A NORTH East university is looking to double its student population after opening a campus in Europe's most powerful financial district.
Sunderland University could see student numbers rise from 3,000 to 6,000 when it launches the new campus in Canary Wharf this autumn.
The university, which will initially offer business courses at the new campus, is hoping to attract more international students who will in turn generate millions of pounds of income over the coming years.
It will also make Sunderland the only university in the country, apart from Coventry and the London universities, to have a central London campus.
The move has come out of an existing relationship between Sunderland and private educators EThames, who have been operating the campus at Marsh Wall, Canary Wharf, which has offered accredited degrees from Sunderland University for a number of years. Now Sunderland will assume full responsibility for the campus, delivering a range of business related qualifications at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
The agreement is part of the university’s vision to further develop its international recruitment operation.
The new campus, in the heart of the capital's financial district, gives the North-East institution a much stronger foothold in London, making it even more attractive to international students. It is also looking to offer companies with offices at Canary Wharf tailor-made training programmes to help professional development of employees.
Professor Peter Fidler, the university's vice-chancellor, said: “Our reputation in London is already strong, particularly with international students. However, the new University of Sunderland London Campus will raise our profile significantly and open up a range of new opportunities.
“Having a physical presence in the capital, especially in such an important area, will not only have a significant impact on our business, but will also raise the profile of Sunderland as a city, as well as the wider region.”
Qualifications offered at the London campus will include postgraduate and undergraduate degrees in business, tourism and hospitality, as well as accounting and financial management.
In later years, the campus hopes to introduce other subjects including art and design, media, applied sciences and education.
The expansion of the university’s business in the UK follows several years of growth in key international markets.
The university is acknowledged nationally as one of UK's the top five providers for the provision of higher education in countries abroad.
The institution provides academic programmes on a large scale in countries and areas such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam, where it was the first UK institution to receive a license to operate.