Derby and Bradford reveal cosmopolitan colours

February 24, 2006

Bradford and Derby universities have been awarded top marks by international students for the services they provide - seeing off competition from elite research institutions across the world.

A survey of 18,000 overseas students on the education and services provided for them by 25 institutions put Bradford's international office and Derby's English language support in the top spot.

In these areas, they beat Cambridge, Nottingham and Durham universities as well as institutions in the US, Australia, South Africa and continental Europe.

The benchmarking exercise was run by i-graduate consultants and included 45 categories.

The students, whose views were gathered in November, also voted Exeter University the "best place to be" and gave Manchester University the best ratings for careers advice and support.

The results were welcomed by international office heads at Bradford, who pointed out that their institution also scored well for its counselling service and graduate employment record.

Haydn Bartlett, director of the international office, said: "This is great news for prospective international students thinking about coming to Bradford.

"The university enrols students from more than 100 different countries and 22 per cent of all Bradford's students are from outside the UK."

Tertia Salt, Derby's English for Speakers of Other Languages co-ordinator, said that she thought international students probably valued the fact that English language tuition was a built-in feature of their courses at the university.

"We have a very sympathetic approach to teaching international students and give them a great deal of support throughout their time here," she added.

Tim Westlake, director of international development at Manchester, said the vote of confidence in his institution's careers service was very welcome, as finding a good job after graduation was increasingly important to international students," he said.

"The i-graduate barometer is a very useful tool as it helps us to understand what international students think about the services we provide and how they compare with other institutions," he said.

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