UKCISA Fest 2021 Day 2

17 November 2021

We had another fantastic day yesterday, filled with insightful and engaging sessions on Day 2 of this year’s #UKCISAFest.

Our second Facebook Live session, with Rob Young from UKCISA and Siqi Jia, a UKCISA #WeAreInternational Student Ambassador thoroughly detailed several aspects of what would be helpful for an international student to know prior to coming to study in the UK. Topics covered in the discussion ranged from pre-departure advice and guidance, how life works in the UK and culture shock. The session is available to watch back at any time via Vimeo here or on Facebook here.

Two of our #WeAreInternational Student Ambassadors, Katie Crabtree and Natalja Nassanova co-hosted a session on the creation of the #WeAreInternational Student Charter which has been produced to encourage education providers to prioritise the international student experience, in line with the ambitions of the IES. Discussion of the key priorities of the charter were addressed, which include: creating a welcoming, inclusive and equitable environment for international students in the UK​, embedding international students’ perspective and voices in institutional policy and decision-making​ and reviewing available support and provision for international students on an ongoing basis.

Both of our UKCISA Member Sessions took place yesterday, with the first outlining The International Student Employability Group (ISEG), what the group’s aim is and how it can support international students. Presentations from AGCAS and ISE were given, with detailed explanations of how they work with and support international students. The second UKCISA Member Session, "Reimagining the International Student Experience" outlined challenges and targets in relation to the #WeAreInternational Student Charter, in order to develop a next draft to take to wider sector consultation.

"Explore your Students' Union” was a detailed session that discussed the positive change that Student Unions can provide and how the speakers have worked strategically within their institutions. Our speakers were Joana Korley, International Students' Officer at the University of Manchester Students' Union , Taylor Ogle, International and Community Officer at the University of Sheffield's Students' Union and UKCISA #WeAreInternational Student Ambassador Natalja Nassonova. Conversation ranged from their responsibilities in their role to how Student Unions’ can encourage more students to become involved with what they offer.

JR Candia and Anna So, two of UKCISA’s #WeAreInternational Student Ambassadors, alongside Meg Baker from Students Organising for Sustainability, Jonathan Withey from PlanetMark and Ginelle Greene-Dewasmes, PhD student at the University of York co-hosted a session on climate change, sharing their experiences and the impact on the international student community around the world. Both JR and Anna discussed how climate change has affected their home countries, with Meg, Jonathon and Ginelle detailing specific terminology and what we can do now to help the global crisis.

Taking place this afternoon at 15:00, during the third and final day of #UKCISAFest 2021, in celebration of this year’s International Students' Day, we will be celebrating with the APPG for International Students on the return of the UK’s graduate visa. Our expert panel of students will be joined by staff who work in careers and employability and in UK based embassies. Students will share their experiences of work, work-based learning and their hopes for when they graduate.

All previous #UKCISAFest sessions are available to watch again, on-demand via the Cvent platform at any time.