In March 2021, the University formalised its International Strategy, based upon five complementary and mutually reinforcing ambitions:
1. A thriving international student body
This establishes a commitment to growing the number of international students who will be working in a diverse range of modes and settings in Plymouth and around the world. Supporting this are several aims: the creation of a vibrant international student population in the city, including through an institutional summer school; a distinctive transnational education identity, including the establishment of several new strategic partnerships; and establishing and growing online postgraduate taught degrees and continued professional
2. Research and knowledge exchange that is characterised by networks, partnerships and collaborations that span the globe
Ambition two seeks to further ensure that the University’s research community is able to engage to solve global challenges. This will involve building high quality and mutually beneficial international research partnerships aligned to our research institutes; conducting research and innovation that maximise impact in addressing challenges articulated by the UN Sustainable Development Goals; attracting the best global researchers and seeking partner support for doctoral studentships; and developing knowledge exchange collaborations with overseas industry,
3. Education characterised by globalised student experience
Plymouth students will experience an education that broadens their knowledge, abilities and awareness as global citizens to the benefit of both their intellectual and personal growth. This means that their learning will be global in outlook, underpinned by an increased number of international exchanges.
4. Global Plymouth community
Ambition four envisages a welcoming and inclusive Plymouth community where staff, students and alumni flourish, succeed and take pride in the University wherever they have engaged with it. This is supported by four aims, namely: creating an inclusive and welcoming international student experience; increasing the diversity of our international staff community; developing a large and engaged international alumni network; and improving the global visibility of the University to past, current and future students, staff and stakeholders.
5. International activity that focuses on and promotes sustainable practice
Ambition five states that the University’s engagement with the world should address the challenges of social and economic sustainability. The institution has a responsibility and a leadership role to play in sustainable development, and this will be manifested in a variety of ways – from programmes embracing education for sustainable development, to our research relating to marine conservation, and to health, wellbeing and sustainability.
Supporting international academic partners
The University has academic partners in Sri Lanka, Greece, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and is working with them to develop a leading transnational education offering. For example, in 2021, we have worked to approve a BSc (Hons) Nursing top-up with our long-standing partner, the National School of Business Management (NSBM) in Sri Lanka, who now have over 2,100 students studying University of Plymouth degrees in Sri Lanka. This complements our existing offer of degrees in business, computing, design and quantity surveying. NSBM becomes the first of our international partners to offer nursing and the University is looking to expand the health portfolio with new degrees in psychology, public health and nutrition, biomedical sciences, and physiotherapy and exercise over the course of the 2021/22 academic year.
In Malaysia meanwhile, the University has worked with Peninsula College to launch its new ‘Ship Campus’, which is now offering courses including maritime business, accountancy and business. The range of programmes on offer is set to increase over the next few years to include digital design engineering, game arts, tourism, engineering and computing. A range of postgraduate opportunities will also focus on supporting part-time provision within Malaysia designed to support professionals within the area of supply chain and logistics and associated specialist sectors.