Thursday 23rd February marked this year’s Annual London Conference for the GOLD Programme.
The conference was attended by Global Officers participating in the GOLD Programme, as well as members of the International Student Advisory Board, and other students who signed up via the Study Plus scheme.
The theme of the conference was Leadership in a Global Context. The event was hosted by Dr Anthony Manning and including external speakers from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and Common Purpose.
The diverse and well-rounded programme of talks and workshops offered participating students the opportunity to consider how a global mindset is integral to building successful leadership skills.
During the day, students heard from UKCISA’s student ambassador about the #WeAreInternational Student Charter, a document developed with the input of students from across the international education sector.
The charter aims to guide university campuses towards fairness and inclusion and to promote provision of high level international student experience and support. Conference participants were asked to consider how the Charter might be used at Kent, and this led to discussions around the integration of home and international students.
After a Lebanese networking lunch, participants were tasked with considering stereotypes, why they exist, and how we can resolve them, in an interactive workshop run by UKCISA Policy Officer Iona Murdoch.
The session encouraged participants to consider the Chinese character for listening – tīng – when interacting and thinking of others. This is because the character captures the full spirit of listening by incorporating symbols for the ear, the eye, the heart and the brain.
The day ended with a talk by Duncan McCombe from Common Purpose, a global leadership organisation dedicated to developing leaders who can cross boundaries.
He inspired participants with his personal story as the founder of Network Young CIC, a social enterprise working with 13-19 year olds to develop a professional network to inform their career choices.
Students left the talk appreciating the importance of networks, and with insight on how to build, maintain and sustain networking relationships.
Students left the Conference feeling inspired and invigorated.
Yaman Midani, a Law Student from Kent Law School said:
The GOLD conference gave me the opportunity to meet people in different circles, that I otherwise would not have met or interacted with. The conference itself was about sensitive topics that need to be addressed – such as prejudice and stereotypes, and how to challenge yourself to overcome those types of thoughts. The day included good food and amazing company, and I would recommend to anyone 😊
And Aalia Sadiq, a Global Officer from the GOLD5000 module said:
The conference was both interactive and informative with a range of sessions led by various individuals! One of my favourite presentations was on the student charter by #WeAreInternational student ambassadors’. It was interesting to discuss about international student experience and we had the opportunity to review how well the charter was working and what improvements that could be made to it. I enjoyed the conference and would highly suggest for Global Officers to partake in these events when they come up!
Launched in 2017, the GOLD Programme is a co-curricular framework of activities for globally-minded undergraduate students at Kent. It is designed to help students develop their leadership skills, global citizenship and cultural awareness.
For more information about the programme, please contact International Programmes at email@example.com.