Partnership spotlight: 10 years of building diverse international student communities with Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds

Four students socialising on a university campus

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, the Leeds International Study Centre is a partnership that unites Study Group with Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds around the shared goal of increasing international student participation and success in global education.  

Here, we take a look at what’s made the partnership so successful. 

Commitment to diversity  

Over the years, Study Group’s Leeds International Study Centre has seen thousands of students from 95 countries receive offers of degree study at our two partner universities after completing a pathway programme. This speaks to the quality and sustained appeal of our programmes and the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University. 

Students of 64 nationalities have started at the centre in this academic year alone. 

Joe Rossiter, Associate Director for International Recruitment and Partnerships at Leeds Beckett University said: “The range of countries that our international students come from has expanded over our ten years of partnership with Study Group. It’s been a major focus for us, because a broad spectrum of perspectives and cultures on campus enriches the learning experience for everyone.” 

Flexible programme design and delivery  

The centre’s wide range of pathway programmes, with subjects spanning science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM), business, law, international relations, and social studies, helps Study Group to match students to the course that best meets their higher education ambitions.  

Catering to varied backgrounds, attainment levels and learning needs, the types of programmes on offer has also evolved in close collaboration with the universities across the last decade. Today students can choose an International Foundation Year or International Year One programme before progressing to either the first or second year of an undergraduate degree respectively at either university. Whichever approach our students choose, our dedicated student welfare team are there to provide health and wellbeing support while they’re with us. 

Embracing multiculturalism 

Helen Foster, Director of the International Office at the University of Leeds comments on life beyond the classroom: "The culture at our university and across the city of Leeds is multifaceted. International students bring fresh perspectives and economic benefits to Leeds. By welcoming and enabling them to achieve here, we’re building on our heritage and supporting it to thrive.”   

Testament to the city’s diverse outlook, Leeds 2023 is a year-long celebration of the city’s culture and Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds are both serving as Principal Education Partners. The #Leeds2023 Year of Culture will give international students choosing Leeds unprecedented access to a diverse mix of world-class arts, culture, food and global opportunities. They give back nearly £400 million to the city’s economy* in return. 

The images show a recent event held at Leeds International Study Centre celebrating multiculturalism in the centre.

Continued growth  

In September 2022, the Leeds International Study Centre estate expanded to a second campus, to provide more students with space, resources, and facilities as we expect to build on a decade of success. 

Claire Heke, Centre Director at the Leeds International Study Centre, says: “Offering pathway programmes for international students to two universities through one of our International Study Centres was a new approach for us ten years ago. Today it’s a seamless collaboration that benefits both partners and the students who study together. Connecting everyone is a commitment to global education and the recognition that a diverse student body benefits the classroom, university community and society at large.” 

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