The official opening of Bournemouth University International College, the newest building on Bournemouth’s skyline, has taken place.
The building, on Holdenhurst Road in Bournemouth, is part of the University’s Lansdowne Campus, and has been built through a partnership between Bournemouth University and Kaplan International Colleges to provide a learning and living facility for international students to come to the UK to gain further academic qualifications.
Teaching and study space is co-housed in the same building, which represents a commitment by Kaplan of over £100million in the purpose-built ‘live-learn’ facility, with a restaurant serving internationally themed meals, and accommodation with 393 beds in both group flats and studios. With 16 floors, and views out to the Isle of Wight, and Old Harry, the Purbecks and the New Forest, this will be the highest building in Bournemouth in relation to its position on the land.
Since the College opened at another site in autumn 2013, it has supported more than 700 students from over 50 nationalities to progress to Bournemouth University. So far this academic year, approximately 150 students from 39 nationalities have arrived to study at the College.
Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University added: “This building is an exciting new development in our constant efforts to offer the best student experience possible and is a very tangible demonstration of how much we value our international students. The boost that they give to the local economy is huge, but that in turn is dwarfed by the importance of the global perspective that they bring, which is absolutely essential in developing the cultural awareness of the University and preparing all of our students for the global workplace. The University is particularly pleased to be able to continue to invest in our local area – developing world-class buildings and facilities to enable world-class performance.”
In advance of the official opening, two Premier League footballers from AFC Bournemouth, Sylvain Distin and Yann Kermorgant, who have both experienced what it’s like to move from a different country to the UK, came to visit students in the building and see the new facilities. Eyad Saleh A Alduraibi studies at Bournemouth University International College, and was one of the students to meet the players on the day. He said, “I have been watching the football team and they have been great. But to meet them at the International College and show them the place was wonderful. They said that that they loved it and they were very impressed.”
A video of the visit was made to highlight the day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCWrrfDizsE
The building was officially opened by Councillor John Adams, the Mayor of Bournemouth, with attendees also given a tour of the facilities and accommodation as a part of the event.
There is a chance for the public to see the new building during an Open Day on Saturday 17 October from 12-4pm, with an afternoon of international music, food and dance, and a fundraising fire walk.
To get a flavour of the official opening ceremony, watch our video: