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University of Southampton kicks off visit from Gulf students on the football pitch

Published: 
25 January 2005

Students from Abu Dhabi combined work with pleasure when they visited the University of Southampton this week. They toured the Highfield campus learning about courses and facilities for overseas students and took time out to play a University team at football.

The visit was arranged by the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the University's International Office as a way of introducing students to higher education in the UK. It was the team's prize for winning an inter-college football league in the United Arab Emirates.

The 13 students and two members of staff from the Abu Dhabi Men's College toured the University's Schools of Electronics and Computer Science, Engineering Sciences and Management.

University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Curran presented the students with mementos of their visit, including University 'hoodie' tops.

"The UAE students were really on the ball when it came to British higher education and the particular strengths of the University of Southampton," he commented. "They were clearly impressed with our University and I look forward to meeting several of them in the future, as students on our degree programmes."

On the football pitch, winter conditions defeated the team in the 'varsity match' and Southampton emerged the victors. "It was very muddy and cold on the pitch," admitted team captain Mafed Mohommed Al-Servani. "Next time we want to play Southampton in the middle of July in Abu Dhabi when the temperature is 45 degrees!"

Another highlight of their visit was watching Premiership side Southampton beat Liverpool at the St Mary's stadium.

Notes for editors

Digital images of the students playing football and exchanging gifts with the University are available.

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