Sessions G

Friday 5 July, 11.15-11.55am

G1 The dreaded GDPR one year on - lessons learnt? Next challenge: Brexit! data protection for international students

Category: General

Everyone's two favourite words: GDPR and Brexit!

Assessing the lay of the land now the initial GDPR induced panic has died down.

A presentation covering the Lessons Learnt over the last year concerning data protection issues as they arise for International Students including top tips on how to best handle:

  • Social media accounts for education providers - use of student photographs and data;
  • Data surrounding exams – scripts, marks, requests from parents;
  • Student disability data for reasonable adjustments;
  • Potential data breaches including reporting to the ICO.
  • Where do we go next in light of Brexit? Preparation and management of transfers and sharing of International student data outside of the EU. Where to start and what steps to take.

    This session is aimed at all those handling student data on a daily basis who wish to gain a detailed understanding of best practice in this field.

    Presenter:  Bryony Poynor, Barrister and Assistant Director of Compliance for Kaplan, Kaplan International and Garden Court Chambers

    Bryony is a barrister of 10 years experience who is a specialist in data protection Certified Information Privacy Professional by the IAPP. As the Assistant Director of Compliance, Bryony rolled out a Privacy Programme at Kaplan International including designing online E-training on GDPR for all staff, development of data protection policies specific to the education sector and managing queries to the Data Protection Officer thereafter.

    Bryony has a detailed knowledge of Tier 4 and Immigration Compliance for Education Providers having practised in the field of Immigration Law at Garden Court Chambers. Bryony also provides advice and representation for the full range of cases arising from the ‘Points Based System’ including applicants sponsor licence holders alike. She specialises in public and administrative law and her work includes judicial review, advisory work for clients seeking to avoid litigation and fines by the ICO. She undertakes advocacy at Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal level.

    G2 Digital messaging for student wellbeing

    Category: Student experience

    Sam Cooke (Student Services Adviser - Health and Wellbeing, University College Birmingham), and Clare Bradshaw (Executive Manager, UniHealth) present a case study of how digital messaging is being used to promote positive health and wellbeing to students through a preventative digital messaging support programme. Explore results from surveys at four universities how digital messaging can help support students as they transition into university and enhance their sense of belonging by providing a flexible, personalised and 'constantly' present support system. Hear through testimonials, how international students responded to and engaged with this approach and how the programme helped overcome barriers to students accessing support and inspired them to take positive steps to manage their wellbeing while at university.

    This session is relevant to anyone involved with international students, student support and enhancing the student experience.

    Presenters:  Clare Bradshaw, Executive Manager, Unihealth; Sam Cooke, Student Support Advisor, University College Birmingham

    Clare is the Executive Manager of Unihealth - the UK's first digital messaging programme for student health and wellbeing.

    Sam is a Student Support Advisor at University College Birmingham.

    G3 Setting realistic KPI's whilst considering the complexity of delivering immigration advice

    Category: Student experience

    Finding it hard to cope with a never ending inbox of queries? Struggling to collate and make sense of all those statistics?

    In an environment where we are increasingly asked to quantify a team’s delivery, how can you set realistic KPIs whilst taking in to consideration the complexity of delivering immigration advice?

    In this session we will share how we developed the use of our existing systems to benchmark and improve our customer service delivery, get more insights from our data and continually improve our service.

    Presenters:  Hayley Gatade, Student Visa & Immigration Adviser, University of Southampton; Catherine Cutts, Student Visa & Immigration Adviser, University of Southampton

    Hayley has worked as a Student Visa & Immigration Advisor at the University of Southampton since May 2018. Hayley came to this role with a background in immigration after working for UK Visas & Immigration for four years in Mumbai as an Entry Clearance Officer and most recently as an Education Account Manager.

    Catherine has worked at the University of Southampton as a Student Visa & Immigration Advisor since August 2017. Before that she worked for UK Visas and Immigration as the British Embassy in Morocco, first as an Entry Clearance Officer and then as the Office Manager. Catherine is also an English language teacher and has taught English in Greece and Morocco.

    G4 Meet and greet, Oxford Brookes style

    Category: Student experience

    We've been meeting our students at the airport over arrivals weekend for over 10 years. However, the number of students using the scheme had been falling for some time - it was time for some changes. We needed it to appeal to more students and we needed it to cost less money!

    Join this session to find out what we changed, what worked and what we've still got left to work on.

    Presenter:  Caroline Simpson, International Student Adviser, Oxford Brookes University

    Caroline has worked as an International Student Adviser at Oxford Brookes University for the last four years. She normally advises about visas and immigration and has the 'Meet and Greet' as an additional project for September entry. Before this she worked in the Admissions office at Brookes and before that at some Australian Universities.

    G5 The international student experience: opinions from the student (home and international) and staff perspective

    Category: Student experience

    Home students find the transition from school/college to university hard until they become accustomed with academic language and typical conventions. International students have all of these, and more: language-barriers, social and cultural customs, different norms and values, different teaching and learning styles, different expectations, family and economic pressures.

    Current international student withdrawal rates are worse than home students, suggesting that more could be done to help the international student community. With increases in international student numbers at both UG and PGT level it is essential that universities recognise and acknowledge the needs, of all staff and students, to ensure a harmonious learning environment is in place.

    This project sets out to identify and understand the challenges that international students face in a typical university setting. Insights can then guide best practice and promote a culture of inclusiveness.

    Presenters:  Daniel Jones, Lecturer, University of Reading

    Dr Dan Jones is a lecturer in the School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading. Dan’s primary research area examines the link between physiological illness and aspects of cognition such as memory and attention. He is also interested in the psychological well-being of clinical patients, general cognition in healthy adults and neuropsychology. Dan spent two years as a lecturer at the University of Reading’s Malaysian campus between 2015 and 2017. Upon his return he took up the role of International Tutor for the School, and since then has been working to improve the international student experience.

    G6 The international student talent pool: finding internships for international students

    Category: Student experience

    This session will showcase the International Student Talent Pool Programme which worked with local employers to find paid work experience opportunities for international students. The session will highlight the learning from the project including the successes and the challenges faced, and will provide recommendations for colleagues interested in providing similar opportunities to students.

    The session will be of interest to any colleagues interested in supporting the international student experience.

    Presenters:  Luke Hahn, Information and Employment Adviser, University of Portsmouth; Guy Townsin, Careers Manager, University of Portsmouth

    Luke Hahn works as an Information and Employment Adviser at the University of Portsmouth with a particular responsibility for supporting international students.

    Guy Townsin is the Careers Manager at the University of Portsmouth and oversees all provision for the support of international students including the running of the International Student Talent Pool.

    Luke and Guy led the UKCISA funded International Student Talent Pool programme at the University of Portsmouth which sought to find paid work experience for international students.

    G7 Student welfare: reflections from Thailand

    Category: General

    The wellbeing of international students studying at UK universities can be a major concern in what can be a stressful and alien environment. However, issues of mental and physical health are not restricted to international students.

    My doctoral research was initiated in response to some academically gifted Thai scholarship students experiencing stress-related ailments, disappointing grades, illness and in serious cases returning home without completing their studies.

    This topic is relevant to UK universities, teachers, students and their sponsors.

    I refer to a recent conference in Thailand focusing on practical strategies to holistically support scholarship students travelling abroad to continue their studies. I also explain the role of the Office of Educational Affairs in supporting Thai students of all ages studying in the UK.

    Challenging discussion questions are posed regarding student welfare, in relation to data protection, the role of faculty and the value of pre-sessional courses for international students.

    Presenter:  Angela Cleary, Education Advisor & Head of Private Students, The Royal Thai Embassy

    Angela Cleary was a senior teacher for many years both in the state and independent secondary school sectors.

    For the past 16 years she has held the post of Education Advisor and Head of Private Students at the Office of Educational Affairs, The Royal Thai Embassy. This role highlighted the challenges faced by some Thai students studying in the UK through the medium of a second language. To obtain a better understanding of the issues they faced she completed an MEd in Bilingualism in Education with the University of Birmingham.

    It was also apparent that some academically gifted Thai students were experiencing problems at their UK universities. The dearth of information available initiated her doctoral research into the challenges faced by Thai scholarship students studying one year Master’s courses at UK universities.

    She was recently awarded a PhD by the School of Education at the University of Birmingham.


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