officer blog


Postgraduate Officer

Elise Page


update: vc’s response to letter regarding international students’ concerns

Dear all,

I hope you are enjoying warmer weather in Norwich.

I would like to share with you the letter I sent to the VC regarding international students’ concerns, and the response I recently received.

I’d appreciate if you read both letters and let me know what you feel about the VC's responses.

Please keep each other safe and feel free to ask me regarding this.



Mica Magsanoc
6:48am on 19 May 21 I feel like it is so easy for the VC to say that the University has been sympathetic and empathetic to international student concerns, but unlike Ayane's letter, he provides no concrete evidence that shows exactly how they have supported students. He writes how there are well-being services available 24/7 and the like, but that doesn't address any concern. Ayane brought up concrete evidence of how international students are struggling but the VC writes this off by saying that it is "unjustified" because it only comes from a small portion of students and is "not representative of our wider student experiences." I find this so ridiculous and tasteless because I was always told and reminded that everyone had a voice in UEA and everyone's concerns would be heard, but that doesn't seem like it now based on the VC's comments. Just because two people are struggling out of 100 people, does not mean that their struggles are unimportant or should be ignored. With terms for the Value for Money issue, I also find it ridiculous how international students are still expected to pay an exorbitant amount of money when some can't even be in UEA to learn, also taking into account financial strains their family might be under due to COVID-19. The VC writes that students are encouraged to apply for the Hardship Fund to fund their studies, but does he know that international students who are studying remotely cannot apply for that since they are not living in the UK? The Hardship Fund Application requires you to list your household expenses, but if you are living with family in your home country, you are told you cannot apply and only should when back in the UK. His constant response of saying that their are support offices and staff students can turn to sounds very mediocre and unprepared. Shouldn't there be concrete policies or actions in place already? So students don't need to talk to offices or staff to know what their options are? Shouldn't they already be made clear to students? As an international student, I have personally not felt ANY of this so called "support" the VC has said the University has provided.
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