Wednesday 8th February marked the first meeting of the brand new International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) run by our international students and co-facilitated by University of Kent and Kent Union.
The Advisory Board is made up of approximately 30 current international students from across all levels of the University – Foundation, Undergraduate, Postgraduate Taught and Research – representing a range of nationalities.
The members were appointed following an application and interview process, during which they demonstrated their interest in advocating for international students at Kent.
The Board will meet at least twice per term, during which there will be discussions with colleagues and teams from across the University who provide services to international students.
The purpose of the Board is to advise on the inclusivity and accessibility of University policies and services that affect international students; to help find ways to enable international students to drive and influence policy change for the benefit of international students; to support internationally focused activities at the University; to undertake proactive international student advocacy in Higher Education more broadly, and to uphold principles of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) #WeAreInternational Student Charter.
Lupe Sellei, Vice President Academic Experience at Kent Union said of the Board:
ISAB is such a great initiative and I am sure it will bring an overwhelmingly positive impact on the experience of our students at Kent. The board clearly lays out an avenue for the University to understand International students, their experience and concerns more deeply, while simultaneously empowering and upskilling students to take an active role in student leadership and co-creation. Kent Union is extremely excited and eager to support the efforts of this board, and we can’t wait to see all the incredible things our students can achieve through collaboration. – Lupe Sellei, Vice President, Academic Experience
During the meeting, the Board discussed suggestions that would improve the international student experience at Kent. The members indicated areas in which they would like to make a tangible difference at the University. Priorities that were highlighted as a part of the meeting included expanding induction and orientation events to improve the onboarding experience for international students; developing student support and wellbeing services specifically for international students; and providing more internationally focused accommodation and visa support. University of Kent and Kent Union will continue to work with the Board to develop these and other priorities going forward.
We can’t wait to hear more from our Board members at the next International Student Advisory Board meeting on 15 March! Watch this space for more updates on the Board’s advocacy, activism and hard work!