Common Purpose
Frontrunner for International Students

Frontrunner is a leadership development programme designed for university students to broaden their networks and develop skills to succeed in the future.

What is Frontrunner?

Our programme for international students helps them to understand their new context, both in their city and the UK, giving them the confidence and connections to make the most of their time in the city and at university.

The programme centres around a key challenge facing the local community, chosen by the University with input from your strategic partners and key local stakeholders. Whilst developing students’ key leadership skills, this also enables them to use their knowledge and expertise to make a positive impact in the community.

What happens on the programme?

Over four days, up to 100 students go off-campus and into the city in which they are studying to understand how it works. They:
  • meet leaders from different sectors across to understand how the city and region works
  • explore power, influence and how to lead change in their local context
  • gain an understanding of the challenge through discussion with stakeholders and visits to organizations
  • develop solutions in groups and pitch them back to key local stakeholders.

Why Frontrunner for International Students?

Being an international student in a new country and culture can be both exciting and daunting. Understanding the context of their surroundings can be crucial to their learning and their student experience, both inside and outside the classroom. Through in-depth conversations with local leaders and visits to organisations, we give students an intensive yet thorough insight into their new context, so they feel more connected with their city and ready to take advantage of the opportunities it offers them.

Why Frontrunner?

Common Purpose has been running this co-curricular programme for more than ten years, working with over 50 universities around the world.


94% of students on Frontrunner say it is excellent value for time.


In the next year over 4500 students worldwide will take part in Common Purpose programmes.


97% of students would recommend the programme to a friend.

What is the impact of the programme?

Alex Chen, Imperial College London

“Lots of ideas of improving the city, lots of young talents from different backgrounds. The best leadership programme I have ever attended.”

Kiara Clement, University College London

“Learning from different people has been great; I can now think on a larger, more global basis and feel I am able to make global changes in the future.”

Goda Gavėnytė, Lancaster University

“The Frontrunner leadership programme is one of the most valuable courses I have ever attended. I met inspiring speakers, broadened my network and gained knowledge about leadership. For the first time in my life I was surrounded by people who were from absolutely different cultural backgrounds. Because of Frontrunner, I’m more confident I can be a successful leader in the future!”


90% strongly agree that they are better equipped to engage with diversity


87% strongly agree they have increased confidence in their leadership skills


87% strongly agree they feel better able to make new contacts and build networks