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University of Leeds: Making a positive change to your future career

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“I chose to study at Leeds University because Leeds has an unrivalled reputation…the [university] has strong links with industry and research institutions; and experts come to share their on-the-job experience and to discuss the latest trends in the field…” – Christopher Mbah, Leeds international student originally from Nigeria

As one of the UK’s largest providers of higher education, the University of Leeds has been carving its name as a UK top 20 university, and a world top 100 university, since 1904. With first-class academic expertise and a wide breadth of disciplines, Leeds is well-known for the quality of its teaching and research, presenting a wealth of opportunities that impact the world in cultural, economic and societal settings.

The university’s single-site campus is innovative both in atmosphere and design, and its convenient location a few minutes’ walk from Leeds city centre – frequently cited as the UK’s most popular student city. Students at Leeds can make the most of the area’s iconic cultural, arts, and music scenes, which is also just a short two hour train journey to London. Coming in joint second among prestigious Russell Group institutions in this year’s National Student Survey (NSS) for student satisfaction, the university has undoubtedly earned the title of University of the Year 2017 from The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

“Outstanding student satisfaction levels do not happen by accident and reflect the emphasis placed here on getting the student learning experience spot on,” says Alastair McCall, Editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide.

“Heavy investment in campus facilities has gone hand in hand with a strong pastoral system of student support, the introduction of a final year research-based project as the centrepiece of the students’ academic activities, and the Leeds for Life scheme that helps students prepare for life after university,” continues McCall.

“It is no wonder that Leeds’ graduates are so sought after by employers.”

The Leeds for Life Foundation is just one example of how the university goes the extra mile to ensure it is consistently producing valuable, versatile and work-ready graduates. The facility was initially established for the benefit of ambitious, high-quality undergraduate students who are keen to make positive change in their future careers, granting them exclusive access to a wealth of opportunities that allow them to develop valuable skills and attributes outside of the classroom environment.

As further testament to the university’s success in developing world-class, employable graduates, last year, Leeds was also awarded the crown for being Entrepreneurial University of the Year by the reputed Times Higher Education (THE) global ranking body.

The prestigious title recognised the university’s role in providing unparalleled opportunities for student entrepreneurship, the support it provides for small businesses in the region, as well as its significant innovation and work towards IP commercialisation.

“This award is the ultimate accolade for any enterprising university and the culmination of years of hard work across the whole university,” says Professor Nigel Lockett, Director of Enterprise Learning at Leeds.

“From student start-ups to university spin-out companies and from exceptional enterprise education to supporting high-growth firms in the region, what differentiates Leeds is our commitment to commercialising world-leading research and enabling enterprise students and graduates to make economic, social and cultural impact,” he adds.

“Building this sector-leading enterprise offer is the result of the support and collaboration of staff, students, alumni and entrepreneurs – a winning team.”

And for non-native students who dream of utilising Leeds’s exceptional support services and incomparable facilities but fear they lack the academic grades or English language skills, the International Foundation Year is specially-designed to get them exactly where they need to be.

This nine-month, full-time programme seeks to prepare students for entry to undergraduate study within the University of Leeds. Participants undertake a number of subject-specific modules alongside English language and academic training, specifically-tailored to serve as preparation for their chosen degree programme. The programme’s 25-year tradition of excellence means it has helped countless students realise their ambition, making it among the oldest and most successful of its kind.

“…I joined the university in September 2013 on the International Foundation Year and am now a second year student of BA Fashion Marketing course,” says Yu Huan, an international student originally from China. “I enjoy my course as it provides lots of opportunities in broad diversity to explore what you want to do in your future career…The facilities at University of Leeds are wonderful,” she adds.

Yu would not have had access to such valuable industry insights had it not been for the International Foundation Year programme at Leeds. This, paired with her status as a Student Ambassador – a scheme developed by the university to provide a network between current and prospective students, allowing them to learn the ins-and-outs of student life long before they arrive – gives Yu’s graduate CV impact on a global scale.

With a wide range of comprehensive systems readily in place to fit the individual needs of every student, it’s no wonder Leeds is considered one of the UK’s most innovative, student-centred and entrepreneurially-focused in the UK education sector, and its graduates are regarded as some of the world’s most employable.

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All images courtesy of the University of Leeds

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