Following the recruitment launch of the two new courses at our International Study Centre last week, we heard from Senior Vice Principal, Professor Ken Badcock, on the progression of our plan to increase our number of international students.
The College is international to its heart, from the diversity of our students and staff through to the connections for our research. We are currently progressing a plan to increase the proportion of international students in our total student population, and the contribution that diversity and connections make to academic life here at the College. Given uncertainties around Home fee levels, the initial emphasis for that expansion has focussed on expanding international student recruitment via structured routes into the College.
There are four recruitment strands. The first relates to a significant expansion of our operations through the University of London Worldwide distance-learning programmes. We currently have around 1,600 students studying on four degree programmes, with around half of these receiving support from the University of London Worldwide Study Centre network around the world. Initiatives are underway to expand our programme offering over more disciplines and the way they are delivered. The BSc in Business Administration is our largest programme, and has recently undergone a significant overhaul which has already succeeded in attracting significantly increased demand from students. One feature of the redevelopment was to open up the opportunity for distance-learning students to transfer to the equivalent on-campus programme during their degree, and this provides a significant opportunity.
The second strand relates to the study abroad programme which involves international visiting students studying at Royal Holloway for one or two terms, or a full year, without registering for a degree. As a College, we have long-standing partnerships with a range of prestigious overseas universities, but our overall offer for visiting students needs to be revitalised and promoted if we are to remain an attractive destination in an increasingly competitive and globalised study abroad sector. The information on our website for these students has been updated, and a plan is being developed to re-engage with institutions and recruitment events in North America.
The third strand is the launch of an expanded offer on pathway courses with the partner Study Group to augment the existing International Foundation Year. With the support of the relevant academic departments, our Royal Holloway International Study Centre is launching new programmes for students who do not meet the direct entry requirements for our first year but are over-qualified for a foundation programme, and those who require additional support with study skills and English language before joining a Masters programme. Recruitment has started on the International Year One programmes which the College has endorsed as providing a pathway into the second year of the relevant degree programme, and on the Pre-Masters programmes which lead onto Masters programmes. The subjects offered are in Business and Management, Economics, Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at both levels, and in Social Sciences and Humanities at Pre-Masters level.
Finally, progression and articulation agreements with Chinese universities have been reviewed to see what potential there is to expand these routes into study at the College. The idea is to bring effort behind relationships with potential to be as successful as the long-running relationship with Communications University China that brings consistently ten students per year onto Masters Programmes in Media Arts. The development of a similar network of partnerships in India and Pakistan will follow.
Emphasis will shift after the new College Strategy is launched to consider strengthening the ways that our international connections bring benefit to our Education and Research. An example is the recent award of UKIERI grant to Jenni Cole and Vandan Desai to build on their research connections to provide internship opportunities in India for Geography students.
You can find out more about our International Study Centre (ISC) Programmes on this webpage.
Professor Ken Badcock
Senior Vice Principal
(Academic Strategy, Partnerships and Resources)