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During November, Chester Students’ Union announced the results of their latest round of Student Council elections.

University of Chester students ran for a number of elected positions, including International Students Representative. The elected candidate for this role is MSc Computer Science student, Azeez Owolabi, originally from Nigeria.

Azeez now becomes part of the Student Council, which brings representatives together from across the University to discuss change and how the student experience can be improved. Check out Azeez’s profile below to learn more about his role, vison and how international students can benefit from his service.

What does the role of International Student Representative involve?

I have been elected to provide a voice for international students at Chester Students’ Union (CSU) council meetings. A large part of my role will involve speaking to international students and discussing any issues they face or concerns they have. I will ensure student feedback is shared effectively with CSU and work hard to improve the international student experience on offer.

What are your main objectives?

Support new students

I would like to improve the support new international students receive. The first few weeks in a new country as a student are usually the hardest, so I want to ensure everyone is supported effectively and is able to get help if needed.

Improve employment prospects

I am aiming to organise two careers events this academic year, tailored for international students with a focus on global employability skills. I will also review existing employability opportunities and suggest ways in which they can be better suited to international students.

Improved financial hardship promotion

The University hardship fund is an important support service and I want to make sure international students know they can use the service, should they need to.

Graduate work visa extensions

I will lobby nationally for an extension to the graduate work visa for international students. I will also encourage the University to increase the support it provides to international students staying in the UK after their programme ends.

What made you want to run for election?

Coming from Nigeria myself, I appreciate the challenges international students face and the concerns they have, whether that be settling in, adjusting to culture shock or finding the right department to contact for help. I wanted to be a voice for these students and ensure their needs are met. It will be an honour to represent them.

What would be your message to international students who want to share their views with you?

‘It is more powerful to speak than to silently resent’.

I am actively encouraging all international students to share their views and opinions on all aspects of student life at the University. I will strive to listen, take action and improve your University experience. I will make myself accountable!

If you would like to contact Azeez, please get in touch via the Chester Students' Union committee page.

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