A recent survey of international students in the capital showed that 97% were aware that London is hosting the 2012 Games, and of those 97%, 21% said the Games influenced them to study in London by either some extent (17%) or a great extent (4%).
For the last eight years London has been the world’s leading destination for international students. More than 105,000 international students now come to the capital for higher education, cementing the city’s place as the world’s most popular destination for foreign students.
The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will offer a number of opportunities to these international students in the capital – giving them a great chance to be involved in a once in a lifetime event in the city in which they are studying.
Students can become involved in a number of ways – from recruiting volunteers to providing language services; there are plenty of opportunities available. There are a number of initiatives that have already begun.
Opportunities for students
Students studying human resource management at Kingston University have been given the job of interviewing some of the volunteers who'll be giving up their time to be a part of the London 2012 team organising the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Talented postgraduate students at the Royal College of Art (RCA) will have the honour of designing key elements of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games medal presentation ceremonies. Students will design the podia, costumes, flower holders as well as the trays used to carry the medals and flowers for more than 700 victory ceremonies which will be taking place in 29 different venues across the UK at Games-time, watched by thousands of spectators in venues and a global television audience.
Students from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design have presented design strategies for Games-time big screens and event spaces to London 2012. The two groups of MA Innovation Management students presented their conclusions to the London 2012 Live Sites team after more than three months research for the study.
Students from SOAS and the University of Westminster are also working with London 2012 to support language services roles that will be required starting from June to September 2012. This will give opportunities for students to provide consecutive interpretation services to the press, sport, medical services and other parties and provide language support to the Olympic & Paralympic family.
Training for the Games
Many London students are also training to compete at the Games – from one university alone, Brunel University, 12 potential Olympians are training to compete in Athletics at the Games.
They are: Perri Shakes Drayton (400m hurdles), Rion Pierre (Sprints), Nick Leavey (Sprints), Laura Turner (Sprints), Kelly Sotherton (400m), Joey Duck (Sprints), Jonathan Boyton (Canoeing), Eniola Aluko, Anita Asante (Football) and Heather Fell (Modern Pentathlon), Tom Aggar and Beth Rodford (Rowing).
London universities will be hosting training camps for international teams and athletes. St Mary’ University College is preparing to host athletes from the South African, Irish and Chinese Olympic squads as they prepare for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. The University College has been selected for the official Pre-Games Training Camp for seven sports in the Olympic Games and six in the Paralympic Games.
Brunel University, one of the UK’s best universities for sport, will be the official London 2012 Olympic training camp for the Korean Olympic team. Brunel’s world-class sports facilities will be put at the disposal of the Korean athletes for the duration of the Games from 20 July 2012 to 12 August 2012.
Imperial College London has signed a deal with the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) to provide accommodation and training facilities for the country’s athletes during London 2012. The College will be providing accommodation in Prince’s Gardens in addition to providing general access to sports facilities and sports injury treatments in Ethos. Japanese athletes competing in judo and wrestling will be able to use the sports hall as their practice venue and further training opportunities for other sports and further facility use are currently being explored with the JOC.
Supporting the Games
King's College London has formed an alliance with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to enable its world-renowned Drug Control Centre to operate a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited satellite laboratory during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Professor David Cowan, Director of the Drug Control Centre, is leading the partnership between GSK and King’s. He played a key role in the successful 2012 Olympic bid, and has been involved in the science of anti-doping across four Winter Olympic Games, two Summer Olympic Games and several Commonwealth Games.
To find more about Higher Education promotion in London see londonandpartners.com
Notes to Editors
International students account for 25% of the total London student population. Overseas students contribute over £2.5 billion into the economy per annum and in total, London is home to a quarter of all international students in the UK.
This academic year has seen a growth of international students of over 6% compared to the previous year, and the city welcomes 105,000 students - more than London’s nearest rivals, New York and Sydney. There are students from 211 nations studying in the capital.
Business Studies is the most popular subject for overseas students in London with over 25,000 overseas students studying it in 2009/10 (approx 25%). This demonstrates London’s influence and reputation as a global business destination.
*The survey was conducted by London & Partners of 1,029 students on 20 May 2011.