Leeds Beckett University, formerly known as Leeds Metropolitan University, has a long-standing partnership with India. More than 2000 students graduated from Leeds since it started its operations in India in 2004. As one of the largest universities in the United Kingdom with around 32,000 students, Leeds looks for more partnerships and diverse student community engagement. In this series of #AdmissionsConnect, Prof. Susan Price, Vice Chancellor, Leeds Beckett University; Andrew P. Disbury, Director of the International Office; Prof. Mohammad Dastbaz, Dean & Pro Vice Chancellor and Jayashree Raghuram, Country Head- India talk about the university:
Prof. Susan Price, Vice Chancellor
Leeds has students from more than 100 countries across the world
Q: What is the strength of international student community in Leeds Beckett University?Prof. Susan Price:We have students from 100 countries from across the world. Within that, the largest group of students is from India. In terms of the absolute numbers, we have 1200 international students this year. We keep the numbers low because we want to provide the international students with the best UK experience where they get to mingle with students from various communities. We don’t want to have international students studying a course where majority of their classmates are from the same country. If we find that there are a large number of students from the same country in a particular stream, we market more in the other countries to get qualified students.
Q: What are the popular courses for Indian students at the Leeds Beckett University?Andrew P. Disbury: There are a wide range of courses that Indian students are interested in. The most important among them is MBA. We have a unique course called Graduate MBA, which is not available in other universities. That course is also quite demanding among the Indian students. Apart from MBA, the Indian students are interested in International Business, Performance Arts, Architecture, Design etc.
Jayashree Raghuram: In the last one or two years, there has been a shift of focus in the interest areas of the Indian students. From business focused courses, the students are slowly moving to the courses that are quite new to the industry such as Events Management, Sports Management etc.
Andrew P. Disbury, Director of the International Office
Recently, we re-priced our courses to make it affordable to international students
Q: Do you provide any financial assistance to international students in the form of loan or scholarships?Andrew P. Disbury:We provide financial help and assistance in many ways. Recently, we analysed our tuition fee with other British universities and re-priced our courses to make them more affordable to international students. We also re-priced the cost of MBA, which is the most sought-after course by Indian students. In terms of scholarships, we are developing a new ‘Dean’s Scholarship package’ which will be announced soon. In the next few months, each faculty will have two-three subject-specific Dean’s Scholarships offered to the most qualifying applicants from across the world. We are providing certain incentives to the Indian students. At the final stage of their application, when the students apply for the Visa, they need the CAS number. In order to issue the CAS letter, we ask them to give 50% of the fees. If the students pay 100% fee, we provide them a 100% welcome gift.
Q: What is the admission procedure at the Leeds Beckett University?Jayashree Raghuram: For the Indian students, the applications to the university are processed at the Indian office located in New Delhi. Either the students apply to us directly or they apply through a wide network of agents across the country. The processing of the application and the issue of admission letter are done from India. There are no set deadlines to apply to the Leeds Beckett University. It is based on first-come-first-serve basis provided the candidate meets all required qualifications.
Q: What is unique about your university in terms of providing the best opportunities to students for extracurricular activities and the chances of socialising with the local community?Prof. Susan Price: Leeds is a small city which gives excellent opportunities for the students to know the local culture. It has one of the ancient markets in the United Kingdom. In the university, there are many societies that focus on various social and cultural activities.
Andrew P. Disbury: We have two specific programmes that make us stand out in terms of providing the opportunities for the international students to get global exposure and improved social integration. The first one is a volunteering programme where we actively seek volunteers from Britain, Europe and international community to work on projects- sometimes in Leeds or outside the university. Sometimes the students also get opportunity to travel to other countries to volunteer on various projects. It is a much planned activity where along with understanding the cultures, the students can actually add on to their CVs. The second one is International Social Network where the students organise different festivals at different time of the year.
Prof. Mohammad Dastbaz, Dean & Pro Vice Chancellor
We develop courses in Science Technology and Maths stream for Indian students
Q: What are the future strategies of the university to attract more Indian students?Prof. Susan Price:We continuously refresh our programmes and introduce new ones after analysing the needs of students in various countries. We research on the courses that the students are really interested in and introduce them rather than starting a course and see if the students are actually interested in that. For the Indian students, we develop more courses in the commerce faculty.
Prof. Mohannad Dastbaz: We focus on developing courses in Science Technology and Maths stream especially for Indian students. Besides that we are introducing integrated course in Computer Engineering, Electronics, Food Engineering, Audio Engineering, Food Sciences, Digital Forensics and Cyber Security. We have some of the best courses in the country in terms of Architecture and Films. We have 30 undergraduate and 30 postgraduate faculties.
Jayashree Raghuram, Country Head- India
Leeds is very selective about partnerships in India. We choose only the best.
Q: Do you look for partnerships with Indian institutes to promote cross-cultural exchange and education opportunities?Jayashree Raghuram:We do have some long standing partnerships with a few institutes in India. We have been quite selective about partnerships in India. One of the major ones is the Symbiosis Institute in Pune where we have business students from Leeds Beckett University coming to India to study one semester at Symbiosis Institute and at the end of their course, they come out with two degrees. Apart from that we have done academic conferences with Manav Rachna University. We have exchange programme with Amity University as well.
Q: What is the employability of the students graduating from Leeds?Prof. Susan Price: The employability of Leeds Beckett University is 94% where the students get into jobs within six months of graduation; which is quite high. In terms of the employability of our Indian alumni, in the last ten years, we have a large number of students working with multinationals, recognised brand names and also a large number of students who came back and started their own enterprises.
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