BOURNEMOUTH University says a range of its students are ‘staying local’ when finding their first jobs.

The university did not put figures on the number of students staying in the town, but said graduates from a host of courses were starting careers locally.

A recent report, commissioned by the Royal Society of Arts City Growth Commission, found that keeping students in their university area after graduation was increasingly important in driving regional growth.

Anushka Naidoo, already working as communications assistant for the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), was due to graduate today as a week of graduation ceremonies drew to a close at the BIC.

She said: “I chose to stay in the area because I realised I was yet to unlock the full potential that Bournemouth and Dorset has to offer – particularly for a graduate.

“When I was studying here, it felt like the perfect place to grow and become more independent. I have yet to live or work in a more friendly town.”

Alex Smith graduated from Bournemouth University in 2013 with a degree in multimedia journalism and now works at AFC Bournemouth as news and editorial executive.

He said: “My first job out of university was at AFC Bournemouth and I wouldn’t have got the job without Bournemouth University.”

A number of graduates work in the health sector, often working at Bournemouth and Poole hospitals.

Sara Barry, a staff nurse looking after trauma and orthopaedic patients at Poole Hospital, said: “My course was 50 per cent placement, which I took at Poole Hospital in different fields, and it really helped me to get my first job.

“I stayed in the area because I love the lifestyle and the people – both are really nice and friendly.”

Naomi Kay, a public engagement officer at the university, the same department where she did her placement year, said: “Having grown up in the Midlands, I still find the fact there’s a beach 10 minutes away from my house amazing,” she said.

Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor at Bournemouth University, said: “It is one of the highlights of my year to see a new wave of graduates receiving their awards at our graduation awards ceremonies.”

He added: “It is particularly good to see so many of our graduates remaining and working in Dorset, continuing to contribute to our local society and economy.”