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International Students' Impact on UK Universities

When we look back at 1990, there were 46 universities in the UK educating an average of 350,000 students, whereas nowadays there are at least 130, educating more than two million students. Each generation asked the antiquated question of what universities are for. In former eras, education was viewed as a noble act of enlightenment, but recently, on the contrary, education started to be viewed as a tool to manipulate youth into the wheels of the industrial society and social mobility, or worse, that universities are local businesses after making some money.

On the other hand, the UK government officials are following the educational status of their country to the highest level, and they always try to find new, radical, and effective methods of improvements for the benefit of both international and local students. In order to maintain more involvement and increase the sense of belonging among their students, the UK universities are now starting the academic year for both local and international students at the same time, rather than making separate orientations. Bournemouth University is a good example of bringing home and international students together, as they initiated having a one-stop office for all students asserting that if there is an issue it should be taken into consideration whether the student is international or British. The university also is making events for international students; however, local students are encouraged to attend to value the diversity of the university life.

Furthermore, Nottingham Trent University embraces the fact that international students benefit the university just as much as the university educates them. The university started a project that is funded through a UKCISA grant that permits international students to give lectures to other students on their cultural, historical, and traditional backgrounds of their home countries. This project, as the university claims, will give both sides, international and local students, academic confidence. Also, Leeds University is looking forward to educating their home students on the advantages of the multicultural environment that international students generate from studying in the same place. The head of the international student office Katy Manns stated that “Not all students necessarily think they want an intercultural experience, but we always get fantastic feedback.”



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