“I want to send a message loud and clear that students and staff from across the European Union and the wider world are welcome at Welsh universities. Welsh universities recruit and teach students from across the world and there are thousands of people who have a special place for Wales in their hearts after studying here. Our universities are central to our social and economic future and they thrive through the diversity of the people who come to them”
These were the words of the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, in her response to the EU referendum outcome earlier this year.
Wales’ universities are of course outward-looking institutions and form a core part of Wales’ international fabric. Their global networks through research collaboration, industry links and alumni are vast. Last year, there were almost 25,000 international students studying at Welsh universities representing around 150 different nationalities and cultures.
What is perhaps less known is that Wales has a long history of multiculturalism spanning back to Cardiff’s heyday as the largest coal exporting port in the world. It is thought that Cardiff’s Yemeni community is the oldest Muslim community in Britain, dating from the mid to late 19th Century! Wales is rightly proud of the reputation it has earned as a friendly, welcoming and tolerant nation – and enjoys extending this warm welcome to international students and colleagues to this day.
To find out about what international students think about their time in Wales, why not watch some of these testimonial videos!