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UK university plans Bangkok campus

Plans to unveil the UK's first private university campus in Bangkok have been unveiled.

The University of Central Lancashire has signed an agreement with Thai-based entrepreneur Sitichai Charoenkajonkul to create a full-scale campus.

Preston-based UCLan will invest £7.5 million in the Thailand venture which aims to open the doors to its first influx of students in June 2014.

The site will offer full-time and part-time undergraduate, postgraduate and foundation degree courses in subject areas such as business, built and natural environment, engineering, creative and performing arts, and languages. Located in the Bangkok metropolitan area and within easy reach of the city centre, the new facility will initially be home to 800 students with a planned capacity of 5,000 in 10 years.

UCLan vice chancellor Malcolm McVicar said: "UCLan has made huge strides in the last 10 years and the qualities of innovation, entrepreneurship and enterprise remain at the heart of everything we do.

"We have students from over 120 countries and some 125 partnerships across the globe but we are now entering a new phase of exciting development which will see us build campuses outside the UK.

"Our Thailand project is an ideal fit and will enable us to become the first UK university to build a campus in Thailand, thereby extending our international links and bringing world-class higher education and our view of a superlative student experience to south-east Asia."

UK-based students will also benefit with full-time undergraduate students given the opportunity to obtain global experience or a study period abroad as a standard part of their degree programme.

Mr McVicar added: "At an undergraduate level our market research shows that in Thailand nationally there is strong demand for all our proposed academic subject areas while the postgraduate market looks even more encouraging with UK MBA qualifications particularly sought-after. Drawing on the strength of some of our partnerships with global brands, we will deliver courses which are bespoke for the Asian market while providing the gold standard of a UK university experience."

All teaching will be carried out in English with some UCLan academics relocating from the UK, while the degrees awarded will be University of Central Lancashire qualifications.

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