UKCISA FEST 2022 in Partnership with Duolingo; More than Policy and English Testing

UKCISA FEST 2022 in Partnership with Duolingo; More than Policy and English Testing

I was fortunate to attend the UKCISA Fest 2022 which was held at 229, Portland Stress in London. I looked forward to being at the event for two reasons. One, I needed to meet international students in the UK and get to learn about their experiences.

The second reason had more to do with curiosity than anything else. Deep inside of me was a tinge of wonder that there is a voice for international students in the UK I didn’t know of. For every reason, I wanted to witness and if possible be part of it.

Beautifully enough, my curiosity need was met in the most absolute way and I met wonderful friends from across the various universities in the United Kingdom. The interactions were seamless and flowed naturally, maybe, because we were all international students.

Most honestly, I got to understand the mandate of UKCISA at the event. My thoughts about UKCISA initially after I received the invitation to attend had to do with only matters of policy. But then, the policy is merely an ultimate component of the process.

UKCISA provides advice, guidance, and information regarding all aspects of the international student experience, from immigration and fees to mental health, culture shock, and orientation. The information is harnessed from interactions with international students (partly from events such as UKCISA Fest) and arms supporting international student affairs at institutions of higher learning as well as within student councils.

Why more than policy?

UKCISA actively releases reports on international students in the UK and also researches UK students abroad. That way, they can lobby for improved affairs of this group by raising concerns with higher institutions of education and government besides creating awareness among the scholars.

They also provide information and advice to international students on a wide array of areas that touch on an international student as he/she transitions from his/her home country to eventually settling in the UK.

In addition, UKCISA offers training courses and seminars on several topics to help international students juggle life in the UK and become professionally empowered. With the #WeAreInternational student charter, I and many others hope the international student experience will be an experience like no other going forward.

Participants of the UKCISA Fest 2022

Duolingo; More than English Tests

To make the 2022 festival a success, UKCISA partnered with Duolingo. At the event, it was clear that Duolingo is doing much more than just offering English tests to international students. They are driven by a bigger goal of ensuring that international education is available and achievable for students whose first language may not be English.

I am very passionate about equality and equity for those who have been following my posts over time. One of the greatest inequalities and inequities is in the field of education, especially in the third world and emerging countries. A lot has been done thus far, yet a lot needs to be done going forward.

Bu making the English language test conveniently available, affordable to students (at only 49 dollars), and quick in results dissemination (within 48 hrs.), one of the bottlenecks of accessing higher education in countries such as the UK is being addressed.

As I listened to Diksha Dinde who is a disability rights advocate speak about the collaborative support offered to her by Duolingo and Chevening, I deeply smiled inside knowing that the future looks bright to many students irrespective of their race, physical form, gender, or even economic situation.

We appreciate efforts being put forward by UKCISA to ensure international student affairs and concerns are addressed and to Duolingo for their efforts to level the ground for many students to get international education experience in their dream countries.

To all the participants of UKCISA Fest 2022, indeed #WeAreInternational.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Politics, Policy, Technology, Current Affairs, Opinion, Agriculture, Energy, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance, International Emerging Issues, Society, and culture. For featuring, promotions or support write to us at ndegegeoffrey@gmail.com

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