A spot of early morning yoga eased us into the final day of conference 2017. Final sessions included a reality check of the net migration numbers, cultivating student entrepreneurs, reducing your refusal rate and integration and inclusion on campus. It also featured sessions led by some of our grants schemes.
‘It’s like a counselling service is our last choice, it’s our worst choice, sorry.’
In one of the most popular sessions at this year’s conference, Plymouth University shared their findings from their 2015 UKCISA-funded research exploring the wellbeing needs of international students.
Their study revealed that many international students in their university were unfamiliar with what counselling was, associated it with notions of mental illness and expressed reluctance to use the services.
Practical recommendations and examples of how to destigmatise counselling through social activities (with focus on action rather than speaking) included arranging events for international students with food and board games.
If you’d like to read more you can view their findings.
Closing plenary: Q&A with the Home Office
Following the success and feedback from last year, we closed this year’s conference with an opportunity to hear from the Home Office and to ask questions.
The plenary focused on ‘what next with Tier 4 student policy and processes?’ and was attended by senior representatives from the Home Office: Paul Regan, Head of Migration Policy Unit, Immigration and Border Policy Directorate; Ollie Carlisle, Head of PBS Study Operations, Work Study Visas, UK Visas and Immigration; Anna Lacey, Head of Student Migration Policy, Immigration and Border Policy Directorate and Bharat Pamnani, Assistant Director UK Visas and Immigration.
Credibility and curtailments continued to be raised as issues which was noted by the Home Office. There was a sense of honesty in the auditorium which came across from the senior panel.
See you next year!
So there we are. Another conference has flown by!
Next year we’ll be celebrating our 50th anniversary so join us in Edinburgh for UKCISA 2018 between 27 – 29 June.
Feeling inspired by this year’s conference? Proposals open in November if you’d like to submit ideas for a presentation or workshop.
Jane Woodley is Web and Comms Manager at UKCISA. You can keep up-to-date with more conference news by following us on Twitter.