The best of both worlds: How to get a British degree while living in Leipzig

Lancaster University has opened the doors to its new Leipzig branch campus, a move that has contributed to it being named International University of the Year 2020*.

The best of both worlds: How to get a British degree while living in Leipzig
Photo: Lancaster University Leipzig

The UK has long enjoyed a good reputation for its high-quality education and the international renown of its top universities. However, the uncertainty of Brexit has led to a decline in EU students who worry about the ease of travel and post-study opportunities following Britain’s divorce from the European Union.

It was partly in response to these concerns that Lancaster University has established a new branch campus in Leipzig, its first in mainland Europe. Additionally, Germany offers unique opportunities for students and graduates with a robust economy and many English-speaking jobs. The university, which is highly ranked in all three major national league tables as well as international league tables, has existing campuses in Ghana, Malaysia and China. The opening of the Leipzig campus marks the first time a public British university has established a full campus in Germany.

Photo: Lancaster University Leipzig

“After the UK, Germany is the second most attractive European country for international students,” says Dr. Elisabeth Grindel-Denby, Director of Lancaster University’s Leipzig campus. “Lancaster University chose Leipzig because it has everything that is needed to offer students an amazing experience during their studies. It’s diverse, has good connections to the rest of Europe; there’s a good housing market and growing industries and thus the prospect for jobs.”

Click here to find out more about Lancaster University Leipzig

She adds that nearly half a million foreign workers are needed each year to meet Germany’s labour demand**. The opening of the Leipzig campus provides a stepping stone for young talent to move to Leipzig, a lively, up-and-coming city where, in the last three years alone, 20,000 new jobs have opened up across all industries. Germany's sixth-largest city is also the country's fastest-growing city and has recently reached over 600,000 inhabitants.

Earlier this month, the campus welcomed its first cohort of students on the Business and Computer Science foundation programmes. From September 2020, four Lancaster University-accredited bachelor’s programmes will be offered in Accounting and Finance, Business Management, Computer Science, and Software Engineering, areas in which talent is globally in high demand. Students will benefit from the high calibre of education that has earned Lancaster University its global reputation for excellence while enjoying the perks of life in the EU, such as cheaper living costs and lower tuition fees. The Leipzig campus also offers student funding for EU students as well as generous merit-based scholarships.

Photo: Lancaster University Leipzig

“Students study completely in English but in a German setting, so in a way you get two languages for the price of one,” says Dr. Grindel-Denby, adding that there will also be the option to take free entry-level German courses. “It’s interesting to study at a British university in Germany because we have a high emphasis on student support. So that might be social care and wellbeing, but also the small, interactive seminars and research-based learning.” 

The Leipzig campus also provides a new option for students who want to study abroad. As all programmes are Lancaster University accredited, students at the Leipzig campus can transfer and spend a year studying in the UK with no interruption to their studies. British students who wish to study in Leipzig will also be supported with their applications and will not be required to pay non-EU tuition fees.

“Students can do an exchange year without losing out on content,” explains Dr. Grindel-Denby. “They can spend their second year of the Bachelor programme in Lancaster if they choose to do so, and they wouldn’t need to catch up. They just go back to the third year. I think this is really exciting.”

Click here to find out more about Lancaster University Leipzig

* By The Times and The Sunday Times

** According to the IAB Institute for Employment Research

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Lancaster University Leipzig.


‘It’s their loss’: Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

The UK is missing out by barring highly skilled Italian graduates from accessing a new work visa, Italy's universities minister said on Wednesday.

'It's their loss': Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

Universities and Research Minister Cristina Messa said she was disappointed by the UK’s decision not to allow any graduates of Italian universities access to its ‘High Potential Individual’ work permit.

“They’re losing a big slice of good graduates, who would provide as many high skills…it’s their loss,” Messa said in an interview with news agency Ansa, adding that Italy would petition the UK government to alter its list to include Italian institutions.

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“It’s a system that Britain obviously as a sovereign state can choose to implement, but we as a government can ask (them) to revise the university rankings,” she said.

The High Potential Individual visa, which launches on May 30th, is designed to bring highly skilled workers from the world’s top universities to the UK in order to compensate for its Brexit-induced labour shortage.

Successful applicants do not require a job offer to be allowed into the country but can apply for one after arriving, meaning potential employers won’t have to pay sponsorship fees.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

The visa is valid for two years for those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and three years for PhD holders, with the possibility of moving into “other long-term employment routes” that will allow the individual to remain in the country long-term.

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Italy isn’t the only European country to have been snubbed by the list, which features a total of 37 global universities for the 2021 graduation year (the scheme is open to students who have graduated in the past five years, with a different list for each graduation year since 2016).

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL Switzerland, Paris Sciences et Lettres, the University of Munich, and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute are the sole European inclusions in the document, which mainly privileges US universities.

Produced by the UK’s Education Ministry, the list is reportedly based on three global rankings: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Messa said she will request that the UK consider using ‘more up-to-date indicators’, without specifying which alternative system she had in mind.