By Tohid Ismael
Durham University has opened a new International Study Centre (ISC) at its Queen’s Campus in Stockton, which could house students from over 30 countries.
The Centre, which began teaching students in September, aims to prepare international, non-EU students for undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Durham University through pathway programmes.
The ISC offers International Foundation Years, Pre-Masters Programmes and English Language Courses. The pathway programmes available are directly tailored to Durham degrees.
Typical tuition fees for the courses at the ISC range from £15,900 to £18,100. English language courses are priced at £4,050 per term. These costs do not include accommodation or any other additional fees.
Led by Dr Anna Fenge, the maiden year of the Centre may see its proposed intake surpass forecasts, with the intake now estimated to be around 400 students and spanning over 30 countries.
Professor Stuart Corbridge, Durham’s Vice-Chancellor said: “At Durham University we pride ourselves on the diversity of our community. Twenty-one percent of our students are from outside the UK and there are 150 nationalities represented in our staff and student bodies.
“We value the contribution that our international students make to University life. We believe that the pathway programmes offered at our new ISC are the best way to prepare students and ensure a smooth transition to our undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes in Durham City.”
The ISC is managed by third-party organisation Study Group, an education provider.
James Pitman, the organisation’s Managing Director, stated: “Pathway programmes are a proven means of introducing international students to the UK education system and preparing them for university study – around 40 percent of students in UK higher education come through pathways.”
Anthony Long, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, has labelled the opening of the ISC a “key moment in our development,” demonstrating “the attraction of Durham University across the world”.
Durham University is currently in the process of the gradual relocation of subjects and colleges from Stockton to Durham City, as well as of Medicine to Newcastle.
The ISC is therefore a welcome investment for Councillor Bob Cook, leader of Stockton Borough Council, who said: “We are delighted that the Durham University International Study Centre is making its home here in Stockton-On-Tees and we are we are excited to be working with one of the world’s leading universities and prominent foundation providers. That they are making such a significant investment is a huge sign of confidence in the Borough”.
Photograph: Amy Ding