International business travel to areas of political, social and economic instability is fraught with dangers, and you would be forgiven for assuming the safety of your students and staff is out of your control. Ultimately, of course, it is; but your duty of care extends to ensuring they are adequately prepared for travel and supported during and after their trips.
With more than 437,000 international students studying at UK universities and 27,000 UK nationals travelling abroad for some or all of their higher education, today’s world is too uncertain not to entertain the risks associated with travel. Even a small problem can become time-consuming and costly, spoiling a trip, and in the event of an emergency situation, the effects can be long-term and far-reaching. Travel insurance does not traditionally cover consular assistance (although we are delighted to have an ever-growing number of partnerships with insurance providers), and the increasingly stretched resources of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) result in only the most vulnerable receiving help from the Government. For international students travelling to the UK, issues with travel documents, including passports and visas can have a significant impact on their studies and wellbeing.