the opportunity to share their experience of how they are
addressing the issue of refusal rates.
By the end of the session I hope colleagues will be able to take
away some practical, cost neutral or affordable strategies, with the aim of helping reduce their
Presenter: Christina Peters, Head Of International Student Support &
Tier 4 Compliance, University Of Hertfordshire
Christina 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 at the University of Hertfordshire since 2004.
In her current role, she is responsible for the management of the International Student Support
Team. In 2014, she was given additional responsibility for the management of the Tier 4 Compliance
Christina has a particular interest in staff training and development, to ensure a university-wide
understanding of immigration compliance and coordinate a cohesive strategy for the reduction of
F6 Putting the fun in cultural awareness training
Category: Staff support
Have you ever dreaded going to mandatory training? Have you had to deliver that training and
dreaded it? Was it to a mixed audience of staff and/or to students? In a post Brexit environment I
believe Cultural Awareness training is more important than ever to ensure our institutions are
informed and welcoming to all students and staff and yet this topic can be seen as controversial and
confrontational by some participants. In this workshop we will explore some strategies for putting
the fun into training that could be seen as boring/not relevant/condescending. We will also look at
how to ensure the whole audience is engaged and that it leads to positive experiences.
Presenter: Sue O'hara, Student Support Officer: Transition And
Integration, University Of Exeter
Sue has worked in International Student Support at the University of Exeter for over 10 years.
During that time she has delivered training to staff, existing students and new students. She is
passionate about devising training that is not only relevant but interesting and fun.
F7 Nottingham PG Certificate in international student advice and support
Category: Further education, Staff support, Students' Union
Join Max Biddulph from the University of Nottingham and current and past students of the PG
Certificate for a taster and information session. Find out more about the programme: How is it
organised? What topics are covered? What will you gain from the qualification? This is an
opportunity to ask questions directly to the programme leader and students who have already
embarked on the course
Presenter: Max Biddulph, Associate Professor in Education and
Counselling, University of Nottingham
Dr Max Biddulph is based in the School of Education at The University of Nottingham and is the
programme leader for the PG Cert In International Student Advice and Support. Max has more than
thirty years experience working in Education across the secondary and higher education sectors,
working with international students both in the UK and the Far East.
F8 Net migration numbers in the UK: reality check
Category: Immigration, Students' Union
In the years of Conservative government and since the EU referendum the topic of immigration
in the UK became increasingly more discussed and covered by the mainstream media. One of the
most prominent promises of the Tory government is to bring down the net migration and reduce
immigration into the UK. However, how is the net migration calculated? What definition is used to
define a migrant? How is the Home Office monitoring the amount of people coming in and going out
of the country? Are the numbers widely reported in the news outlets and quoted by politicians the
This sessions aims at explaining how the net migration is calculated, what statistical information and
definitions are used by the Home Office and how it affects certain groups of migrants, specifically
students. Anyone interested in finding out the answers to the above listed questions is welcome.
Presenters: Magda Janiszewska, Student Adviser, University Of The
Arts London; Paul Rossi, Head of Student Advice and Funding, University Of The
Magda Janiszewska has previously worked for the Refugee Council in a number of client-facing
roles. Currently working at the University of the Arts London as a Student Adviser and attending a
part-time MSc in Migration, Mobility and Development at SOAS.
Paul Rossi is Head of Student Advice and Funding at the University of the Arts London. He has
worked in international student support provision for 20 years, both in Further and Higher
F9 Job creators, not job takers: cultivating student entrepreneurs
Category: Student experience
International Entrepreneurs is a bespoke enterprise programme for international students at
the University of Sheffield. It develops their entrepreneurial skills, enabling them to apply for a Tier
1 Graduate Visa to set up a business in the UK (supported by the University), or back in their home
Due to increasingly strict visa regulations, universities across the UK often do not engage with
international students in regards to enterprise, this not only impacts the student’s experience of
studying in the UK, but also means the economy loses out on some fantastic business and innovation
ideas. The International Entrepreneurs Programme will contribute to correcting this, and allow
innovative ideas to flourish on our university campuses.
The session will provide delegates with a toolkit to implement similar programmes within their own
universities. It will also outline what we have learnt from the pilot and changes we intend to make
for future iterations.
Presenters: Rishabh Kumar, International Student Intern, The
University of Sheffield; Mark Collier, Head of International Student Support, The
University of Sheffield
Rishabh Kumar is a final year economics students from Pune, India. Passionate about student
representation, Rishabh has been elected to the position of Economics Councillor for the Students'
Union, Vice Chair of the BME committee, Chair of the LGBT society, and as the NUS delegate to the
national LGBT conference. As an intern at USE he developed Liberating Potential: a programme to
engage with students from groups that are unrepresented in enterprise (BME, LGBT, Disabled and
Dyslexic and Women). Following the success of this programme he identified a need for an
enterprise programme that specifically dealt with the needs of International Entrepreneurs, taking
into account cultural differences and the challenges of the immigration system. From this he
developed the International Entrepreneurs Programme.
Mark Collier has been working at the University of Sheffield since August 2012 as Head of
International Student Support. The team is responsible for immigration advice, PBS policy
development, and orientation & integration activities. Mark was elected to the UKCISA Board of
Trustees in June 2015.