With recent economic and political changes, Donald Trump's presidency and the UK Brexit vote in particular, we know that there is a fear amongst many international students both abroad, and in the UK, that an atmosphere of hostility towards students from outside the West is increasing. Plenty of international applicants simply feel that the UK government isn't doing enough to make them feel at ease about their future studying abroad.
However, while the UK government might be tightening their policies on immigration in the response to the Brexit vote, UK universities are taking a completely different approach. Feeling the burden of easing student fears has been put on them, they are making great efforts to support the international community.
What are UK universities doing to help international students?
The #WeAreInternational campaign was co-founded by the President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Sheffield, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, and the President of the University of Sheffield Students Union (2012-13), Abdi Aziz-Suleiman. The campaign is now backed by over 100 UK universities. International organisations, including the British Council, have also lent their support.
In an extract from their website, the #WeAreInternational campaign describe themselves, and their aims as:
“We are deeply proud of our international university communities and what we gain from our diverse student and staff population is immeasurable. Scholars from across the continent and the world enhance our academic life, knowledge and our economic growth. They are central to the teaching of students and research in everything from medicine and science to engineering, social sciences and the arts and humanities.
We are committed to ensuring our universities remain diverse, inclusive communities of international scholarships open to students and staff from across the world.
We will continue to ensure our research knows no geographical boundaries and our students and staff from around the world are able to celebrate their own cultures and friendships.
Our commitment to the UK remaining a welcoming home of global scholarship, which provides a superb education to the most talented people from around the world remains firm.”
Campaigns from supporting organisations and universities include:
British Council, in partnership with Great Britain
Study UK: Discover You
De Montfort University
University of Kent
University of Sheffield
You can find the full list of universities supporting the #WeAreInternational campaign here.
What is UKEC doing to help international students?UKEC is one of a few companies in the UK listed on the #WeAreInternational website's list of supporters.
We are honoured to be participating in this campaign as we are passionate about helping international students studying in the UK. We recognise the importance of international study, and the benefits it can bring to both the student and host country alike.
With that in mind, we want your help to raise awareness of the #WeAreInternational campaign, and the benefits of being an international student in the UK.
Upload a selfie on Instagram, either on your own or with your friends, and tell us what you love most about studying in the UK. Tag a friend, and nominate them to share their story too! Make sure you tag us in your picture, @ukeducationcentre and use the hashtag #WeAreInternational.
Keep up to date with all the latest news from UKEC on Facebook and Instagram.