Why study in the UK

The U.K. is one of the most popular destinations for higher studies around the world. In addition to the fact that British degrees are recognized internationally.

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Reasons to study in the UK

The U.K. is one of the most popular destinations for higher studies around the world. In addition to the fact that British degrees are recognized internationally, the UK has maintained its position as a popular destination because of the quality of education provided. The top universities in the UK are the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College, University College London (UCL) and the University of Edinburgh. Even at other universities, the quality of teaching and research is high as these institutions are routinely assessed and graded by the QAA – an independent body that audits academic practices and provides suggestions for improvement to universities. The standards that the QAA sets are checked and fine- tuned by the British Higher Education Funding Bodies.

A large number of universities in the UK run programs that are shorter in length. For example, several undergraduate programs are three years long instead of four. Many graduate programs are only one year in length. As a result, not only will you save money in tuition and living expenses but you’ll also graduate and start earning sooner.

A part-time job or internship while studying are some ways to develop valuable skills that add to your CV – and cover your living cost! Hence, many Indian students in the UK gain work experience along with their study. Students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during the semester and up to 40 hours per week when on break. Now, the UK has made it easier for international students to work in the country on completion of their program by allowing them to get a 2-year post-study work visa. Taking cue from this, many universities assist students in gaining full time employment on completion of their program.

International students in the UK are eligible to receive free medical treatment by the National Health Service (NHS) if enrolled in a full-time course. To be eligible for this, students have to pay a small International Health Surcharge (HIS). Your college or university might additionally have its own health care coverage for students.

The UK is diverse and you will have ample opportunity to interact with students from multiple cultures. It is also well connected to the rest of Europe. This allows students to travel to other countries in Europe and experience their culture too.

Colleges and universities in the UK have multiple admission intakes in a single academic year. Typically, universities in the UK have two intakes (sometimes also referred to as “terms”).  The two intakes available in the UK are:

  • Term 1: September / October
  • Term 2: January / February

Deciding which intake to choose can be confusing. However, you should consider factors like the number of courses offered in each intake, seats available and scholarships offered. While most Indian students prefer the September intake since the timeline for applications and commencement of classes fit well with the completion of school or under-graduate programs, the January intake is equally suitable for specific applications.

Cost of Education

Studying abroad can be expensive. However, planning in advance will help you manage your living expenses more effectively.  This starts with understanding how much you will need to pay for your education. The primary driver of cost is tuition fees. The tuition fees you pay will depend on the following factors:

  1. Your level of study: Doctoral and postgraduate programs are more expensive than undergraduate programs.  The fee range is as per the table below:
  2. What you study: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Management and Medicine programs are more expensive than programs in the humanities, education and arts.
  3. The type of university you go to: Since public universities receive funding from the government, they are relatively cheaper than private universities.
  4. The program length: Shorter programs are naturally cheaper. For instance, a 1 year master’s program is cheaper than 2 years master’s program.
Level Annual Tuition Fee Range
Doctoral Degree GBP 13,000 – GBP 29,000
Postgraduate (Master’s) Degree GBP 10,000 – GBP 16,000
Undergraduate (Bachelor’s) Degree GBP 6,000 – GBP 9,000

In addition to this, students incur an annual cost of living between GBP 8,000 and GBP 15,000 per year. The amount depends on the city / town you stay in, whether you live on campus or off campus and on if you stay alone or with roommates. The cost of living mentioned includes accommodation, groceries, social activities, books and supplies, transportation, personal expenses, and incidentals.

 

You don’t have to fund your entire education on your own. There are several scholarships that you can apply to and many financial institutions that specialize in providing education loans at low interest rates to students.

Visa Requirements for UK

Students who wish to study at the undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral level for more than 6 months in the UK need to apply for Tier 4 (General Student) visa. You will need the following documents to apply for this visa:

  1. A current passport
  2. An unconditional offer of admission as evidenced by a  Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  3. Proof of adequate English Language Skills as evidenced by your score in any Secure English Language Test (SELT) i.e. your TOEFL / IELTS test score
  4. Evidence of funds to pay for your course – through receipts that show you have paid your tuition fee, approved bank loans, affidavits from sponsors etc.
  5. Evidence of funds to provide for your living expenses for the duration of your course. You must be able to show GBP 1,015 per month for every month you stay in the UK if your university is outside London. If you plan to study in London, you must show GBP 1,265 per month.
  6. Passport-sized color photographs
  7. Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate. This is needed only for courses that teach sensitive subjects and will not be needed for most students
  8. Tuberculosis test results

 

In addition to the above, you will need to get your fingerprints scanned by booking a biometrics appointment.

Once you apply for your student visa online, it generally takes up to 15 days to get the visa.