UCS pleased by high number of mature students

SUFFOLK: University bosses today told of their joy after it emerged that they were successfully attracting a high number of mature students.

Representatives from University Campus Suffolk (UCS) said they were proud of the institution’s diversity and hope to develop it even further.

In September, 3,402 of the 4,924 students who enrolled at UCS were over the age of 21 and therefore classed as mature students.

While in September 2008, 2,335 first year undergraduate students enrolled – meaning that more than 70 per cent of the student population was classed as mature.

The figures reveal that the number of mature students in Suffolk is dramatically high in comparison to the rest of the UK, which has a national average of 54pc.

Polly Bridgman, head of marketing at UCS, said the number of mature students at the university was down to the number of those studying part-time courses and those who recently completed courses at Suffolk New College.

She added: “We want to encourage mature students but we also want to encourage younger students.

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“The same way that we want to encourage more international students – a big part of student life is diversity.”

Meanwhile, Miss Bridgman also recently returned from a trip to Azerbaijan, in hopes of linking the town with the Asian country’s 2012 Olympic team, which will be based here for the London Games.

Last year, UCS had 57 foreign students enrol, and by September next year, it hopes to increase the number even further.

Students have ventured from Albania, Brunei, Angola, Egypt and Oman for the facilities available in Suffolk.

In addition a further two students have come from Mauritius, three have come from the Philippines and two from Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, 27 students have travelled to the region from countries within the European Union, including Estonia, Slovakia, Portugal and Bulgaria.

n Are you a student at UCS? Tell us your experiences, write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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