Small Business Awards 2018

8 Corporate Vision / 2018 Small Business Awards , International Students House Best Student Community Centre - Greater London International Students House (ISH) is a charity whose mission is to promote global friendship and understanding by providing international students with opportunities to experience life in the UK. Chief ExecutiveMartin Chalker provides us with a fascinating insight into the organisation and the vital work it undertakes. Since it began in 1965 ISH has been providing accommodation and membership services to British and international students in London, and today the organisation aims to complement the student support package offered by many London universities. In 2018/19 ISH will accommodate around 300 residents in single, twin, triple and quad rooms as well as offering a number of affordable family flats (a drop from over 600 in 2017/18 due to the closure of a building). Martin explores the organisation’s work in more detail and outlines how it supports its diverse array of students. “At ISH, we are one of the UK’s most diverse student residences, welcoming students of about 100 nationalities studying at both undergraduate and postgraduate level at over 40 London Higher Education Institutions. We are particularly proud of the ISH scholarship programme, which enables students to come to London for their studies by providing free accommodation and, in some cases, food bursaries. “In 2018, over 100 students from 49 different countries were offered scholarships to live at ISH. To achieve this, ISH works with 15 London universities and other academic partners, as well as with our catering suppliers, to remove all financial barriers from suitably qualified candidates who could not otherwise dream of affording to study in London. The university and academic partners cover all or some of the tuition fee costs, while ISH provides free or discounted accommodation in a convenient and central London location, which is also a social hub for London students. This charitable work is funded with assistance from ISH’s commercial activities: our conference centre One Park Crescent, with meeting rooms available for hire, and our basement music venue and bars, 229thevenue.” With the student accommodation market growing ever-more competitive, ISH has to set itself apart from the crowd by offering a truly unique solution. Martin explains how the organisations’ social support and commitment to its students is what marks it out as the best option for the hundreds who stay at ISH every year. Oct18310