DURHAM University’s decision to open a new International Study Centre (ISC) in Stockton-on-Tees is a “great boost” for the Borough, says the Council’s Leader.
The ISC, based at the University’s Queen’s Campus in Thornaby and managed by Study Group, will welcome students from around the world when it opens in September.
Students attending the ISC, which is a short walk from Stockton town centre, will be a year-round presence in the Borough.
And Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Leader, Councillor Bob Cook, believes their arrival will have a positive impact all round.
“The Durham University name carries enormous worldwide prestige and while the arrival of international students will raise the Borough’s profile overseas, it will be a great boost for Stockton town centre too,” he said.
“I’m sure it will be welcomed by town centre businesses offering places to shop, eat, drink, and have fun, as well as the developers planning to convert the former Swallow Hotel into purpose-built student accommodation.
“The ISC’s global focus makes it a perfect fit with our own ambitions for the town centre too, with the growing number of students, staff and visitors it will bring reinforcing the need for a quality town centre hotel like the Hilton one we’re investing in.
“Ultimately, the commitment to locate the ISC here is a huge sign of confidence in the Borough. We look forward to welcoming the first intake of international students and doing our bit to make sure they continue to have a first-class experience.”
Professor Antony Long, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, added: “Durham University is fully committed to Queen’s Campus and to delivering high quality education at Stockton-on-Tees and Teesside. The ISC will bring many hundreds of students from around the world to Stockton each year and we look forward to welcoming the first to Queen’s Campus in September.”
The ISC will be managed by Study Group, a highly-respected education provider with global experience in preparing international students for university study.
And Study Group Managing Director Higher Education UK & Europe, James Pitman, was keen to cite recent research about the benefits international students bring.
“International students bring numerous cultural, economic and soft-power benefits to not only the UK as a whole, but also the local communities that they temporarily settle in,” he said. “As well as their tuition fees, they also spend money on food, accommodation and entertainment, and sustain thousands of jobs across the country.
“Research by strategy consultancy, Parthenon EY, estimates that for every 1,000 overseas students, 600 jobs are created – half of which are in the local economy. The new ISC will therefore play an important role in introducing students from around the world to the North East and stimulating the local Tees Valley economy.”