The University of Sussex and education provider Study Group have been celebrating the fifth anniversary of the International Study Centre (ISC) on campus.
ISCs are designed to help international students to acclimatise to the UK, equipping them with the necessary skills for undergraduate or postgraduate study and offering successful individuals an assured path onto an undergraduate degree or masters progamme.
When the International Study Centre (ISC) was launched at Sussex in 2006, it was the first in the UK. ISC courses have now been delivered at Sussex for five full academic years and a further 12 ISCs have opened across the UK.
ISC students at Sussex benefit from access to campus facilities while studying for their foundation or pre-masters courses, which combine academic modules, study skills and English-language training and are validated by the University.
When Mohsen Fatoorechi came to Sussex from Iran as a teenager, he spoke very little English. Two years ago he graduated from Sussex with a first-class degree in Electronic Engineering and is now studying for a PhD in the Centre for Physical Electronics and Quantum Technology – while also teaching for the Sussex ISC.
At a reception on campus yesterday (Monday 12 March) to celebrate the anniversary, Mohsen recalled his early days on campus and said: “Without the help and support that the tutors gave me at the start, it wouldn’t have been possible.”
The Sussex ISC has grown hugely in size since it opened with 100 students in 2006. A total of 175 students have now graduated with a degree from Sussex; a further 650 are currently studying on Sussex degree programmes; and another 650 are about to progress from their ISC course to a Sussex degree.
At the reception, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, said: "For the University, it’s been a terrific partnership. Long live the partnership!"
James Pitman, Study Group’s Managing Director for Higher Education UK and Europe, echoed these sentiments, saying: "We really feel we’re part of the University. It’s a strong partnership."