4 July 2017
Cardiff University representatives join academics, business leaders and parliamentarians to celebrate the wide-ranging benefits international students bring to the UK
Organised by the #WeAreInternational campaign, the reception on 4th July 2017 in the House of Commons highlighted the contributions of international students to the UK and featured speeches from politicians as well as business and educational leaders.
#WeAreInternational was launched by the University of Sheffield in 2013. Today, more than 160 universities, education institutions and international organisations have backed the campaign, including Cardiff University.
The event in the Strangers’ Dining Room was co-hosted by Paul Blomfield, the MP for Sheffield Central and Shadow Brexit Minister, and Lord Karan Bilimoria of Chelsea, the Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, in their roles as Co-Chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Students
Prof Rebecca Hughes, Director of Education at the British Council, stressed the importance of soft power when almost one in seven countries around the world has a leader who studied in a UK higher education institution.
Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "It's a global issue – you are either an open powerful society capable of doing things or you close your ability to be what you want to be." He stressed that international students contribute significantly to local economies and communities and create an estimated 10,000 jobs in a city like Sheffield alone.
Neil Carberry, Director of People and Skills at the Confederation of British Industry, said: "We need to start dealing with universities as a key part of our industrial strategy. The more international we are the more we can attract people from across the world to come here to stay, or to go back to build links. The better it is for us, the better it is for them."
Dr Matthias Eberl, Engagement Lead of Cardiff University’s Systems Immunity Research Institute and Trustee of the British Society for Immunology, who attended the event said: "Research, education and innovation are unthinkable without a free flow of talent and ideas.
"The #WeAreInternational capaign does a fantastic job in making sure the voices of students, scientists, teachers and entrepeneurs are heard. I’m especially grateful to have had the opportunity to talk to Paul Blomfield, Lord Bilimoria and our local MP for Cardiff Central, Jo Stevens, who are incredibly supportive for our case."
Last month, Dr Eberl already raised the importance of international collaboration, recruitment and funding at the National Assembly for Wales when attending the annual 'Science and the Assembly' event, which was organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry and sponsored by the National Assembly’s Cross-Party Group on STEMM.