International Student Forum 2019


UKCISA wants to ensure that international students are represented in policy development and government strategy.

This free one-day event, held on 18 November 2019 at Woburn House in London, brought together international students from across the UK to share their experiences and influence policy. They heard from experts and explored diverse aspects of their experience, from the application process through to post-graduation. There was an opportunity to network with the wider sector at the evening reception, held at the British Library, celebrating the award-winning #WeAreInternational campaign.



Read the blog about the day




9.00-10.00 Registration and coffee: Woburn House, London

Welcome from UKCISA: Anne Marie Graham, Chief Executive, UKCISA


Opening remarks: Dr Knut Schroeder, Founder and Director, Expert Self Care


Application and arrival: have we done it right?

A panel discussion led by sector experts and student representatives exploring real student experience with applications and arrivals of UK education providers and how they can be better supported, key discussion points with case studies:

  • Cultural shock and mental health support
  • Integrated approach to enhance international student experience beyond orientation programmes
  • Pathway programme transition
  • International student recruitment marketing

Chaired by Vincenzo Raimo, Chief Relationship Officer, Unilodgers


  • Claire O’Leary, Assistant Director – Global Student Experience, Warwick University
  • Willow Wong, Student, Royal Holloway University of London; Former Vice President Welfare, Royal Holloway Students’ Union
  • Martin Hookham, Head of International, University of Sussex; British Universities International Liaison Association (BUILA) Executive Member
  • Wahida Ashiq, Founder, Great British Mag



Workshops/Roundtables: global student community

  • Community Engagement: Challenging the Stereotypes of International Students - Matthew Kon, Kadri Paju, Chevening Secretariat 
  • Exploring Students Unions: Building Global Student Communities - Erica Ramos, National Union of Students
  • Immigration Policy: what’s next? - Sarah Rimmington, UKCISA & Stephanie Harris, Universities UK

Lunch and networking

Workshops/Roundtables: global student experience
  • Student Representation: Prove it - Using evidence to represent international students - Jim Dickinson, WonkHE
  • International Education Strategy: How can we empower and support international students to co-deliver it with the sector and the government? Anne Marie Graham, UKCISA; Steve Woodfield, British Council
  • Political Engagement: APPG on International Students inquiry - Joy Elliot-Bowman, Former Secretariat for APPG on International Students



Post-graduation and employability

A panel discussion led by international students and recent graduates exploring how the sector and government can work with students to enhance graduate employability and expand alumni network, with key discussion points:

  • Work with businesses and employers in the UK, to help them understand the visa rules and restrictions; to support them to take international graduates through the new PSW visa or becoming Tier 2 sponsors
  • Support the current student cohort who might not be eligible to apply for the 2-year PSW visa
  • How institutions can improve their student career service by making information, advice and guidance tailored for international graduates

Chaired by
Julie Allen, Director of Policy and Services, UKCISA


  • Whiskey Chow, Visiting Lecturer, Royal College of Art, Former Co-President, Royal College of Art Students’ Union
  • Abhiyaan Malhotra, Education and Mobility Officer,
    Erasmus Student Network UK
  • Stella Wang, Career Support Officer, University of Bristol
  • Dhruv Krishnaraj, Co-Founder, Student Circus​​

Closing remarks: Daniel Stevens, Knowledge Quarter


Evening reception at Kings Library Gallery, British Library
Celebrating International Education Week and #WeAreInternational 

Keynote Speaker to be announced

Universities UK International Representative

International Student Representative: Rex Béchu, University of Sheffield

We have a diverse mix of experts sharing insight and leading discussions about all aspects of the student journey.

Please see short biographies of our key speakers below.

Anne Marie Graham

Dr Knut Schroeder

Vincenzo Raimo

Claire O’Leary

Willow Wong

Martin Hookham

Wahida Ashiq

Matthew Kon

Erica Ramos

Stephanie Harris

Jim Dickinson

Joy Elliott-Bowman

Whiskey Chow 

Abhiyaan Malhotra

Stella Wang

Dhruv Krishnaraj

Rex Béchu

Thanks to our sponsors!

Forum Partner: Evening Reception Partner: