The UKI Student & School Forum – set up by BSA/BAISIS, UK Education Guide and the Universities of Exeter and Sheffield – will seek to ensure higher education providers better meet the needs of the approximately 29,000 international students and 8,000 expat students studying at UK boarding schools.
Surveying schools on how they help international students make informed university decisions often features logistical issues, said international director at the BSA, Caroline Nixon.
“Many were trying to engage directly with universities, but the logistics for a single school to work with a large, representative sample of universities is hard,” she said.
“Also, many schools struggle to arrange multiple university visits for their international students.”
“The logistics for a single school to work with a large, representative sample of universities is hard”
“It is so hard for parents living overseas to support schools and their children in making really well informed higher education decisions, something domestic students take for granted, so the idea for the Forum was developed,” added Pat Moores, co-founder of UK Education Guide.
Areas that boarding schools have indicated as most challenging include: personal statement development; understanding visa requirements; exploring foundation program options; and English language support in higher education.
The Forum will run events for UKI and expat students, with the next Virtual Recruitment Fair on September 29 – featuring university booths, presentations and one-on-one guidance sessions specifically focused on reviewing personal statements and gaining valuable feedback on UCAS applications.
“For me, this is a really exciting development; accessing cohorts of UKI students in boarding schools is very difficult, but this potential development will offer an opportunity to get access to the right people in these schools to be able to develop relationships,” said Laura Drinkwater, regional manager (UK International and Europe) at the University of Exeter.
Senior student recruitment officer (Postgraduate and UK based international) at the University of Sheffield, Jess Heaney, noted that “collaboration between universities to really meet UKI student needs is almost certainly the way forward and we welcome the chance, via the Forum, to work together to achieve the best outcomes”.
“We hope this is the start of a really meaningful and long term collaboration,” she added.
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