International Students – A Declaration


  • The world is increasingly interconnected and interdependent, physically and virtually.
  • For young people, the careers of the future in a knowledge-based economy will require
    not simply intellectual and technological skills, but innovation and creativity, language skills, intercultural competence, and the personal skills of confidence and resilience needed to operate successfully in a different social and/or linguistic environment.
  • The increasingly free movement of ideas and capital is accompanied by rising demand for the opportunity for young people to study in countries other than their own.
  • Governments and other agencies should seek to promote study abroad to help develop national and international human capital.


  • We the undersigned declare that international study has the following benefits:
  • It leads to personal development and fulfilment for individual students, and achievement of life and career goals in turn leads to health and happiness.
  • It helps form human bonds between individuals from different cultures and nations through studying and working together.
  • It has the potential to promote international understanding, to reduce tensions and conflicts, and to facilitate international affairs and business.
  • It provides, through the experience of different concepts, approaches and perspectives, a challenge to creativity, innovation and new approaches to common problems.
  • It leads to enrichment of the world’s intellectual and human capital, and it is in itself a form of trade which has economic benefits at local and national levels.
  • It underpins scientific and medical and other research, a leading source of both wealth creation and human development, which is increasingly international.
  • It is in line with national interests, from extending a country’s soft power to building world class higher education institutions.

We therefore believe that governments, agencies and institutions should:

  • Promote the desirability of study abroad
  • Promote international student mobility through all available means
  • Encourage student exchange schemes at institutional and regional levels
  • Deliver programmes through institutional partnerships such as two- and three-centre
    degree courses
  • Ensure that high school leavers have competence in a foreign language
  • Structure visa systems to facilitate student mobility, reducing cost and complexity
  • Treat students as temporary migrants outside any count of net migration
  • Establish a forum or agency under the United Nations to act as the champion of
    international study.

Supported by:

  • English UK – United Kingdom
  • English Australia – Australia
  • FEDELE, Federación de Escuelas
    de Español como Lengua Extranjera – España
  • SOUFFLE – France
  • Quality English – United Kingdom
  • ABLS Association – United Kingdom
  • Marketing English in Ireland – Ireland
  • Education South Africa – South Africa
  • FELTOM – Malta
  • English New Zealand – New Zealand
  • IALC – International
  • AEPLE – Portugal

Download the declaration here.

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