What is WeAreInternational?

The #WeAreInternational campaign celebrates international students in the UK.

Over 600,000 international students study, live and work in the UK each year, forming lifelong connections and enriching our campuses and culture.

The UK’s education sector thrives on these global connections. International innovation and research collaboration is key to solving our shared global challenges.

International students, on average, make a £58 million net economic contribution per constituency, equivalent to approximately £560 per citizen. 

About the campaign

Last modified: 01 February 2024

The #WeAreInternational campaign celebrates international students in the UK, sharing their contributions through storytelling and welcoming current and prospective students to the UK.

Our three main areas of work are:

The benefits of international students

Last modified: 01 February 2024

International students come to the UK to receive a world-class education. In return, they contribute their own experiences and knowledge to enhance the student experience as a whole. More broadly, their diversity enriches the communities they live, study and work in.

Social benefits

Financial benefits

Where it all began

Last modified: 01 February 2024

The #WeAreInternational campaign was co-founded by the University of Sheffield and its students’ union in 2013. With the support of other universities and sector partners, the campaign aimed to recognise and value the positive impact of international students and staff in UK universities. The campaign won a number of awards, including Best International Strategy from Times Higher Education, as well as awards from PIE News and the Guardian.

In 2019, UKCISA took over this award-winning campaign and developed the #WeAreInternational Student Ambassador programme to empower international students to be key partners in shaping a quality student experience, using their knowledge and first-hand experience of studying in the UK to influence policy, lead the #WeAreInternational campaign and develop an inclusive global student community.

In 2022, the student ambassadors created the #WeAreInternational Student Charter, developed with the input of students and staff from across the international education sector in the UK. The charter provides guidance on the fundamental principles for delivering a world-class international student experience, from pre-arrival to post-graduation.

In 2023, we launched the #WeAreInternational Grants scheme to focus on integrating the principles of the charter in higher and further education institutions in the UK through research and projects. We also launched a cross-sector phase of the #WeAreInternational campaign to increase positive sentiment towards international students and improve perceptions of how welcoming the UK is.