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Sessions G

Sessions G - Friday 30 June, 11.15-11.55am

G1 "Volunteer for success" UKCISA grant funded project at FE college

Category: Further education, Student experience, UKCISA funded project/research

 We will share our experience of delivering the UKCISA grant funded, 'Volunteer for Success' project. This will cover the project aims:

  • address significant impact on the FE sector of removal of part time work rights for Tier 4 students, a particular challenge for students on vocational courses
  • equip our international student graduates with extra skills and confidence gained from volunteering to excel in their future careers

We will also provide a brief overview on the immigration rules and volunteering, how the project aims were achieved by connecting international students (on all visa types) with specific College and local community based volunteering opportunities identified by the International Team. We will outline details of the volunteering opportunities offered and how many students participated, share volunteer student testimonials and explain our plans to continue the project in the future.

Presenter:  Anna Le Gall, International Advice And Compliance Officer, Edinburgh College

Anna Le Gall joined Edinburgh College as International Advice and Compliance Officer in January 2015. Anna qualified as a solicitor in 2005 and is also an accredited advisor under the Solicitor Regulation Authority’s Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme. Prior to working in the international student sector, Anna worked for over 10 years in private practice advising clients in all areas of immigration law, with a particular focus on asylum and human rights.

G2 Australia in focus: a personal comparison of the Australian and British international student environment and market

Category: Further education, Special interest

Despite their cultural and educational similarities, there is currently a vast difference in the environment surrounding international education in the UK and Australia. International education is now one of Australia’s major industries, contributing approximately AUD$20 billion to the Australian economy in 2015-2016. As one of the UK’s major competitor markets, a knowledge of the Australian experience is particularly useful for an understanding of international education and for the effective marketing of UK institutions to prospective students. This session will focus on numerous issues focusing on respective similarities and differences; from governmental and social attitudes, educational systems, market strengths, immigration, funding and future directions. The strengths and weaknesses of the UK environment in comparison to the Australian will be discussed and analysed. Whilst a decidedly complex scenario, the experiences of working in both educational markets within a matter of months enables Daniel to give a unique personal insight in this area.

Presenter:  Daniel Place, International Adviser, City College Norwich

Daniel has professional experience working within both the Australian and British educational systems. Daniel spent twelve years in total at the University of Adelaide in Australia, being the Senior International Admissions Officer /Team Leader of the International Admissions Unit from 2005-2016. Daniel has also previously worked for the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Since moving to the UK in 2016, he has worked as the International Adviser at City College Norwich.

G3 ‘It’s like a counselling service is our last choice, it’s our worst choice, sorry.’ Developing new approaches to enhancing the wellbeing of International students

Category: Student experience, UKCISA project/research

The session aims and objectives are to disseminate the results of research undertaken in 2015 by Plymouth University Counselling Service, to explore the wellbeing needs of international students.

This UKCISA-funded research found that international students were unfamiliar with what counselling was, associated it with notions of mental illness and expressed reluctance to use counselling services. They reported abating distress through social activities rather than dialogue and yearned for increased social engagement, particularly with home students.

A Project Group of international and home students, drawing on the research findings, met to think about how to enhance international students’ wellbeing. The group itself was experienced as warm, social, therapeutic and transformative. The students’ overriding suggestion was for counselling services to enhance wellbeing by offering, facilitated, socially-oriented activities that could increase interaction and potentially destigmatise counselling. Counsellors by offering social, relational interventions, may clarify and destigmatise counselling and support students to access it.

Presenter:  Anne Bentley, Plymouth University Student Counselling & Personal Development Service Manager, Plymouth University 

Anne Bentley is Manager of Plymouth University Student Counselling & Personal Development Service. She is keenly interested in conducting research into the effectiveness of counselling for students and is passionate about developing services to 'fit' people rather than expecting people to 'fit' into existing services.

G4 What does the future of employability for international students look like? Cancelled

G5 The use of technology as a tool to deliver a high volume of successful visa extensions

Category: Immigration

University of Southampton VISAS team has four fully trained Student Visa & Immigration Advisors providing both advice and compliance. We currently have 5200 Tier 4 students and our refusal rate is extremely low. During the main intake we process visa extensions for around 1300 Pre-sessional students and approx. 200 students changing course or transferring institution. We manage this alongside emergency appointments, drop in sessions and email support as well as assisting with main registration for new students. So how do we do it? We very much rely on technology as a resource to deliver a comprehensive service, from timetabled presentations to selfhelp podcasts available on our website and an online booking system. This session is aimed at institutions who have limited staff but a very high student to Advisor ratio and who may find it difficult to process large volumes of Tier 4 applications within a short period of time.

Presenters:  Ellinore Jawed-Gibson, Student Visa & Immigration Advisor, University Of Southampton; Monika Materna-Brossier, Student Visa & Immigration Advisor, University Of Southampton 

Ellinore started employment at the University of Southampton in May 2012 initially within the Student Records Team, which was responsible for Visa Compliance. From February 2014 Ellinore worked as the sole Visa Compliance Administrator supporting the Compliance Officer, managing a caseload of approximately 6000 International students. She assisted with complex compliance cases, provided guidance to Faculties regarding Tier 4 rules, and managed compliance during International Student Registration events, for which she received a staff award. In June 2015 Ellinore was successful in gaining the position of Student Visa & Immigration Advisor. She has always enjoyed interacting with International students and finds the combination of advice and compliance means that her role is varied and she is constantly learning. Ellinore has a BA in American Studies from the University of Derby and obtained the PG Cert in International Student Advice & Support from the University of Nottingham, accredited by UKCISA.

Monika began working at the University of Southampton in September 2011 as a Client Services Supervisor, supervising the provision of advice and information within the Student Services Centre. In August 2013, Monika became a Student Visa & Immigration Advisor and has been responsible for providing immigration advice on Tier 4 visas to students, their dependants and internal departments within the University. Monika brought experience of delivering excellent customer service to large groups as well as understanding the needs of international students to the team. Her interests lie in streamlining processes using new technologies. Previously, Monika worked within the Tourism and Transport industries where she gained first-hand experience of immigration and border control, guiding students across Europe. She has an MSc in Hospitality Management and a BSc in Hotel & Tourism Management from the Maritime University of Gdynia, Poland.

G6 Integration and inclusion on campus: findings from a student-led research project

Category: Student experience, Students' Union

This session will examine insights from a student-led research project conducted at UCL around integration and inclusion, with a particular focus on international students. It will describe the background to the project’s development, how it was conducted, its principal findings and the recommended actions to be implemented both on an individual and institution-wide level. There will also be a brief description of the UCL ChangeMakers Scheme and how this may be a good example of student-staff collaborative work in other institutions. The session will include an opportunity for discussion and will allow colleagues to reflect on the issue of integration at their own institutions, particularly in light of the UK's vote to leave the European Union.

Presenters:  Charlotte Odell, International Student Welfare Coordinator, University College London; Wes Durdle, International Student Adviser, University College London 

Charlotte Odell is the International Student Welfare Coordinator at UCL, advising students on a range of welfare issues and supporting them in their transition to life in the UK. This includes the organisation of orientation and induction activities for new students. Prior to this role, she worked at the University of Cambridge and the University of Sheffield in other student support roles with an international focus, specialising in exchange programmes and Tier 4 immigration advice.

Wes Durdle is the International Student Adviser at UCL, working alongside Charlotte to support international students with welfare-related issues and undertaking projects to enhance the student experience. He has previously worked at Bournemouth University in student recruitment and advice and prior to that spent some time teaching English as a Foreign Language in educational organisations abroad.

G7 Important things to know about IELTS and how to comply with English language requirements

Category: Immigration compliance

This session will focus on the aspects of IELTS which ensure that organisations are accepting results they can trust, and in doing so, remaining secure and compliant with the requirements of UKVI. The session will touch upon relevant aspects of Test Security, Test Report Form Verification and recent UKVI changes. Examples of best practise will be shared. The session will last approximately half an hour and there will be short question and answer session to finish.

Presenter:  Ben Wakeford, IELTS Stakeholder Relations Manager, British Council IELTS

IELTS Stakeholder Relations Manager for the British Council. Ben works closely with IELTS stakeholders (universities, colleges, professional registration bodies, immigration authorities, large employers etc.) attending key industry events, delivering briefings, managing stakeholder information seminars and providing an important channel of communication.

G8 Between expectations and lived experiences: the impact of recruitment strategies on international students’ experiences in UK HE

Category: General interest, UKCISA funded project/research

This presentation reports on a research project which investigates whether international students are affected by UK Higher Education marketing and recruitment strategies and the extent to which such strategies shape students’ expectations of life in the UK. The study consists of four phases: an analysis of the marketing discourses used by Manchester-based HE institutions. and 3 rounds of individual and group interviews to explore whether or not students’ expectations of life in the UK match their lived experiences and the implications of any mismatches on their overall student experience. The main rationale for the project is to provide useful information about transparent student recruitment.

The project is currently in progress and one of its main preliminary findings is that student recruitment is affected by factors such as the role of recruitment agencies in targeted countries, IELTS scores for admission, the diversity of the UK city, and word of mouth.

Presenter:  Khawla Badwan, Lecturer In Tesol And Applied Linguistics, Manchester Metropolitan University 

Dr. Khawla Badwan is lecturer in TESOL and Applied linguistics at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is interested in internationalisation in Higher Education, intercultural communication, plurilingual communication in super-diverse cities, and the implications of mobility and globalisation on language use.

G9 Sirius programme - enabling international students to establish a business in the UK

Category: Immigration

 The aim of this session is to raise awareness of the Sirius Programme amongst staff working with international students.  We will explain how the programme works to enable advisers to inform students of this opportunity and we will present case studies to showcase the benefits of the programme and the diversity of people/businesses selected

The UK Sirius Programme aims to bring some of the most exciting businesses and entrepreneurs from around the world to the UK.

The Programme offers a full support package (including Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa endorsement) to enable promising graduate entrepreneurs with new ideas that have real growth potential to maximise their chances of success.

Two cohorts will be selected to participate each year. Applicants from all countries and all sectors can apply.

The Programme is run by a consortium of private companies and charities on a not for profit basis in partnership with the Department for International Trade (formerly UKTI).

Presenters:  Claire Renwick, Programme Coordinator, Sirius; Timothy Barnes, Chairman of the Sirius Programme, Sirius   

Tim has managed large and small organisations in the private and public sectors ranging from universities to venture capital firms, leading start up companies, charities, political campaigns and public bodies. In 2016, he launched The Rain Gods, a new business that will focus on working with universities and corporates to support their development of entrepreneurial eco-systems. Launch clients included Loughborough University (including leading work on the Growth Builder nationwide scale up programme) and NESTA (looking at small business banking with the CMA). He is the Chairman of the UK’s Sirius Programme.

Until January 2016, he was the Director of UCL Enterprise Operations and Director of UCL Advances, the centre for entrepreneurship at University College London. In 2010 Tim founded the globally successful Citrus Saturday, a non-profit enterprise driving entrepreneurial ambition in school-age children that now runs in sixteen countries. He graduated from UCL in 1997 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2014 was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion for life and was listed in the Sunday Times Maserati 100 for 2015.

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