Tolerance of language difficulties campaign
This is an online campaign where we will show to students and staff that they have to be more sensitive and patient with people that English is not their first language and they need time to adjust. I want to bring awareness that a lot of students will struggle to understand and they need encouragement to speak in English and show them more patience and respect when they are trying. This campaign has not yet be launched we are hoping to launch it next term.
International Students’ Association Awards
The awards took place on the 3rd of May at 7PM in the Hexagon. This year we are introducing 10 new awards including a scholarship to an exceptional International Student, where they will ensure that no students is left without the recognition he has contributed to the international students. For the first time we had applications both from Loughton and Southend campus and we shortlisted students from all three campuses. It was an amazing night with performances and inspirational nominees.
Rise of fees of international students & scholarships
This is an ongoing discussion with the university, to reach to a solution. We have had another meeting with the registrar of the University and we have come to a solution that even if the University or UK government could raise the fees to Internationals, Essex in the spirit of good practice will give a notice to the students affected when and why their fees will be raised.
Confirmation of Accommodation in the summer in early stages
We are looking to whether the international students who receive their results before June or July to get a confirmation of accommodation so they can start booking cheaper plane tickets to come rather than waiting till Alevels results of the UK come out. Prospective students will be given information once they meet their conditional offer and chose to attend Essex that they have been allocated accommodation so they can book their flight tickets in advance to save extra charges or higher flight fees.
International Strategies in SU
We are reviewing the promises in respect to what we deliver in our promise and whether those promises apply and how they apply to our students. We want to ensure that they are not UK-centric but they support the international community all the same.
One of the ways we are trying to support our students is by giving a small understanding through their prospectus before they come in Essex of who we are and what we are here to support you with.
International Careers Fair
We are taking small steps to prioritize the skills we give to our students and then support the motion of inviting international firms and companies to come and meet students who can ask them different questions. I have also discussed with the Director of Experience and the Registrar about the potential to expand in this area. The Director has been asked to look more in depth to review this.
I am working on a project to view potential use of the Safety bus as a transport to the airport to pick up or/and drop of students for a small fee to cover just the service of the bus (fuels and staff pay). We have now start operating this plan and deciding the dates to launch it after we gathered the information from the Fresher’s page polls.
The Flag Policy would be a policy by which the Union would be able to use the national recognised flags deriving from UN Policies. To avoid conflicts and creating any negative feeling on campus on a specific flag, this policy has been drawn up by me in respect to the UN Policies. We are not in a position to support a conflicting nation, even though we might share compassion, we are not here to do that and conflicting flags of NOT recognised UN Nations will not be used. Nevertheless, a member through the student ideas platform can make the suggestion of a specific nation being included within the policy so that policy will then be updates if the campus votes positively on such change. However just to emphasize that this policy is drawn to maintain good practices of the campus events and campaigns of the campus populations and maintain peace on campus.
The reason to this policy it is because in the past going back to 2011 we had different disputes and complains over flags and this needs to find a solution. We are challenging that same issue. So soon enough the student body will be called to vote through student ideas to pass this policy. I hope you do pass the policy because it will mean a great deal to our international community. The policy has detailed information on each nation why their flag is included or not in our policy. We invite all suggestions and feedback once the policy is out for voting
International Students’ Association Elections
We have restructured the positions and responsibilities of the ISA Officers to fit with the SU promises and the areas of support which require the most attention to internationals. We have expanded the ISA to consist of 8 Officers. We ran the elections and we have a new committee for 2016/2017. All these changes where decided after the feedback we received in the ISA Forum held in March.
PHP not PHD Students
I am working to support the PHP students who come over to study a PHD in Essex but need to enrol into a PHP before a PHD degree. There is a clear need for clarification and discussion we need to have with the University to set some grounds as to what certification are these students obtaining in the end once they complete their 3 years.