Swansea University and Navitas further enhance partnership with new joint £45m College development

Swansea University and Navitas, a global education provider and leader in the provision of university preparatory courses for international students, have today announced a new joint venture agreement and £45 million investment in new teaching and accommodation infrastructure to advance the University’s internationalisation strategy and to enhance the student experience.

Artist's impression of The College, Swansea University









The new agreement and investment strengthens a decade-long partnership between Swansea University and Navitas, which was first established in 2008 with the founding of the International College Wales Swansea (ICWS).

This new venture will build on the success of the ICWS and significantly increase the University’s global reach, international profile and reputation, which is already in a strong position as a Global Top 200 University for International Students. The partnership has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to sponsor students for a visa to study in the UK.

The £45 million investment will allow the development of two new buildings at Swansea University’s Bay Campus: an academic building and a 411-bed student residence, to provide dedicated facilities for the joint venture, and will be known as ‘The College, Swansea University’.  

 Internal Atrium of The College, Swansea UniversityGlobal Reach and International Profile

The new joint venture is set to boost the University’s recruitment of international students by providing increased options for direct pathways to a Swansea University degree course. 

The expanded partnership is a strong vote of confidence in the University in the post-Brexit environment and also highlights the University’s strong links with Australia, via Australian investment and current research links.

Recent examples of research collaborative studies have included:


Student Learning Experience

Work on the three storey academic building is underway and it is expected to be completed in September 2018 and ready for occupancy in October.  The building will provide bespoke learning and teaching spaces to deliver high-quality teaching and support, as well as open access study and social areas that will be available to all students at the Bay Campus. 

Students at ‘The College, Swansea University’ will continue to gain the additional benefits from Navitas of smaller class sizes, additional teaching sessions, and high levels of personalised attention and dedicated support services to equip them for life at university.  The joint venture will help embed students in the University, providing a seamless transition to Swansea University degree courses.  The nearby residence building is expected to be ready for occupancy in January 2019 and will enable the development of a strong living-learning community. 

The College, Swansea University Executive Committee

Pictured: Professor Iwan Davies (Swansea University); Charles Matthews OBE (Independent Executive), Rob Brelsford-Smith (Swansea University)l Paul Lovegrove (Navitas).

“Swansea’s ambitious internationalisation strategy over the last decade has seen the University expand its activities on a truly global scale and become an important window and door to the world.

“Our on-going, successful partnership with Navitas provides students with an alternative path to university life and together we will continue to enable students to come to Swansea from every corner of the globe.”

Navitas CEO, Rod Jones, said: “We are excited at this extension of our long-term relationship with Swansea University and look forward to working closely together to continue to expand opportunities for international students to transition to undergraduate and pre-masters programs through The College, Swansea University.

“This new joint venture builds on 10 years of excellence in progression rates and quality learning outcomes. The development of new teaching and accommodation infrastructure, to be financed through the existing operations of the college, will further cement Swansea’s reputation as an attractive destination for international students looking to pursue higher education in the UK.”

International College Wales Swansea (ICWS) at Swansea University

  • Since the first year of ICWS operation at Swansea in 2008 more than 2,000 students have progressed from ICWS pathways to the University with typical ICWS student numbers between 2012–2016 being approximately 500-600 enrolments.
  • Progression rates from ICWS to Swansea University are consistently high and averaging at least 95%.
  • The University’s relationship with ICWS proved to be a strong feature of the University’s 2014 QAA [UK Quality Assurance Agency] Institutional Review Report. More recently the 2016 QAA Higher Education Review Report of ICWS concluded that ICWS met all UK expectations and was commended for the quality of student learning opportunities provided. More specifically the QAA identified as good practice the strong working relationship between ICWS and the University: the “one Swansea” philosophy of integration, the effective processes for student engagement and the effective use of tracer data from the University in reviewing student performance and achievement.