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UK stands as one of the world’s leading destinations for international students. The UK welcomes over 400,000 international higher education students each year. The UK higher education space provides quality education across streams. Its research and quality driven institutions are unmatched in a variety of subjects including Engineering, Law, Economics, and Business. Universities in the UK are ranked among the best in the world and are globally recognized and respected.One of the key reasons for that being the fact that the top UK universities put student satisfaction as their key driving factor.
UK universities feature prominently in the Global University Rankings whether it is the QS World University Rankings or the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The United Kingdom is home to more than 400 universities. Given the diversity of courses, there is a wide range of institutions that are available and suitable for international students pursuing higher education. Today, the United Kingdom (UK), hosts students from all around the world. Countries such as the United States, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, Netherlands and Italy have seen an increase in students opting to study in the UK for both undergrad and postgrad studies.
UK courses are generally shorter than other countries and help to reduce tuition fees and living costs. Many undergrad programs in the UK, except for Scotland, can be completed in three years instead of four, which means that the students can save a year’s worth of tuition fees. Students who are pursuing full-time higher degree undergrad/ postgrad level studies at a UK university can work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time on a Tier-4 visa.
The United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. Each of these places have their own cultural offerings and experiences which consist of diverse cultures, languages and faiths. Famous music festivals, movie or sporting events and other notable global occasions are home to the UK. The basic mode of instruction at majority institutes in the UK is the English language.
Avg Living costs / per year-
£ 12,000 – £ 15, 000
Avg Tuition fee per year
Undergraduate Programme: £ 10,000 – £ 35,000 Post Graduate Programmes: £ 9,000 – £ 42,000
Average graduate incomes/ year
Migration possibility ( yes or no )
January & September
What makes UK a leading study destination!
The United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. Each of these places have their own cultural offerings and experiences which consist of diverse cultures, languages and faiths. Famous music festivals, movie or sporting events and other notable global occasions are home to the UK. International Students
UK stands as one of the world’s leading destinations for international students. The UK welcomes over 400,000 international higher education students each year. There are international students hailing from different nationalities studying in the UK at the moment. Every year, for the last decade this number has seen a steady increase.
Universities in UK
UK universities are among the best in the world and consistently perform well in world rankings. 2 of the Top 6 Universities in the World according to QS rankings are in the United Kingdom. UK higher education degrees are accepted and recognized globally by universities and prospective employers.
The UK higher education space provides quality education across streams. Its research and quality driven institutions are unmatched in a variety of subjects including Engineering, Law, Economics, and Business. The basic mode of instruction at majority institutes in the UK is the English language.
There are close to 400 universities offering more than 45,000 courses in the higher education space across the UK. UK courses are generally shorter than other countries and help to reduce tuition fees and living costs. Many undergrad programs in the UK, except for Scotland, can be completed in three years instead of four, which means that the students can save a year’s worth of tuition fees. Students who are pursuing full-time higher degree undergrad/ post-grad level studies at a UK university can work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time on a Tier-4 visa.
Due to these reasons, thousands of students are opting to study abroad in the UK.
UK universities feature prominently in the Global University Rankings whether it is the QS World University Rankings or the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The United Kingdom is home to more than 400 universities. Given the diversity of courses, there is a wide range of institutions that are available and suitable for international students pursuing higher education.
Some of the top universities in the UK, other than University of Cambridge and University of Oxford, that feature consistently in the global rankings are Imperial College London, King’s College London, University College London, London School of Economics, University of Manchester, University of St. Andrews etc., the list is endless. Today, the United Kingdom (UK), hosts students from all around the world. Countries such as the United States, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, Netherlands and Italy have seen an increase in students opting to study in the UK for both undergrad and postgrad studies.
UK universities consistently strive to be counted as some of the best universities globally and improve their university ranking. One of the key reasons for that being the fact that the top UK universities put student satisfaction as their key driving factor.
Universities in the UK also collaborate with each other on research and by other means of knowledge transfer and innovation. The Russell Group, which is a league of 24 Universities, is one such example. The Russell Group is driven to nurture the best research and learning environment for its students with extensive links in the private and public sectors. Some of the Russell Group Universities include - the University of Birmingham, the University of Bristol, the University of Cambridge and Cardiff University.
These are some of the key reasons, among others, why students decide to study in the UK. Connect with our relationships teams as they have the expertise to map you to the best institution based on your profile and interests
Popular Courses in UK
There are close to 500,000 international students studying a diverse range of courses in the UK. According to the latest compiled data business and administrative studies are the most sought-after courses. The other popular courses include Social Studies, Computer Science, Engineering and subjects allied to medicine. Computer Science is a top choice among male students, whereas medicine and other subjects allied to it is a prevalent choice among female students studying in the United Kingdom.
Business & Administration
Close to 30% of the International students studying in the UK are enrolled in Business and Administrative studies. Universities in the UK offer a wide range of business courses at both the undergrad and postgrad level, these programs are recognised globally by companies who are prospective employers as well as other academic institutions. Most of these business courses have a common foundation course with a choice of specialization in the subsequent semester/ year. The specialization options offered by the Top UK universities is very vast, these could include human resources, marketing, finance, operations and even slightly new streams such as digital marketing and data analytics.
Universities in United Kingdom also offer extensive choice for programs in social sciences. Courses in Social Sciences combined with Business Courses and Engineering & Technology account for more than 50% of enrolments. There are close to 50,000 international students studying social sciences in universities across the United Kingdom, these students specialize in areas such as Sociology, Anthropology, Public Policy among other social and development studies.
Engineering & Technology
The UK has a high demand for engineers across sectors with different specializations. These specializations include areas such as chemical, civil, electrical, computer, mechanical and other important areas of engineering. UK universities rank among the top global universities in terms of research and innovation. Universities in UK offer some of the best facilities and equipment for engineering students. Currently there are more than 50,000 international students studying engineering & technology course in the UK.
UK universities have played an instrumental role in contributing to the global tech revolution of the 21st century. A lot of universities work on some innovative projects with global companies. This gives an opportunity for international students to get access to a wide network of experts in the field. UK universities, keeping pace with the ever-changing technological landscape had offered computer science programs that provide specializations in areas like game development and app design.
Other Popular Courses
Other popular streams such as Creative arts and design, Law and Biological Sciences, Medicine and allied subjects account for 23% of international student enrolment. Medical sciences have been a popular choice among students because of the opportunities that UK offers in not only cutting-edge specialised programs but also job opportunities post completion of their program.
Skill Shortage in UK
One of the fundamental issues facing the developed world is their skill shortage as a result of regional mismatch, cyclical shifts, inadequate training levels, and labor market restructuring.
The UK has a range of professions that fall under the Occupation Skill Shortages category as companies fail to find suitable candidates from within the local talent pool to perform certain jobs. This opens up a wide array of opportunities for the international student to work for UK businesses across sectors.
According to the UK skills bureau, there are more than 30 million people who are currently employed in the UK, but along with sectors like finance, education & healthcare often see there are some other sectors that see some of the fastest growing demand for skilled professionals.
The UK has specific skills shortage in a variety of fields like production managers, Physical scientists such as geologists, Engineers such as Civil, mechanical, electrical and electronic engineers as well as Design and development. Fields of IT, finance and healthcare also see regular shortage but over the last three years innovations in the manufacturing sector, financial technology and IT areas such as augmented and virtual reality have also witnessed a shortage of skilled professionals.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and its implications on the United Kingdom, recent economic data suggests that the unemployment rate in the UK is at it’s lowest today when compared with data for the last 45 years.
The UK economy is headed for a growth path, but that also means that the increase in demand for skilled professionals, which includes financial managers, healthcare professionals, social workers, engineers, app developers etc. is just going to increase.
The top universities in the United Kingdom are well prepared in ensuring that these demands are met. Most top universities in UK today ensure that the latest courses and programs offered will be supported by the latest curriculum, research and other facilities to ensure that there is no shortage of skilled professionals in the United Kingdom.
Following is a Snapshot of companies that hire in these sectors in the UK are
Working while studying
The UK government allows international students studying in the UK to work part-time, they can work up to 20 hours
per week during sessions and 40 hours per week during vacations.Most international students take up part-time work in restaurants, retail outlets, café’s, etc., there are part-time job opportunities available during major events; these could be sporting events, concerts, fairs etc. There are student jobs that are also available at the university itself, these job listings can usually be found on the university notice board. A lot of international students who are studying in the UK manage their daily expenses by working part-time. But it is important to note that they key aspect is to be able to successfully manage both studying full-time and part-time work.
Students need to understand the terms of the job before they start working, in the UK the minimum wage that all employers need to pay is £5.30 per hour if you are aged between 18 – 20 and £6.70 if you are 21 years or more. The employer will make a direct deposit to the student’s bank account, the frequency of the payment could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on the terms of the employment.
A lot of students undertake voluntary work or unpaid internships, these can be found on university notice boards, newspapers, classifieds or websites. When studying abroad, one of the most important things is to gain experience not just within the university but also outside it. A lot of international students undertake part-time work that is not paid for many reasons, it could be for gaining work experience, build networks, understanding the job market and even meeting people who can offer future career advice.
Other Important Information
The ideal time to work part-time is during vacations such as Christmas or Easter and even right after the final exams of the term.
It is also important to note that despite the fact that the Tier 4 visa grants a student permission to work 20 hours a week during active study, some universities also have further restrictions, that only allow students to work for 10 hours. It is advisable for international students to check the same with the university. If the duration of the study is less than 6 months, then the student will not get permission to work part-time.
The eligibility requirement for international students studying in the UK varies from course to course and university to university.
Depending on the level of study, i.e. undergrad or postgrad, the UK university could ask for more than one qualifying exam as part of the entry requirements.
UK universities ask international students to give evidence of their international English language ability by asking them to take language proficiency exams. These tests are the first step in pushing your application for higher education study in the UK. The students need to take these exams so that the university can ascertain if the student is suitable to attend classes at university since the medium of teaching is going to be English.
The language proficiency exams that students could be asked to take would be one of the following:
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language
PTE: Pearson Test English
UCLES: University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate
GRE & GMAT
For students opting for graduate business programs, the Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT in other words would be a requirement. It is important to note that for PG courses, GRE is required only by a couple of institutes in the UK like LSE/ LBS. Others do not require GRE. Also, GMAT is required only for certain courses depending on the University. The major difference between GRE and GMAT is that GMAT is for graduate business courses where GRE would be required for not just business courses but also other graduate programs in different disciplines.
Other Entrance Exams
For international students planning to study in the United Kingdom, there are other qualifying exams that universities might ask to take. Oxford and Cambridge University jointly administer the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT), which is a requirement for the undergrad degree in courses in Computer Science or Mathematics. Medical schools in the UK require students to undertake some tests, these typically include:
BMAT: BioMedical Admissions Test, for applicants towards courses in Medicine, Biomedical Science and Dentistry
GAMSAT: Graduate Medical School Admissions Test, for applicants undertaking medical graduate programs in Australia, UK or Ireland.
UKCAT: UK Clinical Aptitude Test, for students wanting to enrol in dental or medical degree programs.
Please note that every university might have different requirements, to know more about the undergraduate and postgraduate entry requirements kindly contact us
Preparing to Apply
The application process to study in the UK is very simple. The UK has two Intakes. The major intake is in September/October and the Minor intake is during January/ February.
The applicant needs to make sure to check the requirements of the university he/she wishes to apply, and application must start 12 -18 months in advance. Shortlisting the courses and the university is one of the most crucial aspects of the entire admission process, a good practice is to talk to counsellors or reach out to the university to know more about the universities and its courses.
Once a few courses have been shortlisted, the next step is finding out the eligibility requirements, application deadlines, and the fees, they could all vary depending on the university and the course.
Applying to Colleges & Universities
International students applying to colleges and universities in the United Kingdom for a bachelor’s degree will have to apply using the UCAS application website, most universities in the UK will accept the application only via UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admission Service). For some universities, the applicant needs to apply directly via their website and each university will have its own process.
The application will need to have all the personal information (as asked in the application), personal statement, educational qualifications, financial information (required for studying and living expenses), scores of qualifying exams (IELTS, TOEFL, GMAT, GRE etc.). Once all this is complete the student can submit the application through the UCAS website.
For postgrad studies, International students can directly apply to the colleges, it is important to note that it is best to contact the university directly, as different universities will have different deadlines and processes. Students can also apply to some universities via the UKPASS system.
Once the student has submitted the application, the applicant will receive a confirmation email from the university, the university will take a few weeks to take a decision, this could vary depending on the application load at the time. Once a student receives the confirmation the next step is to arrange for the finances and start the visa application.
You can reach out to our Relationships team for more information.
UK Visa Process
UK Visas for students for study, usually take 3 weeks after submission. Sometimes in case of an urgent requirement, a fast-track option is available. Fast-track takes 5 working days with an additional charge.
When the student gets an offer to study from a UK university, he/she needs to accept the offer. The university then issues CAS i.e. the Confirmation of Acceptance. Once that is done, the applicant needs to register on the UK visa website and book an appointment for submitting the application along with other documents. After this the visa fees is paid.
The final submission is done at VFS and is followed by a visa interview. On the day of the appointment the applicant shall submit the Visa application form along with all other required documents. Typically this would include the completed application form, the ‘confirmation of acceptance’ (CAS), proof of funds, indicating that the student has enough funds to manage the living expenses in UK, visa fee payment confirmation, educational qualification documents and scoresheet of the qualifying exams. Along with the visa interview, the applicants photograph, and fingerprints are taken.
Our Visa team is fully equipped and experienced to guide you through the process and even arrange for a mock visa interview. Please connect with our Relationships team and our Visa team, should you need any assistance with your student Visa.
We will reach you shortly and start our journey together.
We will reach you shortly and start our journey together.
We will contact you shortly and together
we will focus on your journey.