Tuesday 11th May saw the University of Wales, Newport host a celebration of international education with guests including the university’s Vice Chancellor, Dr Peter Noyes; Director of European and External Affairs for the Welsh Assembly Government, Gary Davies; the Director of Higher Education Wales, Amanda Wilkinson; and Arvid Petersen, Global Executive Chairman of Study Group, the world leaders in international education, as well as a range of past and present international students from the centre.
The event was a celebration of the tremendous successes enjoyed by the Welsh International Study Centre (WISC) in the two years since inception. Study Group is the organisation that runs WISC, based at the University of Wales, Newport’s Caerleon Campus.
WISC was opened on the university’s campus in the new Kegie Building in May 2008 and has since seen 168 international students enrol. It offers two foundation routes into undergraduate programmes at leading Welsh partner universities. Route one is designed for students interested in Business, Law and Social Studies and route two is designed for those interested in future Engineering and Science degrees. Last year 60 students progressed from WISC to universities in Wales. 30 remained at the University of Wales, Newport, with others selecting Cardiff University and Aberystwyth University amongst others.
Dr Peter Noyes, Vice Chancellor at the University of Wales, Newport commented at the event: “Welsh higher education is currently going through a period of rapid change. The recently announced budget cuts affect the whole of the UK and have resulted in Wales looking at different ways of delivering higher education. We opened the International Study Centre in 2008 in order to properly prepare international students for HE study throughout Wales, and we’ve seen a direct correlation in the WISC preparatory programmes and increased performance from international students, throughout undergraduate programmes at the university.
“International students bring different cultures and different ways of learning to our campus and we’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from all of our students. The Students’ Union has started social clubs to appeal to our international students and welcome them to the university. We want to achieve the right mix of students here and we value the two-way benefit that currently exists between UK and international students. We’re currently satisfied with a 10-15% internationalisation of the student population.”
Noyes concluded: “These students are long term business prospects for Wales as we expect a number of them to become heads of industry and public service in their native countries and are therefore essential business prospects for Welsh industry. Wales is growing all the time as a student destination of choice and we regularly welcome international partners from all over the world to our campus.”
The purpose of the dinner and drinks event was to extend the university’s thanks and gratitude to Study Group as the organisation responsible for running the WISC. Arvid Petersen, Global Executive Chairman of the leading international education provider was keen to reflect on the success of the WISC: “A university looking to increase the numbers of international students on their campus needs to do so with a structured approach. The WISC is properly preparing its students, giving them a better opportunity to excel on their chosen degree programme and adding value for the university.
“We’ve found on a global basis that the recipe for International Study Centre success is to encourage a diversity of nationalities, there are around 23 at the WISC at the moment, to study numerous disciplines. The WISC fully immerses its students treating them as members of the university from day one. This allows them the best possible preparation for their future undergraduate and postgraduate courses.”
Raisa Mia, 19 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is one of the international students currently studying at the WISC. She took time out from the evening to explain what was driving her and how she was fairing in the UK: “I grew up wanting to study architecture but ever since I visited the Oxford Law School my heart has been set on law. I’m studying a business foundation degree at the WISC and have been offered a conditional place at Cardiff Law School. I’m the only Malaysian at the WISC but it hasn’t stopped the feeling of extended family that I have become accustomed to. All the teachers act as personal mentors as well which makes it really easy to settle in and progress with your studies.”
Mia already has future plans as she explained: “After I graduate from Cardiff I hope to practice law in the UK for two years before returning to Malaysia and working in the maritime legal sector.”
The WISC is one of 12 successful ISCs tutoring international students on university campuses across the UK. This summer will see the first wave of international students that commenced their studies at the centre in 2008, graduate from their undergraduate degree programmes and Study Group’s WISC Director, Vernon Dando, confirmed on the night that there would be a special graduation ceremony taking place at the university.
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About the University of Wales, Newport
The University of Wales, Newport has a long established international reputation underpinned by activities which range from its innovative MBA programme delivered in China to an extensive international recruitment network across 15 countries. Central to Newport’s international plans is ensuring an outstanding international student experience and in autumn 2007 international students voted Newport first in Wales in the International Student Barometer survey. Areas of the international student experience in which Newport excels include library and IT provision, the overall living experience and the quality of university accommodation.
In addition to Newport’s growing reputation amongst international students, the University is rapidly opening up new student recruitment markets. With a growing international student population the University is now welcoming students from a wide range of new markets such as Nigeria, Jordan, the Gulf States and Pakistan.
For further details see: www.newport.ac.uk
About Study Group
Spanning five continents, Study Group is a global leader in international education, providing the highest quality educational opportunities for students from over 140 countries. Beginning in 1994 with 7,000 students per year, Study Group now has an enrolment base of 55,000 around the world.
Through Study Group’s leading set of partnerships with top universities, it is able to provide on and off-campus preparation courses for international students that ensure academic success and entry into some of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world. The quality of its UK teaching is confirmed by independent accreditation bodies worldwide including: English UK, Ofsted, British Council and the BAC.
The biggest intake of international students into Study Group’s UK programmes is from countries with emerging economies such as China, South East Asian economies, and in particular from oil-rich nations such as Russia and the Middle East.
For further details see: www.studygroup.com
This post was submitted by Study Group.