This is our second year of the Paul Webley Award for Innovation in International Education. All of the projects and research that we funded over the past year were eligible for the award. We set up the awards in memory of our former Chair.
We were so impressed with the ideas and the projects that we decided to award more than one institution. This year we have two highly commended and one winner for the award. Professor Sir Steve Smith and Chair of our Board Koen Lamberts presented the award and certificates at our annual conference.
Winner: Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester Metropolitan University’s research explored recruitment strategies and their impact on international students’ real experiences in the UK.
The research used in-depth student focus groups at three Manchester-based universities: Manchester Met, Manchester and Salford. The researchers encouraged reflection and dialogue between the students giving the students themselves a learning experience as part of the research.
The judges noted the lack of existing research about how international student marketing materials are perceived by the students themselves, and so this research will provide evidence for a ‘sobering reality check’ and could have a significant impact on recruitment practices across the UK.
Dr. Khawla Badwan, Programme Leader said:
"It has been an absolute honour and privilege to have won the Paul Webley Award for Innovation in International Education in recognition of the importance of my research project which would not have been possible without the support of the UKCISA grant scheme. I’d like to encourage colleagues in the sector to apply for this grant to address what puzzles them about international student experience in UK HE in order to find innovative ways of improving their professional practice."
Julie Allen, Director of Policy and Services at UKCISA said:
“It is not easy to select a winner from such a broad range of projects and research but the quality of the application and the subsequent reports really stood out for this one. We wanted to mark this research because the ultimate beneficiaries will be the international students themselves who, we hope, will receive more realistic and better quality guidance and information as they start on their student journey”.
Highly commended: Nottingham Trent University
Nottingham Trent University’s ‘Global voices in Science’ programme selected a team of international students and alumni to deliver curriculum activities. The focus was on STEM subject students but the judges noted that the project had ‘tangible outcomes that could be disseminated widely across the sector’.
Highly commended: Edinburgh College
Edinburgh College’s ‘Volunteer for Success’ aimed to create year-round opportunities for FE students with a work prohibition. The judges noted how badly FE colleges have been affected by the tightening of student visa regulations in recent years, and how this project offers an example of how to offer quality working experience without breaching the immigration rules.
Congratulations to all the winners. If you’d like to be eligible for the award next year, find out how to apply for a grant.