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Our international strategy

Strategic aim

We aim to increase the number of international students studying at St Mary's so that by 2025 they make up 25% of the student population; increase significantly the number of home students who undertake part of their course abroad and who have the opportunity to volunteer in less developed countries outside of term time.

To achieve this, we have established an international network to raise our profile overseas, particularly in the Americas and Asia. Opening our first international office in Chicago is increasing the number of international students coming to study here.

Our plan is to expand St Mary's existing partnerships in a measured and selective way to ensure that all our international ties are focused on our core priorities. In selecting our partners we will:

  • Look for institutions that share our values and are capable of making a contribution to our priorities and global reputation
  • Enter partnerships which are built on the principles of reciprocity and compatibility and are driven by shared curriculum and research interests
  • Seek knowledge transfer, social engagement and joint enterprise that can enhance the profile and reputation of both institutions
  • Ensure that our international partners have robust systems of quality assurance and academic standards that can work well alongside those of St Mary's, are financially sustainable, and are in a position to contract formally with us
  • Select partners in countries with economically and politically stable environments with sound legislative and regulatory frameworks in place

St Mary's remains committed to the Erasmus+ programme through which we are making three or four new partnerships annually. If changes to the UK's relationship with the European Union alter UK universities' eligibility for the programme, we will seek an alternative framework. Through these and other partnerships St Mary's seeks international impact in relation to bioethics, slavery and human trafficking, business and management, criminology, theology and civil society. A significant rise up the university rankings will make St Mary's even more attractive to international partners.

Key objectives

  • Forge strategic alliances with at least two international universities by 2018 and with five global high-profile university partners by 2025
  • Advance towards our goal that all international students who require it will have a guarantee of accommodation within easy reach of campus
  • Have in place by early 2017 a centralised admissions system for assessing undergraduate and post graduate applications with a commitment to processing these within three days
  • From 2017/18 make available from the Access Agreement funds to enable St Mary's students to study abroad