Internationalising the University
Since its foundation in 1920, Swansea University has embraced opportunities to think globally whilst remaining true to its regional roots. The University is internationally active; attracting students and staff from over one hundred countries with approximately 30% of all new staff recruited over the last five years from outside the UK. Our Academic Schools enjoy strong and productive links with partner institutions around the world. Much of the University’s teaching and research has global relevance.
Many of the University’s degree programmes offer the option to spend time overseas. For example, the School of Business and Economics enjoys superb international links and offers numerous opportunities for tomorrow’s managers to study abroad. In the School of Arts, students on undergraduate programmes in Modern Languages can spend up to a year abroad improving their language skills. Similar schemes exist across the University’s range of academic subject areas and provide an enormously valuable experience for our students.
The University has led Bologna Process developments in the UK and is fully engaged with the Erasmus Mundus Programme in running innovative joint courses with partner institutions in Europe. An example is the rasmus Mundus Master’s degrees in Journalism and Computational Mechanics. It provides students with the possibility of study in at least three countries greatly enhancing their international employability and prospects. Swansea is also in the process of developing a joint PhD in Engineering with the University of Avignon. Courses such as these bring together European universities combining the best academic research and teaching from each of the distinct national educational cultures.
The University has seen a growth in its student recruitment from overseas and an increase in its market share within the sector. Swansea is cautiously confident about projected future growth in overseas numbers. This is partly due to an innovative partnership that the University has entered into with Navitas, an Australian organisation, that is highly experienced in developing university preparation courses for international students. Navitas, through the International College Wales Swansea (ICWS) offers new pathways to a Swansea University degree for overseas students via a range of foundation programmes. The very successful inaugural student intake lays a strong foundation for future growth and expansion. ICWS has made an immediate impact on the diversity of the Swansea University student body, enrolling students from less traditional areas of recruitment such as Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Turkey. The portfolio of the College will be further enhanced by the addition of a Pre-Masters Programme in 2009/10.
The University’s English Language Training Services offers learning and training experience to students. It is seen as critical to the implementation of the University’s internationalisation strategy. Other sources of support for international students on campus include the International Student Advisory Service. They offer impartial support to all non-UK students and provides information and advice on non-academic matters, including immigration and services. The Students’ Union also provides active support through its International Officer to help integrate students within Swansea’s international community.