Conference set for overseas students in UK

| 12/09/2018

CNS Local Life(CNS Local Life): The UK Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) will be holding its third overseas students conference in London. Set for Saturday, 3 November, the event is taking place at the Natural History Museum (Flett Events Theatre), London. The conference is open to students studying in the UK from all territories that are members of UKOTA.

Members of the association are Ascension Island, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

The event presents an opportunity for students from a wide range of cultures to come together and celebrate their shared histories and distinctiveness at the same time, according to a UKOTA press release. The theme of the conference is ‘Identity’, something that resonates strongly amongst the Overseas Territories.

At a time of change in the UK with the imminent departure from the European Union, both the UK and its Overseas Territories are reflecting upon their historic ties and cultural identity, said the release.

Students have been invited to produce a short film depicting their homeland, under the conference theme. Films will be shown at the conference in the Flett Events Theatre as part of an Overseas Territories film festival, and judged by the political and cultural geography academics Dr Alastair Pinkerton (University of London) and Dr Matt Benwell (Newcastle University). The academics will then use their Overseas Territory specialist knowledge to lead a discussion on the themes coming out of the students’ original film work.

The Natural History Museum hosts will also be fielding speakers to highlight the vast range of specimens held at the museum from UK Overseas Territories across the globe. Students will get the opportunity to visit collections behind the scenes to see specimens relating to their various Overseas Territories.

The UKOTA Chair Eric Bush, Cayman Islands Representative in the UK, said of the event: “We are delighted to be holding the important UKOTA student conference, where the future generation of Overseas Territory citizens get to meet, interact and share areas of common interest and celebrate differences.

“We are particularly grateful to the prestigious Natural History Museum for generously hosting the event. The museum offers both fantastic facilities and a genuine insight into the various Overseas Territories, seen through the enormous collection of exhibits gathered from around the globe.”

Dr Mark Carine, principal curator in charge of the algae, fungi and plants division, added,“We are very pleased and excited to be working with the UK Overseas Territories and their students and to have the opportunity to discuss the huge and important collections gathered from around the world over the centuries.

“We are also keen to highlight the on-going modern day scientific work still taking place in the Overseas Territories, with current Natural History Museum scientists. We hope that the students gain a wider understanding of their endemic flora and fauna and their importance in global biodiversity and to their own cultural identity.”

For more information and to register go to the UKOTA website. For enquiries on the student conference or the film festival email or

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Category: Education

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