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Swansea and Navitas partner on £45m college

Swansea University has announced a £45m college project with education provider Navitas on its campus in south Wales. The venture will boost international student recruitment by providing increased options for direct pathways to degree courses at the university, according to developers.

The academic building is expected to be ready for occupancy in October 2018; the residency in January 2019. Photo: Swansea University

The university intends to continue to recruit jointly with Navitas – focusing on China and the Middle East

The college will include an academic building and an 411-bed student residence on the university’s Bay Campus, which opened in September 2015.

“We are confident that this new partnership will enable us to compete effectively [internationally]”

The announcement comes 10 years after Swansea University and Navitas established the International College Wales Swansea, in 2008. Since opening, more than 2,000 students have progressed from ICWS pathways to the university – with progression rates averaging at 95%.

A Swansea University spokesperson told The PIE News that the move would change the relationship to a joint partnership. They added that the college would have the capacity to teach up to 750-850 students at any one time, which could grow to 1,500 if that option is taken.

Swansea University senior pro vice-chancellor, Iwan Davies, said in a statement that the Navitas partnership “reflects [the] confidence in their business model, global reach, and shared ambition for growth”.

He added, “Our on-going, successful partnership with Navitas provides students with an alternative path to university life and together we will continue to enable students to come to Swansea from every corner of the globe.”

Navitas CEO, Rod Jones, said that the “new teaching and accommodation infrastructure, to be financed through the existing operations of the college, will further cement Swansea’s reputation as an attractive destination for international students looking to pursue higher education in the UK.”

In 2017, a Universities Wales report suggested that student numbers from outside of Europe were declining, particularly from Asia.

“It is a challenging environment for international student recruitment into the UK but we are confident that this new partnership will enable us to compete effectively for those students who have the potential to benefit from an undergraduate or postgraduate degree,” the Swansea University spokesperson told The PIE News. 

They added, “The College intends to look at new educational offerings which would build capacity outside of peak university terms.”

The university intends to continue to recruit jointly with Navitas – focusing on key markets in China, south-east Asia, the Middle East and Africa as well as developing new business opportunities.

ICWS students currently live in private accommodation away from Swansea University’s campuses and stakeholders believe that the new accommodation will increase interaction and integration with other students.

“The new residence and new teaching building have areas designed to facilitate interaction between all students of the University – including social learning spaces, study areas and commons room and social space,” according to the spokesperson.  

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