The latest addition to Birmingham’s university landscape will help bolster the regional economy by generating additional revenue of up to £6 million from international students enrolling this year.
Run in partnership with QA Business School, the new University of Ulster campus on Hill Street in Birmingham city centre – which opened its doors in March – is busy enrolling students for the 2012-13 academic year.
So far £3 million has been invested in the campus and more than 300 international students have enrolled for courses in business studies, IT and accountancy, with another 300 expected to enrol before the new academic term begins in September.
With the average international student thought to spend more than £10,000 a year on living expenses, the city’s economy is set to benefit as it has already attracted students from 19 countries, including China, Nepal and Nigeria.
The new campus is a result of a collaboration between QA, a training firm that works with about 80 per cent of the FTSE 100, and the university, and has created 40 jobs, with a further 40 expected in the coming months. William Macpherson, from QA Business School, said he expects to attract students from the West Midlands, as well as further afield, with £6,000 tuition fees and a focus on post-degree employment.
He said: “Universities are trying to be more commercial so they are interested in partnerships with people like us.
“A lot of British students might want to do a degree at the University of Ulster but don’t want to move to Northern Ireland. It has one of the highest rates of employability because the degrees are focused and geared for employers.
“It can cost £50,000 to get a degree now, so it is more important than ever to know there is a job at the end of it.
“People are looking for degrees that give them a good chance.”
Training has already begun for international students, while courses begin for the domestic intake in September.
The campus has been set up to take as many as 1,000 students and, after starting with three undergraduate programmes, it is set to expand into new areas. On the back of increased tuition fees, Mr Macpherson believes there is a demand for a city centre university to cater for Birmingham-based students who do not want to leave the region. He said there are more students leaving the region to study than moving to the region, which he believes creates an opportunity.