“I believe education is the gateway to elevate yourself, while giving back to your community”

  • Meet the international student using her UK education to make a difference

Dua’a is an international student from Jordan, studying her PhD in Transport Safety Design at Loughborough University. Although moving to Loughborough from Jordan was a big change, Dua’a is embracing UK culture.

Dua’a is part of Universities UK International’s #WeAreInternational: Transforming Lives campaign, dedicated to highlighting the contributions international students are making to the UK and their communities during their studies here.

Dua’a had always wanted to study for a PhD in the UK. ““It’s well-known for its research into autonomous vehicles.” She focuses her research on the human factors and cyber security of self-driving cars. One day, she hopes to design systems for this new technology which ensure driver safety. “Doing a PhD is hard” she said, “You have a high level of responsibility. But you must also take time to enjoy the place you’re in. To relax, and learn beyond your course”. Dua’a has made the most of her time in Loughborough “It’s very green here compared to Jordan!”

Dua’a loves the kindness and warmth of the people in the UK. “It’s the way they exchange smiles and greetings while walking along the road. Even if they don't know each other!” she said. As well as meeting the locals, Dua’a found the diversity on campus meant she could easily settle in. “I’ve got such a great group of friends. They’re from China, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and more. We’re definitely international!”

Lily Rumsey, the Director of Global Engagement at Loughborough University said: “We are justifiably proud of the contribution our international community make. Students from across the world enhance the cultural diversity of our campuses and local regions, bringing different perspectives and a global outlook that influences our teaching, research and innovation activity.  

“We are working closely with our partners in the UK Government to ensure that international students continue to feel welcomed and valued for the significant economic and social contributions they make, and are proud of our commitment to creating a welcoming and diverse campus community that supports the principles of the UKCISA Weareinternational Student Charter.”

As well as making a big difference in their local communities and beyond, international students bring a £41 billion annual contribution to the UK, meaning on average, each of the 650 parliamentary constituencies in the UK is £58 million better off – equivalent to approximately £560 per citizen. In the East Midlands region alone, international students contribute £2.53bn to the regional economy.

Jamie Arrowsmith, Director of UUKi said: “It’s never felt more important to acknowledge the important contributions that international students make to their university and local communities, and to the UK more broadly. It’s not just about the economic side of it – international students give back through cultural exchange, volunteering, and so much more. We’re proud to be sharing their stories through the latest phase of the #WeAreInternational campaign.”

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 24/75

About Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. 

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme and named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2024 QS World University Rankings – the eighth year running. 

Loughborough is ranked 6th in The UK Complete University Guide 2025, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2024 and 10th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024. 

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes. 

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

About UUKi & #WeAreInternational