International Students comment on their experience in UK Universities
On 21 February, in conjunction with the UK Council for International Student Affairs, a dedicated session was held to provide international students the opportunity to voice their experiences on studying at UK universities.
Feedback received included comments that they were “just a number”. Another student, in a meeting with senior officials at the University of Leeds, openly stated about how Universities made no money on students with home fees, and that international students “subsidised that cost”.
Other respondents spoke of the financial barriers that they faced, with one student at Newcastle University recounting how her family was unable to financially support her studies and is not eligible for maintenance loans.
Comments also related to the higher tuition fees international students pay, as well as the labelling of ‘Home’ and ‘International’ students creating a divide in the student population.
The International Higher Education Commission (IHEC), chaired by former Universities and Energy Minister Chris Skidmore, is intended to highlight the benefit that international students provide to UK universities – economically, socially and culturally. More specifically, the group also appreciates the inks to international research, sharing of knowledge and building of links with people from across the world who will for their entire life appreciate the UK. The commission’s primary aim is to help create a future international higher education strategy, especially as the UK has already passed its 2030 target of 600,000 international students.