A new campaign has been launched to help promote the value that international students bring to York and the wider community.
The campaign is the result of a new collaboration between YUSU, the ISA and the surrounding international student community. It aims to encourage students, staff and members of the public to use their social media platforms and the campaign’s hashtag #YorkIsGlobal to tweet or post a benefit that international students bring to York.
It is hoped that this will start a long-term campaign that will both celebrate the positive impact international students have on the University and equally show to international students that the University and the wider city value their presence and the diversity that they bring to York as a whole.
Long term, the #YorkIsGlobal Campaign also hopes to work with the Centre for Global Programmes, to engage with students who are studying and volunteering abroad and help create a virtual map showing where York students currently are.
The campaign, which has gained support from Rachael Maskell, the Central York MP, is a response to recent government changes to immigration rules that have the potential to reduce the size of the international student community at York.
The new rules will mean that students coming to the UK to study at a university will have to have evidence of a greater amount of savings on arrival, showing that they have the funds immediately available to support themselves for at least 9 months, in contrast to the two months of funding they previously had to demonstrate.
One international student told Nouse: “I’m really worried about these new rules. I have friends back home who would like to come and study in the UK in the future but these new rules will make it really difficult for them to do so. It’s a lot of money.”
The new rules also mean that students on a Tier 4 Visa would not be allowed to study for more than one undergraduate degree. Their student visa would only be extended if they had progressed into postgraduate study. If they wished to remain in the UK to work following graduation, their employer will be required to sponsor their work visa and meet minimum salary requirements as detailed by the government.
YUSU President Ben Leatham told Nouse: “International students are an integral part of the York experience. Without them the university community would be far less diverse and engaging.
“This is a fantastic example of a collaborative campaign between the ISA, YUSU, the University and York Council. When we have a common goal we can achieve so much more by working together towards it”
The campaign can be followed via Twitter, using the hashtag #YorkIsGlobal.