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Home Regions

Network

Regional contacts

An important function of AISA is the opportunity it creates for those working with international students throughout the UK to meet each other. One way that this is achieved is through the five regional groups:

Meetings are arranged within each area, usually termly, to discuss matters of interest or concern for international student advisers such as orientation programmes, fees and funding, and immigration issues. If you want more information about a regional group please contact the regional chair. Alternatively if you would like to enquire about starting your own region please email aisa@ukicsa.org.uk

Summaries from recent regional meetings


South East and London - 5 June 2017
University of Brighton

  • Topics discussed related to the impact of immigration rules changes that have affected our teams over the past year: course changes, calculation of maintenance for dependants, overstayers.

South Coast - 16 June 2016
University of Winchester

  • UKVI presented and took questions for 1 hour. Members found it very interesting and were pleased they were invited.
  • the rest of the meeting was a bit rushed as there was not much time left after the presentation.
  • Academic Progression was discussed and all members were frustrated by the lack of clarification from UKVI Policy team.

South East and London - 28 November 2016
Imperial College London

  • There was a lively discussion from everyone at the table particularly regarding the delays experienced over the summer period/start of term in receiving biometrics letters and BRP’s.
  • The immigration rules changes from 6 April and their partial reversal on the 24 November were also a heavy topic of conversation.

South Coast - 16 June 2016
University of Winchester

  • UKVI presented and took questions for 1 hour. Members found it very interesting and were pleased they were invited.
  • the rest of the meeting was a bit rushed as there was not much time left after the presentation.
  • Academic Progression was discussed and all members were frustrated by the lack of clarification from UKVI Policy team.

South East and London - 11 March 2016
International Students House

  • This meeting was hosted by International Students House. We started with a presentation by Ollie Rae about the changes that UKV&I were rolling out to improve the Tier 4 application experience and working with sponsors.
  • The meeting proper then started and discussion ranged across the agenda items.
  • Finally, there was a “networking event” in the ISH bar.

South Coast - 25 February 2016
Southampton Solent University

  • AISA member contact details updated, new Chair nominated, reminder of AISA Conference.
  • discussion about how institution are dealing with Right to Rent checks, seeing increase in requests for guarantors
  • new Tier 4 application form and issues arising, difficulties of navigation the new form
  • Bank letters- members reported issues with local banks refusing to open accounts for PSE students on short visas
  • Tier 4 DES and how members deal with these
  • reminder of new UKCISA website- members complained that all links from Uni websites are now broken and has meant more work to change them all

North and Midlands - 23 May 2016
Loughborough University

This was a well-attended meeting kindly hosted by Loughborough University. The agenda was firmly focused on immigration issues with a particular focus on the vagaries of academic progression. Oliver Rae and two colleagues form UKVI kindly attended the meeting to give an overview of developments to the service and the range of cases they are required to deal with on a daily basis.

South Coast - 3 December 2015
University of Portsmouth

Discussion about the July 2015 changes to the immigration rules dominated the meeting and numerous concerns were raised across the board i.e. from recruitment to student retention etc. Our FE colleagues expressed great disappointment and confirmed that they already had to reject offers for a considerable about of applicants due to the changes. All members agreed that the timing was appalling again. Besides this, the members shared best practice around their Sep 2015 orientation programme.

North East - 27 November 2015
Newcastle University

With the September surge period coming to an end for the present academic year, the meeting focussed on feedback from members on the BRP collection exercise; increase in the number of visa refusals due to credibility; and reporting errors on BRP cards. We also discussed what members are doing in preparation for the right-to-rent roll-out. With the imminent decommissioning of iApply, we invited Andy Marriot from the UKVI Digital Customer Journey team to give us an overview of the new application system.

South West and Wales - 27 November 2015
University of Bristol

We discussed the following - BRPs – collection at Post Offices v Universities and the experience of both during registration, correction of errors on BRPs particularly the missing police registration requirement, the loss of established presence and students whose visas expire after 12 November, ATAS changes, short-term study visas, multi-campus working, right to rent, start dates on CASs for continuing students and the IHS charge and how and when to disseminate UKVI changes to students and staff. There was also a discussion of how batch had gone this year for everyone and how different institutes operate their services e.g. drop-in sessions, workshops, appointments.

North and Midlands - 23 November 2015
The Manchester College

This was an active meeting attended by a good number of institutions from across the midlands and north region. Though immigration as a topic dominated the agenda, an effort was made to divide the session to ensure other important non-immigration issues, including adviser safety and retention of international students, were covered. This was an active session with contributions from all attendees including effective sharing of experience and best practice notably in relation to adviser safety. Meetings are organised alternately between the ‘North’ and ‘the midlands’ so the next meeting will likely be in the Wolverhampton – Northampton area.

London and South East - 6 November 2015
London School of Economics and Political Science l

It was a packed meeting (both in terms of the number of people attending and the agenda). Discussion ranged across many topics including:

  • The distribution of BRPs for those granted entry clearance
  • Academic progress, changing institutions and the mixed messages from PAMs about what was acceptable
  • Impending landlord immigration checks
  • Issues with the difficulty of getting refunds for overpayments and other issues with the Immigration Health Surcharge
  • Impending new maintenance requirements
  • Worrying refusal decisions on credibility
  • Changes to guidance on how early CASs can be issued
  • The possibility of new applications forms in the new year
  • CASs for students re-sitting/resubmitting
  • Very large numbers of Entry Clearance Errors

One of the actions from the meeting was to submit an FOI regarding the work of the RCU. Members (or anyone else) can follow the progress of that request here: www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/errors_corrected_by_the_referred

South East and London - 11 June 2015
University of Brighton

As is tradition, we held our June meeting at the University of Brighton. We talked about concerns about temporary 30 day vignettes and arrangements for students to collect BRPs. We discussed the arrangements being made between London intuitions and the Overseas Visitors Records Office for Police Registration in September. Our discussions also covered SELTs, the Health Surcharge, Short-term Students, Curtailments and Medical and Dental Electives (undergraduates).

South Coast - 8 June 2015

The following was discussed;

  • the BID/BRP collection and how to help manage the surge at the allocated Post Offices during enrolment/orientation or even earlier for the pre-sessional students
  • how to apply to be an Alternative Collection Location
  • the IHS calculator and how it does not work properly

The meeting is scheduled to be at the University of Portsmouth on 3rd December 2015.

Chair: Sandor Tamas Aleva

South West & Wales - 15 May 2015
Swansea University

Institutions’ plans of how to tackle the challenges surrounding BID issue, the immigration health surcharge and ‘right to rent’ were discussed in detail. Attendees also discussed strategies for dealing with the main arrival period from a non-immigration standpoint, such as airport pick up, late arrivals and orientation plans. A representative from Duncan Lewis solicitors attended to discuss recent and upcoming changes to the immigration and appeals systems.

The next meeting will take place on Friday 27th November at the University of Bristol.

Chair: Liz Rees

North and Midlands
Coventry University

They looked predominantly at immigration issues notably the ongoing impacts of the recent immigration act. We shared recent experiences of the new BRP card system and also compared different systems within institutions for collection; interesting feedback was provided from those institutions who were going to allow collection of the BRP from their site and how they are intending on meeting the strict UKVI criteria. There was a further discussion on the role of administrative reviews and some insightful examples of where an institution had managed to overturn refusals for credibility. Wider topics such as changes to IELTS, police registration, landlord checks and banking procedures were also discussed. It was also agreed that the structure of the meeting would change to ensure that the location for meetings would be held in the north and the midlands on alternative occasions to ensure parity for all members and ensuring meetings are accessible for all members.

Chair: James Moran

North East

Awaiting summary.

Chair: Sue Baker and Naheeda Kauser