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Spring Referenda 2019

Should the Students’ Union create a full time International Students’ Officer role by giving the Executive the authority to change the titles and remits of the current officers?

The motion has PASSED

551 students took part

108 abstained

  • YES - 384 (70%)

  • NO - 59 (11%)

The Students' Union WILL create a full time International Students’ Officer role by giving the Executive the authority to change the titles and remits of the current officers

 


Please note: the “Executive” refers to the group of elected students who are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day running of the Union. It is made up of the 6 full time officers and 5 part time officers. Union Council holds the Executive accountable and is made up of over 50 elected student representatives.

Over the past few years the number of international students being admitted to Sussex has grown. Around (8684 out of 21,000 = 41%) of the student population at Sussex are International + EU students at Sussex and approximately 450,000 Students across the UK at large are facing growing anxiety from the situation which is still unfolding. To start with, Brexit has shown to be a political situation and sentiment which is dangerous from the perspectives of all overseas students alike. Essentially Brexit is a policy of exclusion and isolation from the remainder of the European continent, this threatens EU students in specific and international students in general.


Please note: the “Executive” refers to the group of elected students who are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day running of the Union. It is made up of the 6 full time officers and 5 part time officers. Union Council holds the Executive accountable and is made up of over 50 elected student representatives.

Background:

Over the past few years the number of international students being admitted to Sussex has grown. Around (8684 out of 21,000 = 41%) of the student population at Sussex are International + EU students at Sussex and approximately 450,000 Students across the UK at large are facing growing anxiety from the situation which is still unfolding. To start with, Brexit has shown to be a political situation and sentiment which is dangerous from the perspectives of all overseas students alike. Essentially Brexit is a policy of exclusion and isolation from the remainder of the European continent, this threatens EU students in specific and international students in general.

  • Uncertainty over their freedom of movement and increased visa challenges.

  • fees would be rising almost to the double of what they used to pay, making it harder for an EU student to pay those high fees and commit to them.

  • Moreover, The NUS has been drowning in debt, and the board of trustees took the decision of defunding the International Student Representative position and its corresponding support office, leaving International students alike with no representation at the national level. Representation is subsequently delegated to each individual university and its standing order.

  • Uncertainty over post-study work.

  • Qualification recognition back home, which wasn’t anticipated at application time.  

Here at Sussex, building on the efforts of previous representatives and SU officer’s efforts of being more inclusive and sensitive to this change in environment via proposing an original Part time Officer for International Students motion, we are proposing the creation of a “Full Time International Students Officer” to be put to a vote to go to referendum to the student body.

 

Policy aim: To introduce a Full Time International Students’ Officer role to the Students’ Union in place of an existing role. To delegate responsibility of implementing the officer role to Exec to do this.

 

Policy Objectives: To better represent and meet the needs of the large population of international students at Sussex through having a full time elected representative.

 

References:

Numbers from report submitted in the beginning of the year submitted by the SU titled “International Students and First-Generation Scholar Part-time Officers”.

Moreover, Industry numbers of UK universities with similar concentration of foreign students ( Manchester 33%, Reading 25%, Edinburgh 35%, Sheffield 37%, LSE 68%) have all adopted a full time International Officers in their corresponding SU boards.