Posted Wednesday 27 October 2010
Study Group, a leading provider of foundation and preparation courses for international students in the UK, has opened its first London-based International Study Centre (ISC) at Kingston University. The occasion was marked by a reception at the centre's headquarters at Kingston's Penrhyn Road campus on October 4, which was attended by representatives from Study Group and the University, as well as some of the 70 students who make up part of the first year's intake.
These students hail from around the world, and will study in a university-style environment, with progression guaranteed to pre-selected undergraduate degrees or postgraduate Master's programmes at Kingston University on completion of their ISC course. The centre offers six International Foundation Year courses, including: Business, Management and Economics and Life and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Students undertaking the specialist pre-Master's programme can choose Business and Management, Computing or Engineering.
Kingston University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Mackintosh (pictured, right), commented: "We have always been very proactive in the recruitment of overseas students directly at degree level; however, the ability to complete a preparatory year of study within a university environment is vital for many overseas students who wish to study further in the UK, particularly those arriving from countries that may not have the standard 13-year education system seen across Europe. Study Group not only has the necessary expertise to deliver bespoke courses, and high progression rates from ISC to university programme, but also shares our belief that your reputation is only as good as the service you provide to your students."
James Pitman, Study Group's MD of Higher Education, UK and Europe, added: "It is vital for us, when embarking on new partnerships, that both parties have the same high levels of commitment and engagement. Kingston University is internationally-renowned in the sector, and we look forward to seeing many students progress through the centre onto undergraduate and postgraduate programmes."
Newly-inducted students at the reception included Raja Jamal, enrolled on the engineering, maths and computing foundation year, and Janet Wu, 19, from Macau (centre below).
Janet is studying the International Foundation Certificate in Art and Design with English, and commented: "I really wanted to study art and design at Kingston because of its excellent reputation. My agent also advised me on the most suitable destination. Pursuing my passion for the arts at Bachelor level at Kingston's internationally-renowned Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture would allow me to consider fine art or an interesting career in advertising. I've been here two weeks and I've already made friends in my halls and on my course!"
Unfortunately, settling in has not been such a straightforward experience for all of the new international students hoping to start at Kingston: "Several of our students who were meant to commence studies here have been held up by their visa applications; it's very sad," explained Paul Lovegrove, Principal of UK ISCs for Study Group.
However, Lovegrove is positive on the benefits students will gain from the partnership: "Kingston University is a well-established brand that is known for the warm welcome it gives overseas students and the quality of its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Kingston's location is also ideal; the Penrhyn Road campus is close to the town centre which allows easy access to central London, complementing the close-knit community of the University. As Study Group's first ISC in the capital, we'll be working with the University to ensure it becomes an example of best practice for other higher education institutions in the area."