University commended for its warm welcome for international students
The University of Bradford has been commended by the Office for Students for its approach to welcoming international students.
The independent report, Working in partnership to improve international student integration and experience, published on Wednesday January 18, cites two examples of good practice.
The University was praised for its Virtual Housing Fayre, which is run in partnership with the University of Bradford Union of Students and UNIPOL, to better assist international students in making informed housing choices.
The University of Bradford Union of Students: Kick Start programme was also praised for its fast-track introduction to university life for international students via a wide range of pre/post-arrival events and support services.
Iqra Tabassum, UBU education officer, said “UBU understands the importance of providing opportunities for international students that gives them a sense of belonging and enhances non-curricular personal development. We aim to create a supporting and welcoming environment that enables students to make friendships that helps them gain a cultural understanding of Bradford and the UK.”
The report states: “International students are key contributors to the UK economy, culture, and society. They significantly add to universities' and communities' general diversity, inclusivity, and internationalisation efforts. In addition, they bring tangible economic benefits and help to foster international collaborations.
“International students face many adjustment issues and challenges when pursuing education outside their home countries, thus requiring more support from their institutions… the OfS launched a Call for Evidence addressed to the higher education sector, aimed at identifying effective, innovative, and sector-leading practices that ensure international students can integrate and receive a fulfilling experience.”
Deputy-Vice-Chancellor Professor Zahir Irani said: “Social inclusion is one of our core values, so we’re pleased the Office for Students has seen fit to cite these as examples of best practice.
“Our student offer and ranking in the latest International Student Barometer places the university first in the UK for welcome experience around visa advice, second for employability - specifically opportunities for work experience - third for student life around counselling and Student Support Services and third for value for money. It is clear we are a favoured destination of choice.”
International students studying at UK universities account for 22% of the total student population (HESA, 2022b), bringing to the country a wide range of economic and non-economic benefits, including diversity and cross-cultural experiences.
The Office for Students is the independent regulator of higher education in England.