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Influencing immigration policy

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Influencing immigration policy

These are politically interesting times as countries review their attitudes towards inclusivity and diversity, and revisit their positioning within the wider world.

These are politically interesting times as countries review their attitudes towards inclusivity and diversity, and revisit their positioning within the wider world. The decision last summer by many UK voters to leave the European Union has prompted a re-examination of the UK Government’s immigration policy, including those aspects which impact international education.  As INTO’s UK Director of Operations and Policy and an active member of Destination for Education – a coalition of education providers that wants to maintain the UK’s position as one of the leading exporters of education. - Sarah Williamson has her finger on the Parliamentary policy pulse. Sin… Read the full article
These are politically interesting times as countries review their attitudes towards inclusivity and diversity, and revisit their positioning within the wider world.

The decision last summer by many UK voters to leave the European Union has prompted a re-examination of the UK Government’s immigration policy, including those aspects which impact international education. 

As INTO’s UK Director of Operations and Policy and an active member of Destination for Education – a coalition of education providers that wants to maintain the UK’s position as one of the leading exporters of education. - Sarah Williamson has her finger on the Parliamentary policy pulse.

Since UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference in October 2016, Sarah has seen a subtle, yet significant shift in attitudes. “The UK Government now appears to be becoming more supportive towards international students, as it recognises the benefits they bring to the economy, as well as to higher education per se,” she says.

“The Government has taken more time to reflect and has delayed the consultation on immigration. We are now awaiting the release of that consultation, and are hoping for a more positive immigration policy that recognises the enormous contribution made by international students to the UK economy, education sector, and society.

“However, by far the most significant thing happening at the moment amendments proposed by the Lords to the Higher Education And Research Bill she says.

“The House of Lords has requested three amendments to the Bill, all referring to international students in a way that protects and promotes them. One of these is a call for students to be removed from the Net Migration Target  – we’ve been wanting to see this for a long time!”  We look forward to the results of the vote on 13th March.

To support this, the G5 group of pathway providers (of which INTO is a member), through Destination for Education is sending a briefing to key MPs detailing the positive impact of the presence of international students on their own constituencies. 

Meanwhile, new visa guidance is due for release in April, which will give more clarity to the rules surrounding Tier 4 student visas. “Peter (Skillen, Immigration Compliance Manager) and Oli (Sellwood, Immigration and Compliance Officer) with the Visa Support Services team will be looking carefully at the new guidance, to ensure we maintain INTO’s visa refusal rate of less than 2 per cent, which is a fantastic achievement,” she says.

Also well worth a mention here is the fact that INTO, along with other members of the G5, sponsored the IPPR Destination for Education Fringe event at the October 2016 Conservative Party Conference. “Destination for Education was designed to try to influence policy by showing the invaluable contribution made by international students to both the UK economy and the higher education sector,” said Sarah.

“We were happy as our presence at the conference enabled us to reach policy influencers.  We have been fully engaged with the key stakeholders as part of our efforts to ensure that all future legislation has a positive effect on international education.”

These are busy times for Sarah, her colleagues and her fellow Destination for Education supporters. “These are challenging but exciting times.  With change comes opportunity, and INTO is determined to be a key player in making sure that the UK is open to the world, both now and in the future.”

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INTO CSU's first Pathway student finds success in Fort Collins

The first student to confirm an offer from INTO Colorado State University, Chelsea Tan, arrived in Fort Collins in August 2012, as a local celebrity on the CSU campus. After four and a half years, earning two degrees and serving in several leadership roles, she has cemented her celebrity status both on campus and in the INTO CSU center. “I don’t think I would do anything different from where I started off because every experience I’ve gained, every friendship I’ve made was so valuable,” she explains. “It changed my perspective on life. It changed how I think of life, no I wouldn’t change anything.” In December 2016, Chelsea graduated from Colorado State University, (CSU) with her Bachelor of Science degree in industrial/organizational psychology and her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. A month later, she returned home to M… Read the full article
The first student to confirm an offer from INTO Colorado State University, Chelsea Tan, arrived in Fort Collins in August 2012, as a local celebrity on the CSU campus. After four and a half years, earning two degrees and serving in several leadership roles, she has cemented her celebrity status both on campus and in the INTO CSU center.

“I don’t think I would do anything different from where I started off because every experience I’ve gained, every friendship I’ve made was so valuable,” she explains. “It changed my perspective on life. It changed how I think of life, no I wouldn’t change anything.”

In December 2016, Chelsea graduated from Colorado State University, (CSU) with her Bachelor of Science degree in industrial/organizational psychology and her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. A month later, she returned home to Malaysia, then travelled to Hong Kong to put her new skills to work.

Taking home two degrees wasn’t all Chelsea packed; she brought home an impressive list of experiences and her passion to learn.

While at CSU, Chelsea served as president of both the CSU Malaysian Student Organization and CSU Global Ambassador Program. Her ability to speak English, Mandarin, Malay, Hokkien and Cantonese helped her relate to fellow students. “One thing I really like about being a student ambassador is to be able to interact with different kinds of students, and problem solve their situation on a case-by-case basis.”

She gained valuable work experience when she served as the lead research assistant for a faculty member's project focused on meta-analysis and statistical analysis. The job allowed her to further develop leadership and management skills by managing six research assistants and being responsible for the work her team produced.

Her time at CSU also gave Chelsea the chance to explore the picturesque Colorado landscape. Her favorite place? The Great Sand Dunes National Park in Southern Colorado. “It was a very interesting experience because I went during Spring, and there was still snow. The view was so surreal and so breathtaking. That has to be my best experience here in Colorado.”  

But that won’t be her last experience in Colorado. Chelsea plans to return to CSU to earn her master’s degree once she gains some professional experience. Watch a video of Chelsea’s experience at CSU

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INTO Stirling student’s chess success

INTO University of Stirling English for University Study student and chess fanatic Kulgeman Muhala recently came a very close second in a major competition held at Glasgow Caledonian University. Kulgeman, who finished second out of 25, was narrowly beaten in the final match of the Scottish University Chess Tournament. His love of the chess began when he was nine years old in his home country of Angola, and he is now a member of Stirling University chess club. “I like playing chess, it challenges me in the way that I think. I think you can gain a lot of skills playing chess. You learn how to think critically, you exercise your mind, and it’s a very enjoyable game,” he says. Kulgeman was … Read the full article
INTO University of Stirling English for University Study student and chess fanatic Kulgeman Muhala recently came a very close second in a major competition held at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Kulgeman, who finished second out of 25, was narrowly beaten in the final match of the Scottish University Chess Tournament. His love of the chess began when he was nine years old in his home country of Angola, and he is now a member of Stirling University chess club. “I like playing chess, it challenges me in the way that I think. I think you can gain a lot of skills playing chess. You learn how to think critically, you exercise your mind, and it’s a very enjoyable game,” he says.

Kulgeman was encouraged to join the University of Stirling Chess Club by his English teacher, Kevyn Whitelaw, after beating him in a chess match. Being in the club has made his love for the game grow even more. “I love being in the chess club here at Stirling, it’s a great new way to meet people that share the same interest as me. I am glad that my teacher Kevyn encouraged me to join,” he says.

Kulgeman describes his experience during the Scottish University Chess tournament, which was organised Glasgow Caledonian University Chess Club and Strathclyde University Chess Club: “It was great, and I really would like to participate in more chess tournaments in the future. I am glad I came in second place because the competition was intense. I feel really proud of myself.” 

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Awards recognize two INTO partners’ contribution to women in HE add

A collective belief in the value of international education add

Where next? INTO UoG students get a taste of progression add

News, press release and media coverage archive add

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