New Pro-Vice-Chancellor pledges increase in international students to 35%

By Tohid Ismail

Durham University’s newly-appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global), Professor Claire O’Malley, has said she will work to increase the percentage of international students at Durham to 35% by 2027.

The pledge comes as Professor O’Malley, formerly the Vice-Provost of Research and Knowledge Exchange at Nottingham University’s Malaysia campus, is made responsible for the leadership and implementation of the international agenda of the University’s Ten Year Strategy.

The current proportion of the University from overseas is 28.7% for the 2016/17 academic year, with 5,155 of Durham’s 17,927 students hailing from countries other than the UK.

On March 29th of this year, the day Britain formally signalled its departure from the European Union by triggering Article 50, Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart Corbridge announced the University would lobby the government to protect the rights of EU citizens to remain and study in the UK post-Brexit.

Professor O’Malley will report directly to Professor Corbridge in her new role, which will also entail spearheading the development of an International Study Centre in Queen’s Campus, Stockton, as well as the development of strategic partnerships with international peer institutions and the establishment of a Durham University presence in key global cities.

The former academic psychologist, who specialised in human-computer interaction, will also aim to increase study abroad programmes and international job opportunities for students. Internally, she seeks to improve inter-cultural learning.

In an email press release sent to all students to announce Professor O’Malley’s appointment, Professor Corbridge said: “Claire brings significant experience of the global higher education sector and has a vast array of skills, knowledge and experience.

“Claire will enhance an already strong senior leadership team and will support the University in achieving its ambitious international agenda.”

Professor Claire O’Malley, meanwhile, said: “I am very pleased to be joining Durham University.

“Durham is already a global university, with 150 nationalities represented among its staff and students, but it also has ambitious proposals to strengthen its international reputation. I look forward to helping deliver that.”

Photograph: Durham University

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