PIEoneer awards 2023 – Emerging leader of the year

Blog for members
20 September 2023
0     0

Editorial note: Congratulations to Yinbo for being awarded as co-winner for this award!

The third and final part of our recent celebration of UKCISA’s award nominated work focuses on our Head of Engagement & Partnerships, Yinbo Yu, who has been recognised as a finalist in the Emerging leader of the year category at this year’s PIEoneer Awards, established by The PIE. 

Read on for Yinbo’s thoughts on his nomination, as well as his reflections on the work he has undertaken this year, and his own personal journey to now being recognised as an Emerging leader in the international education sector. 

How does it feel to be nominated for this award? 

I am honoured to be nominated for this award alongside many amazing sector colleagues. It is tempting to lament some of the unfortunate policy announcements this year on international students, but now it’s more important than ever to celebrate international students and those who work so incredibly hard with and for them in our sector.   

What does it mean for you and your work at UKCISA to be nominated for this award? 

International students are at the heart of everything we do at UKCISA, and I’m proud that we are leading the #WeAreInternational campaign which amplifies authentic student voices. We strive to empower international students to be key partners in policy influencing by using their knowledge and first-hand experience of studying in the UK. I am delighted to be able to help deliver our vision for a world-class international student experience by working with and learning from our diverse international student community in the UK. 

Which particular projects and/or areas of your work are you most proud of? 

Since the launch of the #WeAreIntetnational Student Ambassador programme, I’m glad that we have supported four cohorts of student ambassadors, who have completed more than 300 external engagements with over 50 government and sector agencies in the UK and around the world.  

The creation of the #WeAreInternational Student Charter was a game changer last year. As a student-led document, written by UKCISA’s #WeAreInternational student ambassadors, and developed with the input of students and staff from the international education sector, the charter provides guidance on the fundamental principles for delivering a world-class international student experience, from pre-arrival to post-graduation.  

Through our annual student-facing event UKCISA Fest, we provide a platform to champion international student voices, forging an exciting network of global student leaders, and equipping thousands of students to date with policy knowledge and leadership skills to lead change. 

This year, we are taking #WeAreInternational even further, by collaborating with key sector partners and sharing international student stories to increase positive sentiment among UK politicians, media and the public by demonstrating the impact of international students’ cultural, academic and social achievements and successes.  

How do you feel that you have developed personally and professionally as a leadership figure? 

As an alumnus of UK and international education, I am lucky to have developed a rewarding career in policy and partnerships that allows me to give back to the international education community. I am proud to be working in a sector where there are so many great leadership figures for me to look up to and learn from, including our Chief Executive Anne Marie Graham. I am grateful that I had a positive experience studying and working in the UK, and I want as many students as possible to have the life-changing opportunities that I have had. I look forward to continuing to work with our members and colleagues in making that possible. 

Applications for the #WeAreInternational Student Ambassador programme will open on 2 October 2024.  

UKCISA Fest 2023, will take place on 15 November 2023, at International Students House in London.