I would like to set the record straight in regards to your article "Banking on doubling foreign enrolments is 'unbelievable' aim" (14 April). Durham University is a top 100 institution in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and brings together some of the most able students from 130 countries to educate them as global citizens. Its graduates are highly prized by employers around the world.
Currently, just 9 per cent of our undergraduate population hails from non-European Union countries compared with 25 per cent of our postgraduate community. Thus, our five-year strategy is to increase the numbers of non-UK/EU students in our undergraduate cohort to 16 per cent by 2015. This will have only a small effect on the overall size of the university (about 800 additional students), but it will significantly enhance our diversity and the quality of educational experience for all our students. It is entirely realistic and we are on target to achieve it.
Regrettably, the number of UK/EU students we can accept is capped by the government and we are compelled to turn away many applicants we would like to accept.
The most able international students enhance Durham's cultural environment. They are much valued for this, not for any financial benefit they bring, as from 2012-13, the fees for UK/EU undergraduates will not be dissimilar to those for international ones.
Chris Higgins, Vice-chancellor and warden, Durham University