Why are we doing this work?

International Students make a huge percentage and contribution to UAL, and we want to campaign for them to be valued and celebrated by the institution. In recent years, IS have seen rapidly rising fees, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated existing issues, such as rental discrepencies, access to resources and difficulties studying remotely and in a second-language.

Research has also shown that international students get little support post-HE, as they navigate visas, careers and housing.This priority falls alongside the Students’ Union’s ongoing work on Decolonisation. A significant proportion of international students are from BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds, which is why better support for these students should be essential to UAL’s anti-racism strategy.

We want to tackle these barriers! The current Officer Team will be building on the wins of previous Welfare Officer Pinky Latt, who achieved Arts SU funded visa expenses for International Sabbatical Officers, opening the UAL Hardship Fund to International Students and a more inclusive curriculum for ESL speakers.  

 

What are our primary goals and objectives for this Academic Year?

  • Revised and standardised UAL-wide policy around Attendance Monitoring.

  • Lobby UAL for a fee freeze, or an increase tied to inflation, for International Students.

  • Launch ‘Before, During & Beyond UAL’ programme for international students, to access support around visas, housing and careers, as well as to build social networks.

 

What are we working on?

What is the project: What have we achieved: What is in the pipeline:

UAL are in the process of writing a new Attendance Monitoring policy which could disproportionately affect International Students and compromise their visas.  

Update w/c 15/11/2021.

We want to be involved in the conversation to revise attendance monitoring policy, and also want to ensure that any policy enacted is standardised UAL-wide.

We want to lobby UAL for a fee freeze, or an increase tied to inflation, for International Students. Alongside this, we want to see more tailored support and bursaries.

Our Advice & Policy team is currently putting together a research campaign to highlight fee increases against international student satisfaction, inernational student support, attainment gaps and inflation.

We want to champion a more tailored support package for EU students, who now fall under the International moniker. We also want to lobby UAL to adopt a 'widening participation' approach to International Student Bursaries, considering personal means alongside academic achievements.

Launch ‘Before, During & Beyond UAL’ programme for international students, to access support around visas, housing and careers, as well as to build social networks.

From January 2022, we will be reintroducing International Student Forums, alongside our new Student Termly Forums, to ensure international students have a platform to speak about the issues affecting them.

We want to see pro-bono visa and legal support, alongside a commitment from UAL to International Student Scholarships.

We are looking to work with the Careers Service, to see what tailored support they can offer International Students.

 

Want to chat to one of our Officers about how you can get involved in this campaign?

A photo of Syahadah, who is wearing a red top.                          

Syahadah Shahril, Campaigns Officer               Rachel Williams, Education Officer