Last week Sheffield Students’ Union hosted the International Student Experience Development Day, a half day conference for International Students’ Officer and staff working with international students run jointly by NUS and UKCISA. The day opened with a panel discussion including the Chief Executive of UKCISA Dominic Scott and NUS International Students’ Officer Daniel Stevens in which panellists and the delegates discussed the current problems facing staff working on behalf of international students. Delegates then split into two strands one focusing on the challenges facing staff working on behalf of international students and the other focusing on how officers campaign on the issues facing international students.
Within workshops in the staff strand delegates discussed different approaches to welfare and advice for international students, followed by a session on the general problems facing staff culminating in how staff working with international students can build networks. While in the officer workshops delegates learnt about campaigning, the role of international student officers, international students in their local communities and finally how to get to get international students more involved in campaigning.
Delegates then returned for a closing panel in which officers from Sheffield, Queen Mary, Loughborough and Edinburgh students’ unions discussed how partnerships can be built for international students. For most this was the first time international student officers had met with staff wokring on international student issues so the day was a success for all involved and created a stronger sense of where new partnerships and campaigns can be forged.
A number of resources are now available from the day and are listed below: