What we do

Last modified: 25 September 2018

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is the UK’s national advisory body supporting international students and those who work with them. We provide advice, guidance and information about all aspects of the international student experience, from immigration and fees to mental health, culture shock and orientation.

We are a membership organisation for all institutions, students' unions and organisations working with international students and also provide information and advice directly to students around the world.

We aim to: 

  • increase support for international education and raise awareness of its values and benefits
  • promote opportunities for - and identify and work to reduce obstacles and barriers to - greater student mobility
  • encourage best practice, professional development and the highest quality of institutional support for international students throughout the education sector.

Our work with institutions and students’ unions

Last modified: 09 November 2017

We are a membership organisation with more than 500 members, including every university in the UK, a number of FE colleges and students’ unions. Membership is per each organisation, so all colleagues have access to our services. See if your institution or students' union is a member. 

We provide advice, training, guidance, discussion and debate about all aspects of the international student experience, including immigration, fees, student support, mental health and orientation.

We do this by: 

  • monitoring and influencing government and education sector policy through close contact with senior officials, policy makers, MPs, partner organisations and sector bodies
  • keeping up-to-date with current legislation and regulations to ensure we can keep our members equipped with skills to support international students
  • publishing regular news updates and publications  which keep members and students up to date on current legislation, regulations and resources
  • delivering high quality advice line services for members and training which assist with immediate areas of difficulty and contribute to greater professional expertise
  • initiating and encouraging research through our UKCISA grants which helps to identify key issues and areas for future investigation and development working indirectly and in partnership with others to encourage greater mobility from, as well as to, the UK
  • supporting, sustaining and expanding a network of members committed to the ideals of international education and the highest standards of international student support

Our work with students

Last modified: 29 March 2018

As well as providing training and advice for universities, schools, colleges and students’ unions to support international students, we also work directly with students. This includes:

  • keeping up-to-date with current legislation and regulations to ensure we can advise students accurately
  • writing information for students all over the world. Our ‘info and advice’ section on this website is written for current and prospective international students and includes up-to-date information about immigration rules, fees, government student support and  living and working in the UK
  • offering advice on our students advice line. This helpline is for international students or parents with specific questions about immigration, fees and student experience and is open every weekday afternoon between 1pm and 4pm (UK time)
  • creating news items to inform international students. This is sent out in a monthly enews. Register to sign up

Our Annual Review

Last modified: 14 June 2018

We review our achievements and challenges of the past year, 2017-18, and look ahead at the priorities and targets for 2018-19. 

Read our 50th anniversary annual review with an introduction by the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Prof Koen Lamberts,  and a look to the future by our President, Lord Bilimoria.