Kingston University has taken a significant step forward in the international market by forging a fresh partnership with an institution in China. It has drawn up plans for a new joint Degree programme in Business and English with the Qufu Teachers' University in Rizhao, which is likely to see the first crop of Chinese students sign up for courses at Kingston before 2005.
Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs and Business Development Professor David Miles believes Kingston University's location and quality of teaching have played a major part in cementing the new relationship. "At Kingston we are keen to provide a culturally diverse place to study," he said. "As well as injecting an international flavour into campus life, overseas students give their British counterparts a greater insight into other cultures." They also made a major contribution to the local economy, Professor Miles said.
The links also have other spin-offs. "Many of our international students go on to hold leading positions in multinational companies," Professor Miles said. "If they get a lot out of their time at Kingston, they're very quick to spread the word and can be great ambassadors for our University and the area as a whole."
International students make up approximately seven percent of Kingston University's total student population. Last year, almost 900 of the University's 12,000 full-time students came from overseas. It is attracting more and more students from countries such as Japan, India, Malaysia and Cyprus and is breaking into the Kenyan, Taiwanese and Korean markets.
The University is also venturing abroad, setting up offshoots of its Business School in other countries. The Kingston MBA programme, offered in Russia, Holland and Greece, is a popular choice with employers keen to develop senior managers' skills. Meanwhile, the University's Faculty of Technology is also running courses for students in Russia, Greece and Sri Lanka.
Bridge - The Kingston University magazine