#Weareinternational blog: Ivy Ct Yu

Some of the brightest minds from around the world come to the UK to study.

Alliance Universities are proudly international. We firmly believe our international students make a vital contribution to the collective strength of the UK’s universities and its economy, helping to cement the UK’s position on the world’s stage.

Therefore, it has been hugely concerning to hear recent reports that the Home Secretary is considering imposing restrictions on those from abroad who wish to study here.

Unwelcoming language and policies do nothing to grow the UK economy, research impact, or our cultural diversity.

These are individuals with real lives, with immeasurable talent to offer to our country – we should always welcome them with open arms.

In our latest series of blogs, we are profiling the international students who enrich our Alliance Universities with their talent and generosity.


Ivy with her son Morrissey

Ivy’s passion for sustainability will help reduce factory waste – Ivy Ct Yu, Hong Kong

A Fashion Textiles and Design graduate, Ivy Ct Yu chose Middlesex University due to the reasonable course fees and the degree content. Having moved to London from Hong Kong in 2014, the 36-year-old juggled studying with part-time and raising her young son.

Her three-year-old Morrissey provided her with motivation throughout the course and Ivy regularly used her skills to make new clothes for him as well as giving new life to old ones.

Ivy’s final collection had a strong emphasis on sustainability, working closely with a knitting factory and using only deadstock Merino yarns to create tailored jackets.

She said: “I asked if I could re-purpose the yarns, I don’t want to see all that waste just lying there ready to be chucked away.

“If you can find a way, there is always a way to re-use things and think outside the box with regard to how you turn the waste product in to something practical and stunning.”

Ivy also used melted bottle caps and fruit nets to make all the buttons for her garments after taking part in a jewellery workshop as part of her course.

She has continued to apply the ethos of re-using and recycling since graduating.

Ivy said: “You can collect a lot of rubbish that would otherwise just be thrown away and make something really beautiful with it. With the buttons, because I mixed so many colours inside, nobody can tell what they are made from. It is really interesting to see the transition.”

Ivy found juggling a full-time degree and motherhood challenging at times but credits the Middlesex staff for helping her, particularly during the Pandemic.

She said: “They were always supportive and helpful and I know I wouldn’t have finished my last year without them.”

Read more about Ivy’s story here.

Further reading