UCS in global search for students and their fees

IPSWICH: University bosses are reaching out to far-flung corners of the globe in a bid to make the campus more culturally diverse and bring in much-needed income, it emerged today.

Representatives from University Campus Suffolk (UCS) are planning to visit China, Brazil, India and Azerbaijan this year in the hope of recruiting more foreign students for the 2011 academic term.

International students pay considerably higher fees than their UK-based counterparts – currently between �9,900 and �11,990 at UCS.

And they are not included in the quota of government-funded places, so their fees are a welcome supplement.

Polly Bridgman, head of marketing at UCS, said: “Most universities have a fair percentage of international students. At Manchester, it is a massive part of their source of income.

“They bring huge benefit with their diverse cultures and give a more rounded experience to all students at the university.”

Miss Bridgman is heading out to Azerbaijan next month to capitalise on the town’s link with the Asian country’s 2012 Olympic team, which will be based here for the London Games.

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The university has also recruited an international student support officer and an international admissions officer to lead the search.

UCS currently has only 20 to 30 foreign students, many of whom are already UK-based. By September next year, it hopes to increase this number to around 60.

Miss Bridgman said: “We haven’t done much so far because we are still in the early stages of development. International students need more financial support, specialist help and halls of residence, which we haven’t had until now.

“We are going out there to work directly with universities, schools, agents and recruitment events.

“International students will bring in another source of income, which is very important when cuts are being made left, right and centre.”

Earlier this month, UCS continued to forge links abroad when it hosted students and professors from Japan as they learnt about international health from lecturers from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Interprofessional Studies.

Meanwhile, around 5,000 students were heading to the university’s Waterfront building to enroll this week as freshers’ week kicks off.

n Will the university benefit from more international students? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk