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Helping Sheffield’s international connections

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Local MP Meg Munn recently accompanied representatives from Sheffield Hallam University to a meeting she had arranged at the Home Office to discuss the visa applications process for Iraqi students wishing to study in Sheffield. Elaine Brookes, Assistant Dean, Academic and Portfolio Development, and James Richardson, Director of International Development, wanted to meet Home Office officials to discuss what they have been doing to improve visa applications for students.

Sheffield Hallam University are developing a Healthcare Project working with the Iraq Ministry of Health and Iraqi universities. The healthcare service in Iraq is currently meagre, and in 2006 the World Health Organisation (WHO) rated heath outcomes as amongst the poorest in the region. This is partly due to a decline in the number of doctors and nurses leading to poor conditions in hospitals.

Due to the unrest in Iraq over recent years, security is a very difficult issue and students often have to travel to neighbouring countries, such as Jordan, to obtain their visas for travel to the UK. However there are plans to build a new Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Baghdad later in the year so that the process should be speeded up.

Many Iraqi students wish to study in the UK because the education system is of a higher standard and they can then return to Iraq to build professional networks and provide better services. Supported by the British Council in Baghdad, Sheffield Hallam University are keen to ensure that the right students are selected for study so that the most successful results are produced. This includes an English language test ahead of embarking on a university course.

Meg said: 

“Iraq is working hard to build better relations with the UK, including better support with education and training so it can expand its public and private sector. Working with the UK Boarder Agency, Sheffield Hallam University hope to continue improving the help Iraqi students can get to study in the UK.”

Associated Photograph :

Meg outside the Home Office with Elaine Brookes and James Richardson

Meg outside the Home Office with Elaine Brookes and James Richardson


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