Dr. Rebecca Biggins,Director of Marketing and External Engagement

Dr. Rebecca Biggins

Director of Marketing and External Engagement

Based in the heart of historic York, voted as the Best Place to Live in the UK by the Sunday Times in 2018 and also as the safest city in the region, York St John University has been a leading education, training and research institution for over 177 years. Founded on an ethos of equality, ambition and social justice, the university serves a global campus of students who thrive on academic excellence, graduate employability and a strong sense of community. York St John University is an excellent choice for Indian students aspiring for an international learning experience at a welcoming and friendly institution and at York Business School, students can really get to know the other people they are studying with, as well as their tutors.

Hailing from the commercial capital of India, Mumbai, Aashna Malhotra's family runs a fashion retail store in the city. Born to be in the business world, Ashna had her heart set on taking a Postgraduate Programme in Management Business & Entrepreneurship at Indian School of Management & Entrepreneurship (ISME), Mumbai. Ashna says, “We all wish to turn our dreams into reality someday, don’t we? But, I can say, a very few people in this world are so blessed and fortunate to live their life beyond their dreams.” Ashna was one of the few fortunate students of ISME, who got the scholarship opportunity to study masters abroad for a year and get a global experience. “We all have heard of this quote: ‘Everything you need, will come to you at the perfect time’. Now, I am an international student from India at York St John University and I was awarded a full scholarship to come and study here in this beautiful, historic City of York,” adds Ashna.

Working closely with ISME, York St John University’s York Business School has many students who start their studies with ISME and then transfer to York Business School to complete the final year of their BA (Hons) degree and many of them progress onto the MBA programmes. Ashna, who is now studying MSc in International Marketing at York St John University, says, “I had never been away from home for so long until my family, friends, professors supported me to take this decision. I want to give credit to my parents who had faith in me and motivated me to grab this opportunity.”

As an International Student, Ashana needed time and a bit of personal support to adapt to the new studying pattern offered in the classrooms of York Business School. “One of the benefits that York St John University offers is the Student Development Department, where they support students to understand, learn and grasp new things slowly and gradually. Initially as I started university, I tried to make the best use of this support and continued to do so till the end,” says Ashna. York St John University
is very community focused and most of its programmes are delivered in small class sizes. This enables students to develop close relationships with academics, which in turn contributes to student confidence, success and satisfaction. “Today, I can say I am happy I took this decision,as I learned how to face the real world all alone. I have grown much stronger and better as a person in this journey,” added Ashna, who has plans to take her family business on an e-commerce platform with the skills she acquired from the York St John University.

"Situated in the heart of York, the University gives students the opportunity to pursue degrees in a warm, welcoming and picturesque environment"

Providing the Wings to Fly High in the Global Business World
A city with a rich history of 2000 years, York is recognised as one of the UK’s most popular cities in which to live, work and study. Blessed with a combination of heritage and extensive investment in modern infrastructure. The University, has become established on the global stage for its high-quality, professionally relevant programmes and for producing graduates who meet the needs and demands of 21st-century employers. Situated in the heart of York, the University gives students the opportunity to pursue degrees in a warm, welcoming and picturesque environment.

The York Business School of York St John University is one of the many assets of the University, which enables the business students to become an integral part of the learning and business community in York. The York Business School hosts innovative and responsible management education across a wide spectrum of programmes, such as Business, Finance, Accounting, Events, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports, Marketing Economics and International Business classified into UG, PG, and top-up degrees.

Dr. Rebecca Biggins, Director of Marketing and External Engagement, York Business School, says, "Our business students are taught by academics that hold extensive teaching and industrial experiences. The academic team aims to combine practical experience with teaching and research excellence to provide an inclusive and holistic learning experience". Being in the heart of York’s commercial centre, the institute welcomes renowned business speakers and CEOs onto the campus on a regular basis, providing students with valuable insights into the practical applications of business. Students also get access to the added-value options to engage; which include the York Business School Society, The York Business School Consultancy Clinic, Graduate 2 Director, Business Success Lab among others.

The teaching approach that is embraced by the institute is the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), a UN initiative that has been established to ensure sustainable and responsible business practices are encouraged within the global business school. Alongside this, the faculty members leave no stone unturned to make sure that the pedagogic approaches are suitably
relevant and supportive for the international students.

A Warm Welcome
According tothe 2018 National Student Survey (NSS), York, St John University achieved a score of 85 percent for overall student satisfaction, exceeding the national average of 83 percent. This perfectly illustrates the efforts that the University puts into making its students' academic journey an enriching one. "York St John University has a very well established Global Campus community. All nationalities are boosted to get involved and participate in various activities such as trips to cities and cultural centres, celebrating Lunar New Year, getting together every week at the Global Café and many more," says Dr. Biggins. Especially for the international students, the institute has installed a dedicated International Centre and International Team on campus that supports them right from the moment of their arrival throughout the full duration of their studies at the University. Helping financially, the institute gives a £1000 bursary to all Indian students who have had an offer accepted and deposit paid by end of May.

The students are encouraged to take part in a welcome week in the very first week of their arrival, where they get the opportunity to get to know their peers and lecturers. They will also have the chance to meet their respective personal tutor and course leader, who will help them to settle into life at the University and navigate their new surroundings. "Our International Student Support team runs orientation sessions, campus and city tours, a workshop on adjusting UK academic skills, as well as informal sessions to help our international students adjust to British culture," Dr. Biggins. In addition to this, the Director of Student Engagement within the business school keeps a close eye on the attendance and engagement of the students, with a view to helping students who are facing any kind of difficulties.

Moreover, as the institute advocates a small class size strategy, the international students never get a chance to feel left out in the classroom. Dr. Biggins adds, "Providing an encouraging environment to the students and guaranteeing each student has one to one time with their tutor, we don't let our seminar groups exceed 25 students in the first two years and 20 students in the final year". Owing to the hands-on approach that the institute preaches and a particular focus on employability, the students of York St John University becomes the most employable candidates in the market.

This was clearly reflected in the 97 percent graduate employment rate obtained by the University in 2018 (Destination of leavers from Higher Education survey, 2018). "We have been delighted to see a good number of Indian students opting for our business courses at York Business School over the years. Having an already strong partnership with ISME, we are looking forward to strengthening this partnership further and keeping on inspiring our students and staff to reach their full potential, advance knowledge, and make a positive contribution to the world," concludes Dr. Biggins.
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