Westminster Higher Education Forum

Growing international student numbers in the UK - recruitment, visa reform, student experience and career progression

Morning, Wednesday, 20th November 2019

The Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin Street, London SW1X 7DR


The seminar will examine the next steps for international student recruitment, the student visa system, and improving the experience of international students in the UK.



  • Anne Marie Graham, Chief Executive, UK Council for International Student Affairs; and
  • Dr Cheryl Matherly, President, Association of International Education Administrators.

Further confirmed speakers: Anisha Faruk, Oxford University Student Union; Philippa Hewett, SOAS University of London; Sasha Lal, Gherson; Marc Lintern, Newcastle University; Alan Mackay, University of Edinburgh; Professor Simon Marginson, Centre for Global Higher Education; Esther de Perlaky, University of Warwick; Fiona Samson, British Council and Andy Winter, University of Nottingham.

The agenda

  • The current landscape for international students in the UK;
  • Competing in the international students market - lessons from the US;
  • Marketing the UK as an attractive study destination, developing competitive pricing strategies, and the impact of visa policies;
  • Strategies for enhancing the international student experience:
    • Life as an international student in the UK;
    • Pre-arrival information, inductions, and orientation;
    • Developing an inclusive and supportive learning environment; and
    • Mental health issues: understanding support needs and tailoring intervention.

  • International student progression: post-study work visas, career guidance, and employability, and alumni relations.

Keynote Speakers

Rebecca Staddon

Senior Policy Advisor, International and EU Exit (HE), Department for Education

Anne Marie Graham

Chief Executive, UK Council for International Student Affairs

Gemma Turnbull

Senior Policy Advisor, International Higher Education, Department for Education

Dr Cheryl Matherly

Vice Provost, International Affairs and Vice President, Lehigh University, Pennsylvania and President, Association of International Education Administrators


Lord Lucas


Professor Simon Marginson

Director, Centre for Global Higher Education and Professor of Higher Education, University of Oxford

Alan MacKay

Deputy Vice-Principal International and Director of Edinburgh Global, University of Edinburgh

Fiona Samson

Director, GREAT Britain Campaign, British Council

Andy Winter

Campus Life Director, University of Nottingham

Sasha Lal

Consultant and Trainee Solicitor, Gherson

Anisha Faruk

President, Oxford University Student Union

Louise Farrar

Director, Student Recruitment, PwC UK

Dr Esther de Perlaky

International Employability Manager, Student Opportunity, University of Warwick

Philippa Hewett

Head of Careers Service, SOAS University of London

Marc Lintern

Director of Student Experience, Newcastle University