Inspiring lifelong brand champions around the world: how the University of Kent builds a positive relationship with its international student community

Megan Foley, EUPRIO Conference Poznan 2019 speaker

Megan Foley - United Kingdom

Megan Foley is International Events and Placement Coordinator at the University of Kent.
First class marketing graduate with extensive experience in events management, marketing and higher education administration. Effective communicator with a sound understanding of international practices within higher education - specialist experience in the field of International Partnerships. Personal interest in psychology and student wellbeing within higher education. Conscientious, motivated, efficient. 

This workshop will introduce delegates to the University of Kent's unique welcome programme for international students, and subsequent initiatives throughout the academic year. The workshop will explore the use of effective communication tools in establishing positive relationships with students from applicants to alumni, thus creating lifelong brand champions around the world.

Full description
The main objective of the session is to share best practice with participants on how to engage with international student communities and create lifelong brand champions for our Universities. The session will begin by outlining the University of Kent's current EU and international student figures, including details of our international alumni around the world. Key elements of our international student orientation programmes will then be discussed in depth. Some of our orientation activities include:

  • An airport transfer service taking new EU and international students from London Heathrow and Gatwick airports to the University of Kent
  • A Meet and Greet service welcoming new students on campus and assisting them to their accommodation
  • A series of welcome events, such as a welcome brunch and registration morning, an introductory welcome talk, a trip to Asda supermarket for essentials, a walking tour of Canterbury, an Afternoon Tea and trips to castles in Kent.

In addition to orientation programmes, Kent runs initiatives throughout the academic year in order to develop community building and aid the continuation of student support. Meg will introduce these unique student programmes and activities to the participants, which include:

  • The Multicultural Events Fund – funding to support students running their own multicultural events
  • The Global Officers Leadership and Development (GOLD) programme – an initiative developed by our Dean for lnternationalisation helping students become representative global citizens
  • Global Learning Online (GLO) – a virtual learning activity allowing students to connect with others from institutions across the world
  • Global Hangouts – fun social events designed for all Kent students to network and share experiences, both academic and personal.

Meg will then move on to discuss how international alumni act as ambassadors for the University and play a crucial role in recruiting students from overseas, profile-building and raising University esteem overseas, taking part in student mentoring programmes, and donating to University scholarships and initiatives.