The United Kingdom (UK) is regarded as a pioneer in many areas of education such as finance, law, engineering, art & design and business & management. The UK is the world centre for scientific research that makes it attractive for some of the best thinkers in the world. The UK’s population is just 1% of the world’s population, and the country is directly responsible for almost 8% of global scientific publications.
The education system in the UK is world-renowned/ popular with qualifications that play a vital role in defining your future. The UK attracts almost 600,000 international students annually. Lakhs of international students are enrolled in a variety of courses ranging from English language course to doctorate level courses at the UK universities.
The UK education system is designed in such a way that it gives liberty to students to combine courses and subjects from different areas of studies. In simple words, the UK education system helps you to tailor your degree as per your own interest and needs.
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|UNIVERSITY||THE 2018||QS 2018||US World 2018|
|University of Cambridge - [CAM]||3||7||7|
|University of Oxford - [OX]||1||5||5|
|Imperial College London||9||8||18|
|University of Edinburgh - [ED]||29||18||27|
|King's College London - [KCL]||38||31||39|
|University of Manchester||57||29||58|
|London School of Economics and Political Science - [LSE]||26||38||234|
|University of Glasgow - [GLA]||93||69||95|
|University of Bristol||78||51||77|
|University of Southampton||118||96||-|
|University of Warwick||79||54||138|
|University of Birmingham||116||79||96|
|University of Sheffield||106||75||132|
|Durham University - [DUR]||114||74||185|
|University of Leeds||153||93||153|
|University of St Andrews||165||97||248|
|Queen Mary, University of London - [QMUL]||130||119||110|
|Queen's University Belfast - [QUB]||201-250||180||293|
The United Kingdom is one of the prominently celebrated study-abroad destinations that attracts millions of international students representing over 86 countries across the globe. Often counted in the list of the 3 most coveted countries for international candidates, including Canada and USA, the UK is renowned for its undisputed reputation in the field of education and has over 150 top universities in the UK ranking globally for their curriculum and research methods.
India was amongst the second-highest nations that made up the student body of the UK in 2019 after China (23.2%). As per the survey results of India Today 2020, UK ranked amongst the most preferred international destinations among Indian students. Beating Canada and USA to lead at #1 with nearly 28% of the total votes, the country has managed to gather a huge fascination among global applicants.
While COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has hit the world hard in almost all respects, the data revealed by Vigo Stacey June 2020 reflects that currently, over 90% of the South Asians still prefer to study overseas with half of them seeking to study in the UK followed by Canada. The number of international students in the country has seen a huge growth over the years, the trends for which are as depicted below.
From globally reputed institutes to remarkable research alternatives, diverse population and amazing jobs, the UK as a country never disappoints its aspirants. Along with this there are other factors which are responsible for influencing students to study in the UK which includes:
To help you research your dream university, some of the most reputed and top-ranking universities in the UK and the world, along with their location and acceptance rate are as tabulated below.
|Name of the Institute||THE World Rankings 2021||THE UK Rankings 2021|
|University of Oxford||1||1|
|University of Cambridge||6||2|
|Imperial College London||11||3|
|University College London (UCL)||16||4|
|London School of Economics and Political Science||27||5|
|University of Edinburgh||30||6|
|King’s College London||35||7|
|University of Manchester||51||8|
|University of Warwick||77||9|
|University of Bristol||91||10|
For all the prospective applicants, the country offers a plethora of diverse study abroad programs in the UK ranging from STEM programs to Humanities and a varied variety of non-conventional courses. The fascinating part about these thousands of courses is that they are offered from a duration as small as 6 months to a program of 5 to 6 years and fit the criteria of best courses to study for jobs in the UK.
Some of the highly popular programs for masters(MS) in UK comprise Business and Natural Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Medicine, Law, Social Sciences, Media and Communication, Arts, Hospitality and Tourism, among others. The details of some of the conveyed choices in the list of programs for international students are as tabulated below.
|Popular Program||Best UK University for the course||Duration||Employment Rate|
|MBA||London School of Business||15 to 21 months||94%|
|Civil Engineering||Imperial College||3 years||78.40%|
|Masters (MS) in Law||University of Cambridge||3 years||93.30%|
|Medicine||University of Oxford||5 to 6 years||99.30%|
|Computer Science||University of Oxford||3 years||81.80%|
|MS in Psychology||University of Oxford||3 years||83.70%|
|Education||Durham University||3 years||95.20%|
|Masters (MS) in Architecture||University of Cambridge||3 years||86.30%|
International students form a highly significant part of the student body in the UK. According to the survey results of Higher Education Statistics Agency UK, nearly 127,335 of the international candidates in the country are engaged in Business programs with 22,045 and 32,890 students respectively in the stream of Medicine and Creative Arts. A graph depicting the distribution of international students across major fields of study across the country are as depicted below.
The cost of accommodation and other expenses in the country will highly depend upon your personal choices and the city you live in. For instance, While the average student accommodation prices in the UK is approximately 125 GBP per week, the similar rental will cost a student living in Northern Ireland around 91 GBP while to the one living in London it will be nearly 182 GBP which is exactly double.
Thus, while it is hard to calculate the exact amount, an estimated average cost of living and other expenditures for a student hoping to study in the UK is as follows:
|Types of Expenses||Cost (in GBP, per month)|
|Bills (electric/ gas/ water)||40-50|
|TV licence||12.56 (or 150.50 per year)|
|Clothes and Leisure||40-50|
|Books & supplies||30|
|Visa application Fee (international candidates)||348 (one time fee)|
For studying in the UK, international applicants can avail the use of scholarships and awards to up to 100%. While the UK government provides a wide array of its own awards and studentships to provide financial support for international students to study in the UK, the individual universities in the country also offer merit-based and additional awards for such aspirants. Scholarships for post graduate and doctoral courses in the UK are not open for all the candidates, as they have strict eligibility criteria.
Some of the awards that an international candidate looking to finance his/her studies in the UK can avail have been compiled below.
|Name of Scholarship||Level of study||Countries eligible||Eligibility criteria||Applications open||Amount|
|Chevening Scholarships||Master’s||144; around 700 scholarships per year||-||-||-|
|Commonwealth Scholarships||Master’s and PhD||62 commonwealth nations||commonwealth citizen, refugee or British protected person and at least 2:1 Honours degree||August before the course is due to start||Covers tuition fees, a monthly living allowance and travel costs|
|Saltire Scholarships||Master's||Canada, India, Pakistan, USA and China||-||October, till May||50 scholarships worth 8,200 GBP|
|The Australia Foundation Trust||All levels||-||Australian citizens entitled to live and study in the UK||-||10,251 GBP|
|Mackenzie King Memorial Scholarships||Master's/PhD||-||Degree from any Canadian university with a minimum grade A, across all courses||January||8,710 GBP worth scholarships plus travel allowances|
|China- Great Scholarships||Postgraduate||-||Offer for a course at any one of the participating universities||Varies across institutions||Total 150 scholarships worth 10,24,667 GBP|
|BAFTA Scholarships||Master's||-||Chinese national seeking to study a postgraduate course in the field of film, television or games||March (closes in June)||10,246 GBP as tuition fee plus additional living expenses|
|Inlaks Scholarship||All levels (but you must have an undergraduate degree)||-||Undergraduate degree, offer letter from a ‘top ranking' institution||January - April||-|
|Scholarship for students from USA in the UK||Master's/PhD||-||Undergraduate degree; minimum 3.7 GPA and endorsed by applicant’s undergraduate university||Late Spring, the year before the applicant is supposed to start studying||-|
Other awards like the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India Scholarships and Felix Scholarships along with Fulbright Commission Scholarships are also available for international students to study in the UK.
To conclude, the United Kingdom over the years has shown tremendous growth in its number of international students who come every year to be a part of some of the world’s highly prestigious universities. From highly skilled faculty, research methods and employment opportunities to a great campus and student life, the UK is indeed a package deal.
With a total international student population of nearly 80 to 90% formed by 46% of the women candidates make for the diversity that the country offers. This knowledge and exposure of multi cultures and ethnicities add value to the job profile of an individual which is found highly attractive among top recruiters around the world and help them land high-paying jobs in UK. Thus, the UK has justifiably earned the rank in the list of top 3 overseas destinations among international aspirants and is undoubtedly a worthwhile pursuit.
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