A new platform for partnership

Navitas and Swansea University have broken (and built) new ground with the opening of our exciting joint venture; The College, Swansea University.

The College is the result of a natural evolution of our fruitful long-term partnership – and represents our shared vision and commitment to deliver the highest student outcomes of any private / public partnership model.

Together, we realise the enormous and mutually beneficial outcomes of this model – by applying a more entrepreneurial and creative approach to our partnership, and enabling more flexibility than ever before.

Outstanding new facilities

In early October we proudly unveiled The College’s new academic building at Swansea University’s Bay Campus. A new residential building will complete this precinct in January 2019. These state of the art facilities will not only provide a first-class experience for students of The College, but will benefit the broader university community. All staff and students from the University will be able to enjoy the new facilities in both buildings.

Photo: The Executive Committee of The College, Swansea University.
Rob Brelsford-Smith (Swansea University), Charles Matthews, OBE (Independent Chair), Sharon Davies-Smith (College Director/Principal), Iain Rothwell (Navitas), Paul Lovegrove (Navitas), and Professor Iwan Davies (Swansea University).

The academic building is purpose-designed for learning, as well as socialising, informal study and events. It provides 18 new teaching spaces including:

  • 60-seat computer lab, available for independent study outside of teaching hours
  • 40-seat study room / student base
  • Informal space in the atrium with 32 study spaces and break-out sofas
  • Coffee shop and seating area on the seafront.

The residences will enable students of The College to benefit from a holistic on-campus experience and support that will include:

  • A large common room with snooker table and large screen TV, ideal for social interactions for all students at the Bay Campus.
  • Showers open to all members of the University.

Improved learning experiences, greater access 

At The College, students will have access to Foundation and First Year programmes as well as pre-masters programmes in all disciplines and for all academic colleges. And they will also enjoy the same access to facilities and resources as students of the University.

This open and shared access to world-class teaching and housing space on the campus of the University will further embed students into university systems and campus life to create an enhanced and seamless student experience. The College will cater to both domestic and international students, providing an opportunity for international students to study with UK students in Swansea University programmes.

Continued growth for Swansea

Since 2008, Navitas has provided our pathway program in Swansea, operating as the International College Wales Swansea (ICWS). This partnership has contributed significantly to Swansea University’s international student numbers.

There are currently 18,000 students at the University from over 120 countries, with overseas students accounting for 18% of the student population. And the University is going through a period of unprecedented growth, outperforming not only the HE sector in all areas, but also the Russell Group in research income, student enrolments and overseas student numbers.

Having a consistent pipeline of students entering the University is important to the region, which has had its share of economic challenges. With a growing, thriving student body – and a rising reputation as a top research university – the University can continue to advance Swansea’s global profile and make a lasting impact on the broader Welsh economy. It will also benefit from more diverse and growing income streams. The joint venture structure creates the ability to respond quickly to new opportunities and changes impacting the market.


Flagship partnership for Navitas

This public-private partnership highlights the importance of collaboration in transnational education and the great outcomes we can achieve together. Swansea University is a highly respected university with tremendous ambition, and one Navitas is proud to be in partnership with. It extends a ten year partnership anchored in pathway provision to a range of new opportunities including pre-degree and transnational programs. We’ve already seen substantial benefits for both parties – gaining access to new markets and opportunities we simply could not have done in isolation.

For Navitas, The College is our fourth joint venture and has become our flagship UK partnership, providing a shining example of the impact private and public educators can make when we realise the full benefits of our respective strengths.

Working together, we’ve brought two world-class, purpose-built facilities to Swansea University’s Bay Campus, and created an offering that will attract bright students from across the globe and provide them with holistic support that allows them to flourish.

This is a model that’s designed to meet future education needs – creating more pathways for students to education, and new ways for institutions to grow through recognition and reputation. It’s been a joy to work together on building this shared legacy and we look forward to sharing the results.

To find out more about The College, Swansea University visit: www.swansea.ac.uk/the-college/

About The Author

Iain Rothwell has held a number of executive roles at Navitas and has been the Chief Commercial Officer since July 2016. Prior to this, he was the Chief Operating Officer of the University Partnerships division in Navitas. His current role sees him responsible for providing commercial leadership, expertise and support to grow the business, increase profitability and improve Navitas’ competitive position. Iain has 20 years of experience in the education sector with a particular focus on the commercial interface with the sector. He has held a range of executive roles including Chief Financial Officer and Director Business Development with the University of Western Sydney, as well as Managing Director of Access MQ Ltd and Assistant Vice-Chancellor with Macquarie University. His experience extends to a diverse range of commercial transactions including property and infrastructure, licensing, start-up companies, joint ventures and financing. With significant experience in innovation and new ventures, Iain has participated in many business start-ups as both a founder, director and mentor including a co-founder of MultiLit Pty Ltd, a literacy business where he continues as a Board Director. From 2007 to 2009 Iain was the Chief Executive Officer and Fund Manager of Campus Living Villages, a global student housing business based in Sydney, where he led the expansion into the United Kingdom market and growth across Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

About The Author

Professor Iwan Davies is Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor at Swansea University (UK), leading on the University's Internationalisation Strategy and on the development and delivery of Swansea University's £450M Bay Campus which includes academic strategy and planning considerations involving UK and overseas partnerships. He is Chair of Global Wales which is a partnership between Universities Wales, British Council, Welsh Government and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales that aims to promote Wales through its world-class higher education sector. Holding the Hodge Chair in Law at the University, he is a leading authority on international commercial law and was called to the Bar as a distinguished academic scholar. In the context of the joint venture, Iwan serves as an executive of SwaN Global Education LLP.

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