The University of Sheffield was honoured at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2014 last week for providing an outstanding level of support to its international student community. Sheffield was named the first ever winner of the Times Higher Education (THE) International Student Strategy award for its #weareinternational campaign, a collaborative project which promotes the UK as a prime destination for students from all over the world.
Founded jointly by the University of Sheffield’s Vice-Chancellor and the Student Union President, the hugely powerful #weareinternational campaign was developed with the aid of Universities UK, the NUS, the British Council and the UK Council for International Students (UKCISA). Having already proved its power as a catalyst for positive change within British higher education, the campaign continues in partnership with the Home Office and Cabinet Office to produce films highlighting the message that the UK actively welcomes talented overseas students in spite of recent debates over immigration and student visas.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Keith Burnett, commented that he is “delighted that the #weareinternational campaign was chosen as the first ever winner of the International Strategy award. In many ways, our work here has been at the service of far more than simply our own University. We have spoken out for our educational values with our students and partners across the UK.”
Sheffield also launched the ‘International Selfie Project’ #StandByMe, a social media campaign which reflects the huge number of international friendships that blossom at UK universities by inviting students, staff and alumni to share photos of themselves with international peers and colleagues.
International Officer Jose Diaz De Aguillar remarked that “Sheffield Students’ Union has long since led the way in championing the rights of international students. The work of countless students, officers, staff and the University of Sheffield has allowed us to be where we are today, building on the momentum of years of work to launch our new collection of campaigns.”
The Times Higher Education Awards 2014 signalled more success still for Sheffield; the University also laid claim to prizes for Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers and Widening Participation Initiative of the Year.