Since our establishment in 1947, we have been supporting students from across the Commonwealth, empowering them, through dialogue and debate, to promote progress towards more peaceful, open and inclusive societies. Every year, at Christmas, we host a Commonwealth and International Student Christmas Conference, for international students based at UK universities.
In February 2018, we supported 52 international students, from 21 UK universities and 22 countries around the world, to discuss progress on LGBTQI+ rights in the Commonwealth, along with charity leaders, academics, global advocates and policy influencers. This conference was convened in partnership with The Kaleidoscope Trust, in response to the fact that 90% of Commonwealth citizens live in jurisdictions where LGBTQI+ people are criminalised. The resulting conference statement was submitted to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in London, in April 2018, backed by a supporting letter from LGBTQI+ rights campaigner Sir Elton John.
In December 2019, we convened a youth symposium, involving 66 young leaders and students from across the Commonwealth, in partnership with the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the British Council, and the Commonwealth Secretariat, to discuss youth-focused priorities for the future of the Commonwealth, ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) due to take place in Rwanda in June 2020.