Sessions C

Thursday 4 July, 11.15am-12.30pm

C1 Bridging the gap between university ecosystems and international student employability

Category: Student experience

Securing a full time job offer after graduation/post graduation for an international student is perceived as being an arduous task as it comes with its own set of legalities, vague information and lack of enough real life case studies.

This session will cover our insights from working with companies and hundreds of international students who have successfully transitioned into the UK job market. Through this, we have been able to identify the barriers that are unintentionally created by the University ecosystem and how addressing them can have a significant impact on student experience and employability.

This session is useful for career advisors, international officers and anyone who might benefit from guidance on providing a conducive environment for employability for international students that is aligned with the requirements of the job market.

Presenter:  Ayesha Goyal, Founder & CEO, Leap Beyond - The UK employability launchpad

Ayesha Goyal is the Founder & CEO of 'Leap Beyond' which aims to advance international student employability and inclusion within UK. Leap Beyond is a one stop employability solution and has impacted over 100 international students in the past 1.5 years by assisting them with graduate job offers and internships with the top companies in the UK.

Ayesha pursued BSc in Finance, Accounting and Management from the University of Nottingham and was awarded the title of the ‘Top 10 Business and Finance Undergraduates of the UK’ in 2012 by TargetJobs and Morgan Stanley. Following her degree, she accepted a job offer from Ernst and Young London and has worked for 2 years as a management consultant.

C2 A practical guide to risk management

Category: Immigration compliance

Risk. It might not be exciting, but it's much more than just a buzzword. Compliance is all about balancing risk. After all, it's impossible, and frankly exhausting, to be 100% compliant all of the time. So how do you decide which bits need urgent attention, and what to let slide? Picking the right battles comes down to effective risk management.

This session will provide you with the crucial information to build and analyse your risk profile. We'll have a look at basic risk registers and techniques for quantifying and managing risk. We'll explore how you can use these not only to prioritise your agenda, but also as a framework in seeking much-needed buy in from senior management.

We will also include a step-by-step guide in identifying and using refusal data published by the ONS to provide your service with an indicator of country specific risk. Now that is exciting!

This session would suit compliance and international recruitment staff looking to identify risk for planning and decision-making purposes. We hope everyone will learn something, but it will be particularly beneficial to those who are less-experienced, or in relatively junior roles and looking to progress their careers.

Presenters:  Lynsey Bendon, Head of Student Services, London Metropolitan University; Ross Porter, Head of International Compliance & Advice, University of Greenwich

Lynsey has worked in student immigration since 2006, firstly as an international student adviser then moving into managing the international advice and compliance service at London Met in 2014 after graduating in the original cohort of the PG Cert International Student Advice and Support awarded in conjunction with the University of Nottingham. In 2016 she became the Head of Student Services at LMU and still oversees the international advice and Tier 4 compliance function. Lynsey is an elected member of the Trustee Board and is also a UKCISA trainer.

Ross is Head of International Compliance & Advice at the University of Greenwich.  He has 9 years' experience of working within immigration compliance at various levels of seniority.

C3 Part-time postgrads under Tier 4

Category: Immigration compliance

The Immigration Rules allow universities to sponsor part-time postgraduate students under Tier 4. When the provision was introduced in January 2018, it seemed innovative and potentially useful, but 18 months later it appears to still be not widely used.

We will look at how the part-time Tier 4 route works, including recent changes this year that make it potentially more attractive to students. 

We will also look at how some institutions are using it to their advantage, to expand the range of courses they can offer to students who need Tier 4 sponsorship.

Presenters:  Andrew Humphrey, Adviser and Trainer, Freelance; Martin Donkin, Queen Mary, University of London

Andrew is a freelance student adviser and trainer who has worked with international students for 30 years.

Martin has been working with international students for over a decade and has recently moved from student advice to compliance. He is currently the Immigration Compliance Officer at Queen Mary University of London.

C4 Thriving outside your comfort zone

Category: Staff support

We live in a time of unprecedented change. You will need resilience if you are to be successful (however you define success!) Delivered by Kathryn Eade, intercultural facilitator and coach of Up+Thrive, this workshop will support you to embrace change, get comfortable with the discomfort and move outside your comfort zone.

Who is it for: Anyone facing change, supporting others through transition or thinking it’s time for something different.

What you will gain from attending: An understanding of what happens when we step out of our comfort zone, how to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, and a set of well-tested strategies you can use to help you make the most of change.

Presenter:  Kathryn Eade, Intercultural Facilitator & Coach, Founder of Up+thrive, Up+thrive

Kathryn is an intercultural facilitator, transition coach and the founder of Up+thrive. Up+thrive supports individuals, teams and organisations to embrace change and thrive outside their comfort zone. Kathryn combines her knowledge of living and working overseas, including Germany, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and most recently Canada, with 20 years experience of facilitating intercultural groups and coaching others to overcome the challenges of transition. She is particularly interested in supporting the HE sector using her insightful and positive approach to deliver organisation-wide consultancy, group workshops and one to one coaching. More about Kathryn and Up+thrive can be found at www.upandthrive.com

C5 Creating a culture of compliance across an institution: benefits & challenges using case studies (repeated as F4)

Category: Immigration compliance

Compliance is the responsibility of all staff working with international students but it sometimes feels like it is the team with ‘compliance’ or ‘visa’ in their title that are perceived to be responsible. How do we ensure that we get our other colleagues on board?

Case study 1 will look at institutions where Tier 4 compliance and HR services have come together to create a joined-up approach to compliance and the long term benefits that this has had.

Case study 2 will look at working closely with staff based in Recruitment, Marketing and Admissions to ensure compliance amongst agents and potential students, as well as the challenge of engaging with academics and other support services.

The session will also give delegates the opportunity to think about their own institutions and how they can identify potential ‘partners’ to work with to help fashion a ‘culture of compliance’ amongst all staff.

Presenters:  Richard Melia, Head of Home Office Compliance, The University of Salford; Naheeda Kauser, Head of the International Student Support & UKVI Compliance Team, University of Bradford

Richard has worked as the Head of Home Compliance at the University of Salford since July 2016, being responsible for a team of nine compliance and visa support officers, as well as designing and managing the University’s policies and processes relating to Tier 4 students and right to study. Prior to this he was the Senior Immigration Adviser at the University of Central Lancashire (between March 2009 and June 2016), where he designed and implemented many of the systems used by UCLan to monitor and engage with Tier 4 students, following a stint as a Welfare and Immigration Adviser at the University of Huddersfield between October 2006 and February 2009.

Richard has served as Chair of the Association of International Student Advisers (AISA) and is currently an executive member of the Immigration Compliance Network (ICN), undertaking the role of Treasurer.

Naheeda is the Head of the International Student Support & UKVI Compliance Team at the University of Bradford and manages a team of staff responsible for all aspects of the international student experience – welcome, orientation, visa advice, welfare and pastoral support throughout the student journey and Tier 4 compliance. She has over 11 years’ experience in student support and Tier 4 compliance.

Prior to joining University of Bradford she worked in the voluntary sector managing staff who gave advice on welfare benefits, debt, housing and employment law. She also has several years’ experience of advocacy and representation (up to OISC level 3) in all areas of immigration and nationality law under a legal aid franchise. The latter involved regular audits by the Legal Aid Board of the quality of advice as well as policies, procedures in relation to client care, key dates, training and CPD, supervision, independent file reviews, referrals and conflict of interest.

Naheeda has been on the AISA Executive Committee for six years as the training and regional lead and is currently serving as the co-Chair of the ICN Executive Committee.

C6 Attendance monitoring: a new era?

Category: Immigration compliance

Implementing UKVI’s attendance monitoring guidance has been one of the biggest compliance challenges for institutions since the birth of Tier 4. Changes to this guidance by UKVI in 2019 will provide new challenges but also new opportunities as institutions will be required to review their existing systems to ensure that they are fit for purpose.

This session will provide a summary of what we know so far about this year’s changes and an analysis of emerging issues and themes. The presenters will share the planning that has happened within their own institutions in response to the new guidance and will invite participants to do the same.

Presenters:  Jim Price, Student Immigration Services Manager, University of Exeter; Sanjay Parmar, Assistant Registrar (Immigration & Compliance Services), Regent’s University; Justin Talbot, Immigration Policy Manager, Goldsmiths University London

Jim Price is the Student Immigration Services Manager at the University of Exeter. He has worked with international students at three different institutions since 2001 and has been a member of the ICN Executive Committee since 2014.

Sanjay Parmar joined Regent’s University London in 2012 as the Assistant Registrar (Immigration & Compliance Services) where he has both strategic and operational oversight of the university’s immigration advice and compliance functions. Sanjay has almost 10 years’ experience working in the field of student immigration, in both the private and public sector. He acted as Regional Lead for the Immigration Compliance Network (ICN) for the London & South East region in 2017 and subsequently elected in as a member of the ICN Executive Committee in 2018.

Justin Talbot is currently Immigration Policy Manager at Goldsmiths University London, which has been a Tier 4 pilot institution since April 2018. He manages the Universities internal immigration policies covering Tier 4, Tier 2 and the Right to Work. Having worked in the sector since the introduction of the Tier 4 Points Based System, he was elected to be a member of the ICN Executive Committee in 2018 as the Training and Events Officer.


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