What makes a university a magnet for international students? Bangor University, home to 1,400 international students from 80 countries, may provide some good clues. Founded in 1884, the university is among the oldest degree-awarding institutions in the United Kingdom, respected by industry professionals and students alike.
The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016 ranks Bangor among the top 55 universities in the UK. A poll of student reviews (WhatUni? Student Choice Awards 2016) also placed Bangor as the 4th best university in the country.
Part of what makes the university so desirable to the international student market is its location. The city of Bangor is situated on the North Wales Coast and is easily accessible from any part of the UK – London, for example, is less than four hours away by train. Set between the picturesque Snowdonia Mountains and the sea, Bangor and the surrounding area features breath-taking sights from majestic cathedrals and castles to beach-framed sunsets. Due to Bangor’s compact nature, students will find modern facilities – like shops, banks, restaurants, bars, clubs – within safe walking distance.
Bangor University itself is incredibly welcoming to international students, offering free English language support throughout the year. Furthermore, new international students are guaranteed accommodation. Bangor has also been ranked 1st in the UK in for its high-quality student housing.
Of course, when it comes to student experience, it’s best to hear from students themselves. Oluwaseun Medayedupin came all the way from Nigeria to study his Masters in Management and Finance at Bangor. He said: “I’m glad I came to Bangor University, with its scenic views, serene environment for studies and the best student support service, Bangor University is the best place to be.”
Students like Oluwaseun flock to Bangor University because of the strengths of its business programmes, considered to be among the best in the UK. These programmes are offered by Bangor Business School, which is parked under Bangor University’s College of Business, Law, Education and Social Sciences. The College has three other schools under its umbrella – Bangor Law School, the School of Education, and the School of Sciences. Placing these four related disciplines under the same roof allows Bangor University to promote cutting-edge interdisciplinary learning and research.
As mentioned earlier, Bangor Business School (BBS) is particularly well-regarded – ranked among the top 25% of UK business schools for research intensity, according to REF 2014. In the latest National Student Survey (NSS), the school scored a whopping 91% for overall student satisfaction.
BBS enjoys a sterling international reputation for research in Banking, Finance, Finance Economics and Econometrics. In fact, Bangor was the first UK university to offer an MBA in Banking and Finance, and is currently ranked in the top 25 in the world for Banking research (RePEc June 2016). It’s no surprise that in the recent years, school staff have carried out high level consultancy work including major policy studies for a number of prestigious organisations, such as the World Bank, the European Commission and the UK Treasury.
Bangor Business School offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in a range of disciplines including accounting, banking, business studies, economics, finance, marketing and management. Being a multidisciplinary school, BBS allows students to mix and match subjects from different disciplines in order to shape their own study experience and pursue their interests. Many programmes pair different fields in a coherent and relevant package – for example, Accounting and Banking; Business Studies and Chinese; and Psychology with Business.
Thanks to Bangor’s reputation and its extensive links with industry, students can look forward to high employment rates. Six months after graduating, 94.5% of undergraduates and 85.6% of postgraduates found work or furthered their studies. Bangor enhances the job prospects of its students through its Undergraduate Internship Scheme, which puts students in roles involving research, marketing, event coordination, and more. Students will also be assisted by the university’s Careers and Employability Service, which organises face-to-face clinic appointments and workshops, as well as employer talks and presentations. Students can also take part in the Bangor Employability Award which is designed to enhance students’ immediate and longer-term career prospects. It offers free opportunities to gain the skills and experiences employers need.
The results of these initiatives and the university’s outstanding teaching standards can be seen throughout the working world. Bangor graduates go on to occupy senior positions in prestigious public and private organisations worldwide, from No. 10 Downing Street to Reserve Bank of Malawi.
Dr George Buckley, Chief UK Economist at Deutsche Bank, London, said, “Bangor provided me with a solid academic grounding in economics and business. What I learned at Bangor I still use today in my position as Chief UK Economist at Deutsche Bank in London. The standard of teaching was excellent, and the passion of the staff for their subject encouraged me to continue studying after I completed my degree. What I learnt at Bangor set me up for life, and has helped me enormously in my subsequent studies and my job.”
And Buckley is just one of Bangor’s many success stories which contribute to the university’s excellent reputation. Combined with a great and affordable location, a phenomenal student experience, world-class programmes, and a robust career support system, you have all the elements of an ideal international university. Bangor University may have its feet in the UK, but its head and heart stretch across the globe.