What would you like the Union to do?

The Union should work to ensure fair and equal opportunities for doctoral students, especially international PhD students, including access to paid teaching opportunities.

Why would you like to do this?

International PhD students are often overlooked for paid teaching opportunities, due to lack of standard UK qualifications. This can lead to isolation and lack of equal opportunities for learning, and professional and personal development.

I believe that international doctoral students have knowledge and skills that are being ignored and that could add to the richness of learning experience in a global university like UCL, even in the absence of standard UK qualifications. As an eligible, self-funded international student, I have found it difficult to afford a cup of coffee or attend to my research needs, not to speak of the kind of stagnation and negative self-image that I developed on account of being deprived of an opportunity to teach and earn.

How will this affect students?

The policy will boost the self-esteem of PhD students, and international students in particular, generally prone to developing mental health problems due to low self-profile and long periods of seclusion. It will bring them into the public sphere and give them confidence to share their ideas in domains where they are specialists (or training to become one), ease out financial burden and prepare them for the future. Most importantly, it will instil confidence in outgoing doctoral students who will be future torchbearers of the UCL legacy all over the world.