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Expat Life

8 Top Reasons To Study In The UK

8 Reasons To Study In The UK

8 Reasons To Study In The UK

To some, studying abroad may seem like a daunting and overwhelming experience. But once you get past the nervousness, you’ll realise that studying in a foreign country can be one of the best decisions of your life. Not only will it challenge you to do and be more, it will also help you to expand your cultural horizons, become more independent, gain a global mindset and develop your people skills. It can even improve your international career prospects! And the United Kingdom offers all these advantages, and then some!

Home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford, the UK has a well-deserved reputation as a centre for world-class education. According to the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings 2018, the country is one of the top-ranked destinations for international students, second only to the United States. It is an especially popular destination for students from China, India, Malaysia and Nigeria. Every year, over 400,000 international students come to the UK to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

There are over a 100 officially recognised universities in the UK that can award full degrees in multiple fields of study including engineering, arts, medicine, law, business and IT/computer science, among others.

Still in two minds about pursuing higher education in the UK? Here is an article that addresses all your concerns and proves why the UK is a great choice for studying abroad.

1. UK Universities Award Globally Recognised Degrees

8 Reasons To Study In The UK

Higher education institutions in the UK offer world-class degrees in a number of different fields. In the 2018 release of the Times Higher Education (THE) World Rankings, 3 UK universities ranked in the top 10, and 7 featured in the top 50. In fact, according to THE 2018, the two best universities in the world are in the UK. These are the University of Oxford (which maintains its top rank since 2017) and the University of Cambridge. Get the full list of UK university rankings in THE 2018 here.

All colleges and universities in the UK are subjected to rigorous quality assurance standards by the government’s Quality Assurance Agency For Higher Education (QAA). The government also publishes a list of institutions that are officially recognised and that can award both full and foundation degrees. Get the list of the degrees here.

Some of the most popular fields of study chosen by international students in the UK are:

  • Business and administrative studies
  • Engineering and technology
  • Social studies
  • Biological sciences
  • Languages
  • Creative arts/design

Most of these courses are offered at the following levels:

  • Undergraduate
  • Postgraduate (research)
  • Postgraduate (taught)
  • Doctorate (research)

Some of the most in-demand degrees in the job market are:

  • Engineering and technology
  • Healthcare and medicine – nurses, doctors, dentists, radiographers, psychiatrists, etc
  • IT and computer science
  • Business and administration
  • Languages
  • Arts

2. Lower Cost Of Education

8 Reasons To Study In The UK

In general, the cost of education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the UK is lower than the US and a few other developed countries. In the UK, international students can expect an expenditure between £10,000 and £35,000 for lecture-based undergraduate non-medical courses and about £38,000 for undergraduate medical courses.

Fees for classroom-based postgraduate programmes for international students range between £11,000 and £32,000 and between £12,000 and £27,200 for laboratory-based programmes. At most universities, social sciences and humanities courses tend to cost the least.

Tuition fees and living costs (rent, food, travel, utilities and study materials) in London tend to be higher than in the rest of the UK. Thus, students can further save on costs by studying at a UK university outside London.

UK universities offering some of the cheapest undergraduate courses are Leeds Beckett University, University of Bedfordshire, Royal Agricultural University (Gloucestershire), York St. John University and the University of Suffolk.

The University of Bedfordshire, York St. John University and the University of Suffolk are also among the most affordable UK universities for postgraduate courses for international students.

Find Out The Cost Of Living In The UK As An Expat

3. Shorter Course Durations

8 Reasons To Study In The UK

Many UK universities offer degree programmes that are typically of shorter duration than courses offered by US universities. In the US, an undergraduate (non-medical) degree typically takes 4 years to complete, whereas, in the UK, it can be completed in only 3 years. Also, a postgraduate/Master’s degree in the UK can be completed in only 1 year, whereas in most US universities, it would take at least 2 years.

A 2017 survey found that on average, students spent about £125/week on rent in the UK, with variations as per the regions. London is the most expensive city in the UK with average rents of £182/week. Add another £125/month for utilities (unless utilities are already included in the rent), and a student can expect to incur an annual expense of over £5000 on rent and utilities alone. Other expenses like books, travel and food add to the living cost. All these costs add up the longer you study, and irrespective of which country you study in. Since courses in the UK are of a shorter duration, students can expect to save more on these expenses, which can make a huge difference for international students.

4. Part-Time Work Opportunities

8 Reasons To Study In The UK

Full-time students who are studying at degree level or above at a Higher Education Institution (HEI), or are on study abroad programmes at Overseas HEIs are allowed to work for up to 20 hours/week during their term. Students pursuing a course below degree level at an HEI can also work part-time although there is a 10 hour/week limit for them. Students are also allowed to work full-time (40 hours/week or more) during scheduled holidays and term breaks.

Some of the part-time work opportunities available to students are as follows:

      • On Campus
          • Cafeteria
          • Student union office
          • Computer laboratory
          • Research assistant
          • Teaching assistant
          • Library assistant
      • Hospitality Sector
          • Cafes
          • Restaurants
          • Bars
      • Retail Sector
          • Supermarkets
          • Stores
      • Office Jobs
        • Receptionists
        • Admin assistants
        • Call centre executives

Skilled office jobs tend to pay better than unskilled jobs. Some companies also offer paid internships to students. According to UK immigration laws, students cannot be self-employed, engage in any business/trading/e-commerce activity, or work as a professional sportsperson/coach, entertainer, doctor or dentist.

UK employers are obliged to pay their employees (including students) at least a National Minimum Wage (NMW), an hourly wage that depends upon the employee’s age and whether he/she is an apprentice. The NMW for non-apprenticed persons aged between 18 and 20 is £5.90/hour, for those between 21 and 24 is £7.38/hour and for persons older than 24, the NMW is £7.83 per hour.

For more information about working while studying in the UK, log on to the UK Council for International Student Affairs. The GOV UK site provides useful details about the National Minimum Wage.

5. Availability Of Scholarships & Loans

8 Reasons To Study In The UK

A number of scholarships and loans are available to international students who wish to study in the UK. Many of these scholarships, grants and bursaries are offered by the universities themselves, or by governments, charities and independent organisations. Generally, more scholarships are available for postgraduate students than undergraduate students. Some government scholarships for postgraduate courses cover course fees as well as the cost of living.

Many scholarships are specific to the level of study, the course and the student’s home country. For example, the Marshall Scholarship is available only to postgraduate and doctoral students from the US. However, outstanding international students from a number of countries who wish to study at postgraduate level at an accredited UK university can apply for the Chevening Scholarship, which is offered by the UK government. The governments of many Commonwealth countries also offer ‘Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships’ to talented citizens who wish to pursue a postgraduate degree in the UK. A number of universities also offer ‘studentships’ at Postgraduate and doctorate (PhD) levels. Check the detailed list here.

Indian doctoral students and visiting fellows who wish to study in the UK can apply for the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships. They can also apply for the Saltire Scholarship to pursue a postgraduate course in Scotland.

For a complete list of scholarships, visit the following sites Top Universities, International Scholarships or British CouncilThe UK government also offers study loans, but these are not usually available to international students.

6. Gateway To Europe

8 Reasons To Study In The UK

The UK is very well connected to the rest of Europe, thanks to low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet. In addition, Eurostar runs high-speed passenger train services through the Channel Tunnel, connecting London with many European cities such as Paris and Marseille in France and Brussels in Belgium. Thus, students can easily explore other countries in Europe, and enjoy their architecture, history, culture and food.

7. Multicultural & Highly Diverse Society

8 Reasons To Study In The UK

Home to people from multiple nationalities, religions and ethnicities, the UK is one of the most richly diverse societies in the world. This cultural diversity reflects in the UK’s educational system as well. According to the Times Higher Education (THE) World Rankings 2018, 4 UK universities are in the top 50 list of the world’s most ‘internationalised’ universities. Such cultural homogeneity makes international students feel welcome, which in turn helps them blend more easily with their surroundings.

These are only some of the reasons why the UK is a great choice for students looking for a world-class international degree.

8. Cost-Efficient Overseas Money Transfers

8 Reasons To Study In The UK

Here’s one more compelling reason – money transfers.  Until a few years ago, sending or receiving money to and from the UK was often a cumbersome and costly affair, especially for students.

With InstaReM, you can now transfer money between the UK and a number of countries in Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania quickly and with minimum hassle or fuss. For low-cost money transfers, choose InstaReM.

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