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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.