Top 8 reasons to study in the UK in 2024

Expat life
11 Oct 2023
9 mins read
Written by Team Instarem

So, you’re looking to expand your horizons with some international study, huh? But you’re scratching your head, pondering your next academic move. Well, if your savings aren’t screaming “halt”!, how about hopping over to the United Kingdom?

Picture this. You’re strolling through the hallowed halls of the University of Oxford, the granddaddy of the English-speaking academia. The UK is like the Hollywood of education – it’s where all the big stars are!

According to the ‘QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings 2018’ (try saying that three times faster), the UK is second only to the United States as a magnet for international students. It’s a hot ticket for aspiring scholars from China, India, Malaysia, and Nigeria. Every year, over 400,000 bright sparks flock to the UK to earn their undergraduate and postgraduate stripes. 

And the options! With over 100 officially recognised universities, you can pick and choose from an all-you-can-study buffet of degree courses. Engineering? Check. Arts? Check. Medicine, law, business, IT/computer science? Check, check, check, and check!

Still on the fence? Don’t sweat it! Here’s an article full of reasons why the UK should be your number-one pick for studying abroad. Trust us, by the end of it, you’ll be packing your bags and practising your British accent!

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1. UK universities award globally recognised degrees

So, the year is 2023 and you’re probably wondering where to invest your intellect for a couple of years of quality education. How about the UK? According to the “Who’s Who” of universities, the QS ranking, the UK is home to some of the world’s top-notch universities. The University of Oxford (2), the University of Cambridge (3), and Imperial College London (6) are among the cream of the crop. They’re like the Avengers of academia!

The UK is no slacker when it comes to quality assurance either. Every university there must pass through the eye of the needle held by the Quality Assurance Agency For Higher Education (QAA). This government agency ensures that every college and university is up to snuff, publishing a list of institutions that can award both full and foundation degrees.

Whether you’re into business, engineering, social studies, biological sciences, languages, or creative arts/design, UK higher education institutions have got you covered like a double-decker bus in a drizzle. And they offer these courses at all levels – undergraduate, postgraduate (both research and taught), and doctorate (research).

So, whether you dream of being the next Elon Musk, Florence Nightingale, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, J.K. Rowling, or Picasso, the UK’s got a seat saved just for you!

2. Shorter duration of studies

Did you know that UK universities often have shorter degree programmes than US ones? Yep, in the US, an undergrad degree usually takes 4 years, but in the UK, you can wrap it up in just 3 years.

You might be scratching your head, wondering if a year’s missing. Don’t worry, you’re not getting shortchanged! It’s all about how education is structured in these two countries.

In the UK, when you’re 16, you pick a few subjects you really love and focus on those. These are chosen to help prepare you for what you want to study in university. Then, at uni, you dive deep into one subject, like physics or history, for three years.

Over in the US, kids keep studying a wide range of subjects until they’re 18. Even in university, they learn about many topics but choose one ‘major’ subject to focus more on. That’s why US degrees often require you to study a mix of subjects, not just your major.

So, while you might graduate sooner in the UK, keep in mind that if you want to study there, you’ll need to show you already know a lot about your chosen subject. Otherwise, you might find it tougher than you expect!

And guess what? If you can tough it out through those challenging UK courses, your wallet might thank you too! Here’s why: if you manage to pass all your modules and graduate in the 3-year time frame, compared to the 4 years in the US, you’re actually going to save a tidy sum on living expenses. And let’s face it, for international students, every penny counts, right?

You might be interested in: Guide to cost of living in London (2023 -2024)

3.  Lower cost of education abroad

Let’s chat about the cost of living in the UK, shall we? If you’re an international student flying solo to the UK, you’re looking at shelling out around £1300-£1400 per month if you’re in London, or £900-£1300 a month if you’re elsewhere in the UK. That’s what it’ll take to cover your rent, bills, groceries, and all the other bits and bobs that come with living life.

And oh yeah, don’t forget about tuition fees! The British Council reckons that for international undergrads, tuition fees can range from £11,400 – £38,000 with an average cost of about £22,200 per year. For postgrads, it’s between £9,000 – £30,000, averaging around £17,109 per year. And, of course, the exact amount will depend on what you’re studying in the UK and where.

So, yeah, any savings you can make really do count. Every little bit helps, right?

4. Part-time job opportunities in UK

Need to make some extra cash while you’re hitting the books in the UK? Well, who wouldn’t? The cost of living there isn’t exactly pocket change. So you’re probably wondering, can you work part-time while studying in the UK? Guess what? You absolutely can!

If you’re 16 or older, you’re usually good to go for most jobs, even if it’s just a gig related to your course.

Think about it this way: it’s not just about the money (although that helps!). It’s a fantastic chance to get a taste of working life in the UK, meet all sorts of people, and add some sparkle to your resume. Whether you’re thinking of working in the UK after graduation or jetting off somewhere else, having work experience can only be a plus. And the best part? You’re not just limited to on-campus jobs.

Now, here’s the deal: most students can work up to 20 hours a week during term time. Some might only be allowed to work 10 hours, and others might not be able to work at all. So, do your homework and check what your visa allows.

Oh, and don’t forget about taxes. If you’re earning money in the UK, you’re usually going to have to pay tax. It’s a bit of a bummer, but hey, it’s all part of the adulting package!

5. Availability of scholarships & loans

University costs can be daunting, right? The thought of student loan repayments stretching into the future is enough to give anyone a fright. But here’s a thought: why not try for a scholarship instead of a loan? Sure, there might be some hoops to jump through, but isn’t it worth it to take the financial stress out of your education?

Here’s the cool thing – scholarships come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll find options for undergraduate, postgraduate, and even doctoral studies. Take a peek at the British Council website, and you’ll see 674 scholarships from 148 institutions for undergraduates alone. And these aren’t just limited to government-funded options; you’ve got non-governmental ones too.

Consider the UK’s Chevening Scholarships, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They offer full or partial funding for any full-time graduate programme. Or look at the Commonwealth Scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries, aimed at master’s and PhD level education. There’s also the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme for students undertaking master’s programmes in the UK.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the global competition? No problem! There are local options too. India, for instance, has the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships for doctoral students and visiting fellows, and the Saltire Scholarships for students from various countries to study in Scotland.

But remember, these are just a few examples. Websites like Top Universities, International Scholarships, or the British Council have loads more options for you to explore. So, why not give it a shot?

6. Gateway to Europe

Here’s the scoop: The UK has a great connection to the rest of Europe, and we have budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet to thank for that. But if you’re not a big fan of long lines at immigration or dealing with airlines, there’s another option. Ever heard of Eurostar? They run high-speed trains through the Channel Tunnel, linking London with loads of European cities like Paris, Marseille, and Brussels.

And hey, if you’re planning on city-hopping in a short time, make sure to grab a Eurail pass. Trust me, it’s a real lifesaver.

7. Multicultural & highly diverse society

Guess what? The UK is like a melting pot of people from all nations, religions, and ethnicities. It’s one of the most beautifully diverse places on the planet. And this diversity? Well, it’s not just in the streets but in the classrooms too.

Check this out: according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World Rankings 2023, 7 UK universities are among the top 50 most ‘internationalised’ universities worldwide. How cool is that? Around 40% or more of the students there come from all over the world.

So if you’re an international student, you’ll feel right at home. It’s like a mini global village that helps you blend in easily with your new surroundings.

Before you go…

And here’s another solid reason to consider studying in the UK – transferring money internationally is a cinch now! Remember when getting money in or out of the UK used to be a nightmare, especially for students? Yeah, those days are thankfully in the rearview mirror.

Thanks to Instarem, you can now zip money between the UK and various countries in Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. And the best part? It’s quick and fuss-free.

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Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.  

About Instarem

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