Luxury student accommodation provider Portergate has welcomed a milestone agreement between the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the Middle East.
UCLan has signed two international agreements worth a combined £6.5 million to deliver courses in the Middle East.
The first of these contracts will see UCLan extend its long-term partnership with the International College of Engineering and Management (ICEM) in the Sultanate of Oman for a further five years.
The milestone agreement means students will be able to complete their undergraduate degree courses in Oman, while the Preston-based university will strengthen its ties to an important region.
Portergate, whose £18 million Friargate Court student residence is on course to open in September this year in Preston’s University Quarter, has strong links with the Middle East through its first hotel-class residence, Riverside House in Salford.
Karen Preece, managing director of Portergate, says their high standards of accommodation and first class 24/7 management means Portergate has always been popular with students and their families from Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
“We always welcome greater international links for our universities since many of our residents come from overseas.
“From the enquiries we receive and the number of students who book accommodation with us, it’s clear they value the standard of accommodation, our facilities and our hands-on management that keep students informed, safe and happy.
“In Preston, we are looking forward to opening in September as construction of the 244-room residence, to be called Friargate Court, is progressing very well indeed.
“We are also already receiving a lot of enquiries for the September intake so word about Friargate Court and what we will be offering Preston’s students is already spreading.”
UCLan-approved courses in Oman are focused on providing a truly world-class higher education learning environment based on practical vocational teaching with a strong bias towards producing graduates who are ‘employer ready’, well rounded and internationally experienced.
The programmes will generate graduates who are highly trained and highly employable, both vocationally and academically, ready to apply their skills to national and global challenges.
Pro Chancellor and Chair of the University Board David Taylor, who led the visits to Qatar and Oman to agree the deals, said: “The extension of our partnership is a real milestone and evidence of its past success, while the new relationship with Qatar will complement this and the University’s other global partnerships, such as those in China and Mauritius.
“What’s more these initiatives will result in enormous benefits for students. For instance, they’ll have access to world-class facilities, they’ll be taught by academic staff with wide ranging industrial experience and they’ll benefit from collaborative research which will feed into the teaching curriculum.
“The programmes will generate graduates who are highly trained and highly employable, both vocationally and academically, ready to apply their skills to national and global challenges.”