An open letter to Stirling’s international students and staff

To all international students and colleagues,

This week, Universities UK and Universities Scotland are celebrating the impact of universities on British society in a major social media campaign. One of the main themes of the #UniversityImpact campaign focuses on how international students and staff make a large and positive impact on our campuses.

Over twenty per cent of Stirling’s students are from overseas, and there are over 120 nationalities represented on campus by our students and staff. The University rejoices in and celebrates the rich culture and diversity our international students and colleagues bring to campus, as well as the positive impact of their work – both during their time here and in what they do in the future across the world.

We want to make it very clear to our international students and staff: our campus, University and the City of Stirling are better places for having you. We are proud that you chose to study and work here.

We’re committed to creating global citizens. In a time where much is said about building walls, we seek to build bridges.

When I arrived at Cambridge University in 1976 from a South Wales comprehensive school, it felt like I had entered a different world filled with very different people – many of you may have felt the same way when you arrived in Scotland and Stirling. My time at university opened doors, expanded horizons and allowed me to travel and experience different cultures – all through the people I met as part of my degree. Through our activities at Stirling, we want to be part of a world where all have these same opportunities.

For 50 years we’ve been committed to providing pathways to world-class University education in an inspiring setting – something we’ll continue to achieve through our blossoming partnership with INTO and our other international activities and partners – whether that is through our global research, our teaching partnerships in Oman, Vietnam and Singapore, or our study abroad programmes.

2016 was a year with its fair share of challenges, and there are many ahead in 2017. I know many have questions about studying and working in the UK. I want to assure you that the University will do everything in its power to make sure Stirling’s campus remains a diverse, multicultural and inclusive place of learning open to all.

In the most recent International Student Barometer survey, Stirling was named the top university in the United Kingdom for its welcome to international students. Last year we ranked in the top 200 most international universities in the world. That’s something of which we can be immensely proud. The University will continue to work with partners in government, businesses and industry, the public and third sectors, and colleagues in other national and international institutions to identify and meet the changing needs of societies across the globe.

We are also not alone in this. The collective strength of UK universities is supporting you and the University in the form of Universities UK and Universities Scotland. I encourage everyone to tell their own story of how university has impacted on their lives – let the world hear your voice on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #UniversityImpact.

Let’s continue to work together to ensure our own University continues to be the diverse, positive place we know it is. Together let’s build bridges – not walls.

Leis a h-uile deagh dhùrachd / Gyda phob dymuniad da / With all good wishes.

Professor Leigh Sparks

Deputy Principal, Internationalisation and Graduate Studies

Theme by the University of Stirling