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News article

London’s Deputy Mayor opens only Yorkshire university campus in the capital

Published: 03 November 2022

  •   Events
5 women standing each side of a plaque. Dame Julia Unwin, Louise Donaghy, Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Prof Karen Bryan, Reeta Chakrabarti

l-r: Dame Julia Unwin, Louise Donaghy, Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Prof Karen Bryan, Reeta Chakrabarti

Following significant growth in student numbers for London based postgraduate courses, York St John University London has moved into its new campus in East India Dock near Canary Wharf.  

At an event attended by the BBC’s Reeta Chakrabarti, Chancellor of York St John University, and hosted by Vice Chancellor Professor Karen Bryan OBE, guests celebrated the University’s ambition to increase access to education for students from underrepresented backgrounds. 

Deputy London Mayor for Communities and Social Justice, Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, was guest of honour at the reception to unveil a plaque to mark the occasion.  

Speaking to an audience of students, staff and local employers, Dr Weekes-Bernard said: 

“York St John University is an institution which prides itself on the work it does to support international students. That fits incredibly well with the kind of community we have not just here in East London, but across the city.  

And what’s important about this institution is how it’s supporting emerging talent, entrepreneurs, innovators and business leaders. These are the people we need in our country to help us with our economy. These are the sort of individuals that we need here in London, acting as role models for others to look at and aspire to.  

Young people have such potential but need our help to fulfil that potential. Having institutions like York St John here gives young people hope and energy to think about their future.  

Skills are so important to the Mayor of London, and we have a programme of work to try and get all adults in our communities to recognise how many adult education opportunities there are in this city. 

We are really glad to welcome York St John University to the broader family of higher education institutions that we have here in London”. 

York St John University London first opened four years ago, in premises near the Barbican, with 140 students and 7 staff by January 2020. Today, over 1600 postgraduate students attend the new East India Dock campus, with a further intake in January 2023 expected to increase numbers to nearly 2000. A portfolio of postgraduate courses in business management, healthcare management and computer  sciences will soon include additional courses in data science and public health management to address some of the UK’s key skills gaps.  

Louise Donaghy, Director of York St John University London, thanked colleagues for their work to develop the campus and outlined plans for the future, saying: 

“We want to grow our portfolio with courses that help us address social injustice and open up education to people from underrepresented backgrounds in the local area and further afield.  

“Many of our academics come to us with a fantastic background in industry and we want to make sure they have an environment where they can develop their research and fulfil their career aspirations. We don’t want the knowledge we create to sit on a shelf and gather dust, so it’s important that we provide mechanisms to transfer research to businesses and the community to promote knowledge exchange and help make a difference to the economy and society”.   

The London based masters courses are designed to help students develop into independent and successful professionals, informed by research and taught by academics with industry experience. An extensive programme of enterprise and employability support underpins the academic student experience.  A Venture Creation Lab, Advance to Perform programme and work placements all serve to enhance employability skills and career opportunities for students after they graduate.    

Surrounded by vibrant creative, technology and leisure businesses, York St John University London’s new campus on the 6th floor of the Export Building offers modern, flexible work and learning spaces with views of the Greenwich peninsula. Once steeped in the history of the spice trade, the East India Dock location is now a flourishing international campus community of higher education and employment opportunities.  

Find out more about York St John University London. 

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York St John University, Lord Mayors Walk, York, YO31 7EX

01904 876 466

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