New chapter for award-winning #WeAreInternational campaign to create a global generation

  • UKCISA to take the reins and drive forward the #WeAreInternational campaign
  • The development will broaden the campaign’s reach, celebrating international students from universities, colleges, schools and study abroad programmes.

Photograph of two students holding #WeAreInternational campaign balloons

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and the University of Sheffield today (18 November 2019) announced a new chapter in the development of the #WeAreInternational campaign.

UKCISA will now drive the award-winning campaign forward - supporting it to reach even more international students across the education sector by capturing and sharing the voices of students from universities, colleges, schools, pathway providers and study abroad programmes.

Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield and Chair of the UKCISA Board, said: “In Sheffield we are very proud of this campaign, the impact it has had on international students and the positive UK policy changes it has helped to facilitate. #WeAreInternational grew organically from the University of Sheffield and developed into a campaign that others can pick up and use freely when offering a warm welcome or advocating for the rights of international students.

“UKCISA is a natural new home for #WeAreInternational. Its support and networks will mean that the campaign can expand its reach - helping to shape the International Education Strategy and playing a role in further improving the international student experience for everyone.”

Anne Marie Graham, Chief Executive of UKCISA, added: “In the current climate it is more important than ever to celebrate the successes, economic and social impacts that all international students bring to the UK. We want to empower students to share their stories about studying in the UK to highlight the importance of international education and internationalism.

In Sheffield we are very proud of this campaign, the impact it has had on international students and the positive UK policy changes it has helped to facilitate.

ProfessoR Koen Lamberts

“UKCISA is uniquely placed to widen the scope of #WeAreInternational. Our members work across the sector with universities, schools, colleges, pathway providers and students’ unions engaging with us through regional activities and national strategies. We are confident that we will be able to involve even more international students and those who work with them in this inclusive and positive campaign, to support a global student community.”

The campaign is open to all who support and welcome international students. #WeAreInternational materials will remain free to download from the website and an open, crowd-sourced approach will continue to be essential to the campaign’s credibility.

Students have always been at the centre of the #WeAreInternational campaign.

Speaking about how students can get involved in the campaign, Sheffield Students’ Union International Students' Officer Mengya (Sissi) Li said: "When I came to Sheffield as a postgraduate student the #WeAreInternational campaign helped me feel welcome in a brand new city right from the start, giving me the confidence to run in a competitive election and represent international students.

"Sheffield is renowned for being an inclusive and welcoming place to live, something I can attest to, so it's no surprise that #WeAreInternational, one of the most impactful international campaigns, was founded at Sheffield Students' Union. I'm excited to see the next chapter of this campaign led by UKCISA as they open it up to more people than ever before, helping them feel at home in this country regardless of where they're from."

To find out more about #WeAreInternational visit: or follow the campaign on Twitter or Facebook

Additional information


The #WeAreInternational campaign was founded as a national campaign in 2013 led by Sheffield Students Union and the University of Sheffield. It aimed to counter negative messages about international students in the media and concerns about a culture of welcome for overseas students in the U.K. through the development of shared materials and messages.

A QS survey from 2018 revealed 82 per cent of prospective students “felt like the UK was welcoming to international students” after seeing the campaign.

The campaign has received a number of awards including for Best International Strategy from the Times Higher Education, PIE News and The Guardian.

The content is all crowdsourced and continues to be available on the website at


UKCISA has supported international students and those who work with them since 1968.

It is a national charity and membership body providing training, advice and lobbying government departments to improve international student experience.

Every university in the UK, many further education colleges and schools are members of UKCISA.

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact:

Hannah Postles
Public Affairs Manager
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046