International students get exclusive audience with Leicester's Lord Mayor

Dozens of international students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been given an inspiring overview of how the city is run, by the Lord Mayor. 

Councillor Dr Susan Barton welcomed students from across the world into the historic chambers of Leicester’s Town Hall, to give them a unique insight into local politics. 

Town Hall MAIN

Dr Barton, herself a DMU alumna, showed the students around the council building, which has been at the heart of the city since 1875. 

She said: “We are really pleased to welcome you to Leicester and that you have chosen to come and study with DMU. 

“I did four degrees with DMU, so I know what it’s like to live and study here at the same time.” 

During a lively talk, Dr Barton, who currently works as an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow for DMU’s International Centre for Sports History and Culture, spoke about her own career, and how she got into local politics, becoming a a Labour Councillor for Leicester’s Braunstone and Rowley Fields, winning four elections and being asked to become Lord Mayor. 

Town Hall (1)

She broke down the job of a councillor and talked through the history of the Lord Mayor’s role in local life. She also showed a number of videos of Leicester celebrations throughout the year, including Diwali, the Abbey Park bonfire and fireworks show, and the Christmas lights switch-on. 

Among the students was Nassim Tamdrari, 28, who moved to Leicester from Algeria to study a Master's in Business at DMU. 

He said: “I don’t really know much about England and so moving here I wanted to learn as much as I can. Today has been really enjoyable because it has helped me understand much more than just what the city offers.  

“I have learned about the history and the governance and it is a privilege to hear about it from the Lord Mayor.” 

Town Hall (2)

Janina Rasch, a Law student who travelled to study at DMU from Germany, said she had enjoyed learning about the different events the city council held in Leicester. 

She said: “I found the number of different celebrations really surprising and I’m looking forward to going along to the Diwali lights and the Abbey Park bonfire. 

“I love Leicester so far. I like how central DMU is in the city, it’s only five minutes to anything in the city centre and the living costs are really affordable. 

“Also, one of the things which has really impressed me at DMU is the block teaching format. At home I’d be having eight modules at the same time whereas here I can focus and I have time to really research each area.” 

Posted on Thursday 26th October 2023

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