As the name suggests, Richmond, the American International University in London is a truly unique global institution. Established in 1972 by Sir Cyril Taylor, a British educator and social entrepreneur, who founded the American Institute for Foreign Study in 1964, Richmond, in its early years, served mainly to house study abroad programmes to the American students. However, this changed in 1981 when Richmond obtained a license to award the U.S. undergraduate degrees from the Washington DC Board of Education and formal accreditation from the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (now the Middle States Commission on Higher Education). Since then, Richmond's reputation grew quickly as an independent liberal university that offer the U.S.-accredited and UK-validated duel degrees. This means that when a student graduates from Richmond, they get two degrees, one from the UK and one from the U.S.
"We have mixed the two strongest education systems around the world, taking the flexibility and choice from the American system and the academic rigour and prestige from the British. Richmond is the only university on the planet where a student can get both of those degrees in the same place at the same time," claims Spencer Withrington, International Manager for India, Richmond. The University offers a wide range of internationally focused degree options, across a host of highly employable disciplines as well as partnerships and study abroad opportunities with universities based all around the globe. Being private institution, Richmond also offers a host of scholarship opportunities to academically gifted students to help them through their studies. At present, Richmond has a student population of just over 1000 students, with over 104 nationalities represented and a total international percentage of 80.
Talking about the benefits that an Indian student gets from Richmond, Withrington says, "Indian students at Richmond are given access to two of the safest and most prominent areas of London. We also have a range of scholarship opportunities for Indian students as well as a range of jobs offered for part time work on our campus." All students at Richmond would get an academic advisor as soon as they join and the advisor will follow them through their time at Richmond. The academic advisors help students design their degree schedule, plan when to take the internships and study abroad, and general help catching up with class. "All of our professors have a large amount of out of class office hours where students can chat on a one to one basis and get extra help. We also have English and Mathematics workshops running weekly and a peer mentoring service, all of which are free to our students," adds Withrington.
Richmond gives all of their students a guaranteed internship in London as well as the chance to take one anywhere on the planet to further develop their learning. "To take internships, many of our International Business and Marketing Students go to China and our Fashion Management and Marketing Students have the option to go to Florence," shares Withrington. Richmond has a wide range of study abroad MoUs that they have signed with other universities around the globe; from New Zealand to Canada, and from the UAE to Argentina, Richmond is in around 25 different countries globally and has always been adding new destinations for students to go and study with Richmond.
"We have always worked closely with a few institutions in India and we are currently developing a new partnership for 2017 that will focus on our Communications, International Journalism and Film Studies degrees, which is incredibly exciting," says Withrington. Today, majority of the Indian students join Richmond's business and economics programs, with the most popular at undergraduate being: International Business, Accounting and Finance and Investment programs. At the postgraduate level, most popular programs for Indian students include Luxury Brand Management, International Business Law and MBA. However, in the recent times, the university has also seen Indian students applying for other programs such as International Relations and Communications, Marketing and Public Relations.
"Richmond will give you all the skills and the perfect platform you need to go on and succeed in the world, weather you choose to stay in London, or go anywhere else in the world. The experience does not stop when you graduate. We at Richmond have an incredibly active alumni network around the world and host events globally every year," concludes Withrington.
Spencer Withrington, International Manager for India
Graduated in International Relations and Political Science from Richmond, the American International University in London, Spencer Withrington is the Country manager for India, Indian Ocean, Russia, Former Soviet Union States, Spain and Spanish speaking Islands.