Study centre for international students based at Norwich university given glowing report

The Lord Lieutenant, Richard Jewson, vists the labs and speaks to physics students at INTO UEA, duri

The Lord Lieutenant, Richard Jewson, vists the labs and speaks to physics students at INTO UEA, during his visit to present the Queen's Enterprise Award. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A study centre in Norwich for international students taking steps towards university has been praised by a watchdog.

INTO UEA, a joint venture partnership between the University of East Anglia (UEA) and INTO University Partnerships, has been told it exceeds expectations set by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).

Its courses - which range from AS and A-level to first year degree foundation programmes - help students from around the world progress onto university study, the majority of which is undertaken at UEA.

In 2015, more than 1,000 international students moved onto university study through the centre.

The glowing report came after a visit at the end of November, and included praise for quality of the curriculum and teaching and students' welfare, which were all described as 'excellent'.

'Pastoral support for students is outstanding,' the report said. 'Relationships between staff and students and among the students themselves are excellent.

'Safeguarding arrangements for students under the age of 18 are excellent.'

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Praise was given to INTO's 'very well qualified and highly experienced' teachers, who provide 'excellent' opportunities for students to participate in their 'well-paced' lessons.

Debbie Price, centre director, said: 'We are delighted to let staff, students and parents know that we have overall achieved exceeds expectations, the highest grade inspectors can give an institution.

'We are over the moon with this news and extremely proud of this achievement which validates what we already know - INTO UEA is a special place for staff and students which delivers an outstanding experience.'

It was in 2006 that the university and INTO created its 35-year joint venture partnership, with a £38m living and learning centre opened in 2008.

It now generates more than £65m a year.

In 2016, it was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in international trade.

As well as academic pathway programmes - which cover subjects including pharmacy, law and psychology - it also runs a successful Newton A-level programme.

This summer, 99pc of its grades were A* to C.