APPG for International Students

About the APPG     Press

APPG Officers        Upcoming APPG Events

Secretariat             APPG Newsletter

About the APPG

Update 26 April 2017:

Parliament will be dissolved from 3 May until after the General Election, which has been called for 8 June 2017. While the House is dissolved, there are no Members of Parliament and therefore no All-Party Parliamentary Groups either. We look forward, however, to continuing our work with members old and new after the General Election. As per APPG rules we will hold a meeting and an AGM within two months of the election. We expect this meeting to be confirmed shortly and to be held within the first three weeks in July before the Parliamentary summer recess.

Statement of Purpose: To recognise the internationalisation and global prominence of UK education; promote the value of international students to UK education, economy and ‘soft power’; raise awareness of issues which affect international students and UK education; and provide a platform for collaboration between parliamentarians, international education institutions and professionals and business leaders.

Key goals:

  • Promote the local, regional and national value of international education, emphasising the importance of international students to employment and educational opportunities at a local level.
  • Promote the value of international students to the internationalisation of UK institutions and students, to the soft power of the UK abroad and to their home countries when they return with an internationalised education.
  • Provide a forum for discussion of the international student experience and sustainable approaches to internationalisation in the UK education sector.
  • Examine and respond to policy proposals and changes in regulation which might have a negative impact on the international education sector and its students.
  • Develop policies which would enhance the international student experience and the position of the UK in the global education market.


APPG Officers  

Paul Blomfield MP (Co-Chair and Registered Contact)

Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea (Co-Chair)

Ben Howlett MP (Secretary)

Baroness Uddin (Treasurer)

Geoffrey Robinson MP (Vice-Chair)

Alison Thewliss MP (Vice-Chair)

Baroness Warwick of Undercliffe (Vice-Chair)

Click here to view the full list of MPs and Peers who are members of the APPG for International Students.


Exporting Education UK and Independent Higher Education

Exporting Education UK is a cross sector group of UK organisations involved in international education who have come together to promote the value of the sector to the UK and its contribution to the UK’s long term competitiveness in the global economy.

Independent Higher Education coordinates Exporting Education UK on behalf of the international education sector. Independent HE is the UK membership organisation and national representative body for independent providers of higher education, professional training and pathways.



Lord Bilimoria, the Co-Chair of the APPG, gave an impassioned speech on the outcome of the European Union Referendum to the House of Lords on 5th July 2016. His speech can be read in full here.

View the press release from the inaugural meeting of the APPG online here.
The inaugural meeting received press coverage in outlets including the following:

The APPG’s Co-Chairs, Paul Blomfield MP and Lord Bilimoria, have been quoted in that capacity, regarding a new international student survey by Hobsons showing that almost half of students surveyed said that Brexit would make UK study less attractive, in the article ‘Brexit “risks international student recruitment”‘ (BBC News, 17.5.16).


Upcoming APPG Events

Events organised by the APPG for International Students are open to Members of Parliament and the House of Lords, and others by invitation only. If you are interested in attending an event organised by the APPG please Contact the secretariat:

APPG for International Students Meeting: International Students in the new Global Britain

CANCELLED: Due to the decision by Parliament to call a General Election for 8 June, we are no longer able to host the meeting of the APPG for International Students on 2 May 2017 at 11:30 am.

As per the APPG rules we will need to host a meeting and an AGM within two months of the election. We expect this meeting to be confirmed shortly and be held within the first three weeks in July before Parliamentary recess for the summer.

Tuesday 2 May 2017, 11:30-13:00 – Houses of Parliament

APPG Meeting 11:30-12:30, Annual General Meeting (AGM) 12:30-13:00.

As the UK moves to carve a new path for global engagement, what will be the impact on international students. The next meeting of the APPG for International students will hear from experts in trade, education, business and from students themselves on the role that international students will play in the new Global Britain. With the process for leaving the European Union started, and a consultation planned to re-think Britain’s immigration system the future for international students is more open for debate than ever before. With these challenges also comes opportunity to recognise and enhance the role international students play in our communities, schools, colleges, universities and our soft power. How best can we ensure that international students are both protected but also welcomed as an integral part of our global growth and opportunities.

The event will host a short panel followed by a discussion:

Ken Gill, Chief Executive, Northern Consortium UK (Consortium of Northern Universities)
Jaspreet Singh, Vice President, Birmingham City University Students Union and International Students’ Committee, National Union of Students
Martin Barrow, Advisor, China-Britain Business Council
TBC, Trade and International Development

If you are interested in attending this event please contact the APPG secretariat at

This meeting will also host the APPG’s Annual General Meeting and new members are welcome to register by emailing Any APPG member wishing to be elected to an officer role are encouraged to get in touch with the secretariat for more information.

APPG for International Students Meeting: In Discussion with Jo Johnson

15 November 2016, 16:00-17:00 – House of Lords

The first formal meeting of the APPG for International Students will host Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. The Minister will update APPG members on the government’s activities to promote international education and UK Higher Education globally. He will also update the APPG on his (then) recent trip to India which marks the start of a new way of promoting the UK as a study destination through the Education is GREAT campaign.

We will also have as a guest speaker Rebecca Hughes, Head of Education at the British Council and Co-Chair of the International Education Advisory Group – a body which brings together education sector groups and government to promote and develop international education in the UK, and in particular the recruitment of international students.

If you are interested in attending this event please contact the APPG secretariat at

Celebrating International Students Day: Afternoon Tea with the APPG for International Students

17 November 2016, 15:30-17:00 – House of Lords

In partnership with the LEARN Committee of educational attachés from London Embassies and the University of Bradford Business School, the APPG for International Students will host a group of international students from around the world currently studying in the UK to celebrate International Students Day.

International Students’ Day is an international observance of the global student community, held annually on 17 November. Universities around the world mark the day as a celebration of the multiculturalism of their international students and the coming together of the international student community.

Lord Bilimoria will host the event on behalf of the Co-Chairs.

Mostafa Rajaai, International Students Officer at NUS will be our keynote speaker, discussing the importance international students play in enriching education around the world, and the efforts of students in the UK to create more opportunities for cross-cultural learning.

The British Council will also be in attendance to showcase their new digital platform which aims to promote UK higher education and be a vital resource to prospective and current international students in the UK.

This event is sponsored by The University of Bradford Business School.

If you are interested in attending this event please contact the APPG secretariat at


International Education Events



APPG Newsletter

You can view all of the APPG’s past newsletters in our Newsletter Archive.

You can also follow this link to sign up to the APPG for International Students Mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter straight to your inbox.

Contact the secretariat:


This is not an official website of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in these webpages are those of the group.

Latest tweets