University celebrates international diversity during World Week 2017

World Week Parade

Students at the University of Sheffield celebrated their international diversity during a colourful parade through Sheffield city centre on Sunday (22 October 2017) to mark the beginning of World Week 2017.

The annual festival of multicultural events highlights the University and Students’ Union’s support of its vibrant student community and the #WeAreInternational campaign, which champions international students, staff, research and collaborations in higher education.

A week of activities includes:

  • Sheffield’s Got Talent (Wednesday 25 October 2017) – an evening of entertainment showcasing the talents of University students and staff, ranging from musical performances to poetry and dance.
  • A Global Café (Thursday 26 October 2017) – an opportunity to meet people from across the world with free tea, coffee and games.
  • Mexican Skull Mask Workshop (Thursday 27 October 2017) – make Mexican skull masks from scratch to mark Día de Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday to honour and celebrate the lives of those who are no longer with us.

Santhana Gopalakrishnan, International Students’ Officer at the University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union, said: “This year, as always, we recognise the value of internationalisation. The #WeAreInternational campaign has gained substantial momentum, not only the support of leaders from both the Higher Education and business sectors, but also support within Parliament.

“It is enlightening to see the value of international students being recognised. The campaign was founded in the spirit of treasuring universities as places of international exchange and mutual respect. International students contribute immensely to our campus, helping to make our university and the city a truly global community.”

She added: “World Week is the perfect opportunity for our university community to celebrate diversity, meanwhile providing a platform to raise awareness of crucial aspects of our global community such as oppression, cultural appropriation and other issues faced on a daily basis.”

The festival will end with a #WeAreInternational sports day (Saturday 29 October 2017) at Goodwin Sports Centre, where participants from all over the world will take part in a beginners’ five-a-side football tournament. Members of the public can also learn new languages, from German and Mandarin to Arabic, at an International Festival of Languages at Sheffield Students’ Union (Saturday 29 October 2017).

Flo Brookes, Sports Officer at the University of Sheffield's Students' Union, said: "Sport is the perfect way to unite people no matter where you are from. We want to celebrate the range of people from all over the world we have at Sheffield by hosting a beginners football tournament.

"This is open to all abilities and is a great way for students to make new friends in a fun environment. Sports clubs have engaged so much with the We Are International campaign, it is a great way to promote inclusivity and engage as many people as we can into sports to transform their student experience."

The #WeAreInternational campaign was first developed by the University of Sheffield and its Students’ Union and is driven by universities, student groups and people across the UK who celebrate the UK’s long history of leading in international higher education. It calls for universities to be given the tools and policies needed to remain open, friendly, inclusive and diverse.

View the World Week programme

Additional information


The University of Sheffield
With almost 27,000 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 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

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
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 2221046