The UK’s first-ever international student charter has just been released by UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). UKCISA’s successful campaign #WeAreInternational has led to the formation of this student charter which has been written by a team of student ambassadors and staff across the international education sector who came together to define what the international student experience should look like.
This international student character aims to help institutions in creating a “world-class international student experience”, ensuring that the tenet of this charter is to make the UK home for students. The charter provides guidance on the basic principles for delivering a world-class international student experience, from pre-arrival to post-graduation.
The Chair of the UKCISA Student Advisory Group, Simran Mahakan, says that international students add value to the UK and that UKCISA supports every plan to improve the student experience in the government’s International Education Strategy and that the students’ voices should play a vital role in progressing this agenda.
The charter focuses broadly on the whole experience of studying abroad and aims to maintain a sense of equality among students across different social, academic, and employability measures. Other themes included in the charter are employer engagement and mental health support. The team of student ambassadors defines five key principles that should be included to ensure “delivering a world-class international student experience from pre-arrival to post-graduation”. These main principles are inclusivity, collaboration, sustainability, enhanced support, and targeted support. In other words, the main principles the students need are creating a welcoming environment for international students that has inclusivity and equality, valuing the students’ perspectives and voices, and providing targeted support for students in each and every area across the student experience.
UKCISA Chief Executive, Anne Marie Graham, says that they are hopeful that this charter will help in having more discussions and dialogues between education providers and international students. She also stated, “We encourage education providers to use the charter and embed the principles into their international student experience strategies.”