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#WeAreInternational campaign to open global reach to FE

New chapter for award-winning #WeAreInternational campaign to create a global generation – The development will broaden the campaign’s reach, celebrating international students from universities, colleges, schools and study abroad programmes

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and the University of Sheffield today (18 Nov) announced a new chapter in the development of the #WeAreInternational campaign. 

UKCISA will now drive the award-winning campaign forward –  supporting it to reach even more international students across the education sector by capturing and sharing the voices of students from universities, colleges, schools, pathway providers and study abroad programmes.

Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield and Chair of the UKCISA Board said:

“In Sheffield we are very proud of this campaign, the impact it has had on international students and the positive UK policy changes it has helped to facilitate. #WeAreInternational grew organically from the University of Sheffield and developed into a campaign that others can pick up and use freely when offering a warm welcome or advocating for the rights of international students. 

“UKCISA is a natural new home for #WeAreInternational. Its support and networks will mean that the campaign can expand its reach – helping to shape the International Education Strategy and playing a role in further improving the international student experience for everyone.”

Anne Marie Graham, Chief Executive of UKCISA, explained: 

“In the current climate it is more important than ever to celebrate the successes, economic and social impacts that all international students bring to the UK. We want to empower students to share their stories about studying in the UK to highlight the importance of international education and internationalism. 

“UKCISA is uniquely placed to widen the scope of #WeAreInternational. Our members work across the sector with universities, schools, colleges, pathway providers and students’ unions engaging with us through regional activities and national strategies. We are confident that we will be able to involve even more international students and those who work with them in this inclusive and positive campaign, to support a global student community.”

The campaign is open to all who support and welcome international students. #WeAreInternational materials will remain free to download from the website and an open, crowd-sourced approach will continue to be essential to the campaign’s credibility. 

Students have always been at the centre of the #WeAreInternational campaign, speaking about how students can get involved in the campaign, Sheffield Students’ Union 

International Students’ Officer Mengya (Sissi) Li said: 

“When I came to Sheffield as a postgraduate student the #WeAreInternational campaign helped me feel welcome in a brand new city right from the start, giving me the confidence to run in a competitive election and represent international students.  Sheffield is renowned for being an inclusive and welcoming place to live, something I can attest to, so it’s no surprise that #WeAreInternational, one of the most impactful international campaigns, was founded at Sheffield Students’ Union. I’m excited to see the next chapter of this campaign led by UKCISA as they open it up to more people than ever before, helping them feel at home in this country regardless of where they’re from.”    

The #WeAreInternational campaign was founded as a national campaign in 2013 led by Sheffield Students Union and The University of Sheffield. It aimed to counter negative messages about international students in the media and concerns about a culture of welcome for overseas students in the U.K. through the development of shared materials and messages. 

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