Scotland Student Project

Unique international experiences for students in Scotland

What is the Scotland Student Project?

Building on the Scottish Government’s internationalisation of Higher Education agenda and following discussions with the Scottish Government and our existing University and Corporate Partners across Scotland, Common Purpose are running an annual series of leadership development programmes- the Scotland Student Project - for students studying across Scotland.


This project is designed to bring together a consortium of stakeholders who all have a passion for, and a stake in, internationalising young leaders in Scotland – with an additional emphasis on students from Widening Access backgrounds.

Collectively the partners want to turn this into a signature project which outlines their commitment to internationalising the next generation of leaders in Scotland and injects further momentum into this Government initiative and agenda.

Shuvo Saha, Director, Google Digital Academy

“When students from diverse backgrounds work and learn together, it provides a huge boost to their Cultural Intelligence, preparing them to become the leaders of the future”

Who is involved

The consortium, led by Common Purpose, is made up of Scottish Universities, Scottish Government and large private sector organizations.

Universities will send their students on the programmes, committing to a set number of places per programme. The other partner organisations will be providing additional opportunities for student development such as internships, work placements, mentoring and awards.

Jakub Czech, Student, University of Glasgow

"This has been nothing less than absolutely life changing and within four days changed my views of the problems our world is facing."

The programmes

There will be eight programmes each year for a total of 800 university students from across Scotland. The programmes are a mixture of:

  • Global Leader Experiences -  inbound mobility programmes run in Scotland, bringing together international and Scottish students
  • Study Abroad - outbound mobility programmes taking Scottish students to cities across the world
  • 33Sixty - bringing together Scottish students and students from the Commonwealth (part of a global series held in Commonwealth cities and supported by Baroness Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth).

Programme dates

The first programme is a Study Abroad Experience in Kuala Lumpur in December 2016 at the end of term. Destinations for Study Abroad Experiences may include Berlin, Budapest, Dubai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Singapore or Toronto.

  • Study Abroad Experience 18-21 December in Kuala Lumpur

  • Study Abroad Experience 4-7 April 2017
  • Global Leader Experience 4-7 April 2017 in Glasgow
  • Study Abroad Experience 11-14 April 2017
  • Global Leader Experience 11-14 April 2017 in Edinburgh

  • Study Abroad Experience 30 May - 2 June
  • Study Abroad Experience 20-23 June

  • 33Sixty Commonwealth Leaders programme in Glasgow (TBC)

Rakesh Khurana, Dean, Harvard College

"In our ever more complex and interconnected world which has no obvious historical parallel, Common Purpose has developed a breakthrough idea about the importance of Cultural Intelligence in order to navigate both this new world and its contradictions. This has important implications and raises questions about our current systems for those of us involved in educating and developing our future global citizens.”

More than just a programme

The leadership development programmes are complemented by a series of Awards sponsored by corporate partners. 

 The awards will be open to any student who has participated in a programme during the academic year. Prizes include paid internships in the UK and internationally, and mentoring opportunities. The awards will be presented at the end of the academic year in an annual awards ceremony.

What are the outcomes?

For the students

  • Access to the global network of Common Purpose alumni
  • Develop leadership skills and confidence
  • Gain greater sense of purpose as young leaders
  • Increase employability and promotability
  • Broaden horizons and networks

For the Universities

Project assessment and feedback will analyse information which can be used by Universities in marketing and promotion, including:

  • the extent to which students have developed both the skills, confidence and connections to get a job
  • increased employability and promotability of Scottish students
  • more ambassadors for Scotland amongst international students
  • uptake of international opportunities amongst widening access students.

For corporate partners

  • Access to top talent in Scotland from all backgrounds
  • Development opportunity for own leaders who act as speakers, hosts and mentors
  • Perceived as a brand which contributes to Scotland and its international nature


Each university can book places for the programmes at £220+VAT per student. Universities are also responsible for funding students’ flights, accommodation, visas and insurance where applicable. 

Universities choose how they would like to recruit students, either by targeted or open application processes. Students can come from any academic background and level of study (including undergraduate and postgraduate) however Study Abroad Experiences are solely for Scots whereas Global Leader Experiences and 33Sixty will have mixed participant groups of Scottish and International students.

Contact us

To find out more information about the Common Purpose Scotland Student Project please see contact Natalie Murray

T: +44 (0)7889 650275



Partners can register their interest for involvement in a number of ways. Varying levels of sponsorship exist and can include (but are not limited to) headline sponsorship, award sponsorship, paid or voluntary internship and work shadowing opportunities or contribution towards the costs of one or all of the programmes.