Universities set up London bases to attract foreign students

High fees that can be charged to foreign students make them a lucrative source of income ,Jeevan Vasagar

The latest enrolment figures show that nearly 107,000 overseas undergraduates were studying in the UK during the last academic year, a rise of 11% on the year before. The high fees that can be charged to foreign students make them a lucrative source of income, and they are particularly important when it comes to postgraduate study. The number of overseas students on full-time postgraduate courses overtook UK students last year – 132,475 compared with 131,590.

But not all universities are equally well known to prospective foreign students, and recently a number of institutions have set up outposts in London, partly in order to raise their profile with this valuable market. The University of East Anglia, Glasgow Caledonian University , and Coventry, Northumbria and Abertay are among those that have colonised the capital.

Announcing the plans last year, Glasgow Caledonian’s vice-chancellor Pamela Gillies, said it would allow the university to deliver a range of postgraduate courses to “a predominantly international market”. The university, which opened its campus in Spitalfields last September, offers courses including an MA in luxury brand marketing.

UEA has set up its London outpost in partnership with INTO, a network of study centres that prepares foreign students for degree and postgraduate courses in English-speaking countries.

Coventry’s London campus, which opened last autumn, has enrolled 400 postgraduates, all foreign. It plans to offer undergraduate places in the capital from January.

Abertay University, based in Dundee, has set up a London partnership with a private college, the London International College. It will acquire its first students this May. Sabine Hotho, head of the university’s business school, said the aim was to recruit more students “across the board”, both domestic and foreign.

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