The UK is a world leader in many areas of education including engineering, science, art and design, business and management, law and finance. The UK’s reputation and legacy as a world centre for scientific research makes it a magnet for some of the very best thinkers in the world. With only one per cent of the world’s population, the UK is responsible for eight per cent of global scientific publications.
The UK offers a world-renowned education system with qualifications that can make a real difference to your future. It attracts over 600,000 international students each year to a variety of programmes, ranging from English language courses to PhDs.
The UK education system gives students the freedom to combine courses and subjects from different areas of studies, so you can tailor your degree to your own needs and interest.
WHY STUDY IN UK?
The UK and its universities have an undisputed reputation for academic excellence and quality with thousands of courses available for students, as well as being an ideal destination for many decades for over a million international students from all over the world.
There are more than 395 universities and colleges, offering over 50,000 undergraduate-level higher education courses across the UK. UK courses are generally shorter than other countries, helping to reduce overall tuition fees and accommodation costs. Furthermore, in comparison to the level of education offered to you, British universities are more affordable. It can be possible to work while you study too.
EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THE UK
Based on the actual education regulations in the UK education system, the Higher Education comprises these levels of courses:
Postgraduate courses that lead to a Doctorate, a Master’s degree (Taught or Research), Postgraduate diplomas, postgraduate certificates of education (PGCE) and professional degrees. To enter this level, it is usually required to have a first degree (Bachelor).
Undergraduate courses which include a wide range of first degrees (Bachelor’s): honours and ordinary degrees, qualified teacher status, enhanced first degrees, intercalated degrees (first-degree students in specific study fields may interrupt their ongoing studies and spend a year studying a field related to their major study subject).
Other undergraduate courses: Foundation degrees, SVQ, NVQ, Higher National Diploma HND (or equivalent), NHC (or equivalent) etc.
An undergraduate course it usually takes 3 years to finish, while Scotland makes an exemption because it takes 4 years to finish an undergraduate course. The higher education in the UK education system is having an extended number of universities that are offering 4-year undergraduate courses, also known as “sandwich courses”. This program includes one year in a workplace, usually in your third year.
Some British universities offer fast-track programs where you can obtain a Master’s degree at the undergraduate level. By contrast to traditional undergraduate levels, students in these programs can attend an additional year of studying instead of taking a Bachelor degree and then admit to a Master program. Besides, it costs much less than usual 3-year undergraduate courses, it’s normally much intense because there are shorten holiday breaks and the schedule is heavy.
Some of the more prestigious universities in UK offer postgraduate degrees. If schools offer postgraduate degrees, they offer Master’s Degrees (typically one year, sometimes two years if your degree is research-based) and/or Doctorate degrees (three-year degrees). These are only available if you have obtained a bachelor’s degree at an accredited university (not necessarily one in England).
In the United Kingdom education system, most syllabi are set by the universities which are offering them and are not controlled by the government or certain British educational institution. The only exception to this is teacher education programs, which the government has a lot of say over. The British government has established the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) to maintain those standards. Most countries have specific regulations for their teachers, so this isn’t any different than studying teaching in your home country. Because of their strict regulations and high standards for teacher education programs, the UK is considered to have some of the best teacher education programs in the world.
Even though the syllabi are set by universities, the Office for Fair Access (OfFA) in the British school system has a lot of say on the admission procedures of each university. This office was created so that everyone who wishes to attend university in UK has the ability to do so. They also promote fair access to higher education, even for those who are attending university as international students. Fair access also includes those of different cultures, different races, different nationalities, and those who have disabilities.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The reputation of the British higher education goes hand to hand with its costs. Tuition fees may vary from university to university and in which zone of administration you’re looking at (England, Scotland, and Wales), so it’s always advisable to check the university’s website before making any further plan for your studies. For sure, to attend a British university you need a lot of money packed in, whether you’re a native or not, but since there are many scholarship schemes you can seek one.
International students are a substantial part of the student population in British universities. The UK is the second most popular study destination for international students following the US at the top. If you decide to be one of more than a million foreign students in the US, you’re definitely one step far from a guaranteed brighter future.
In the end, it must be emphasized that despite being hardly affordable, if you decide to study in the UK will surely worth the cost. The UK education system and its higher education degrees are valued by academics and employers all over the world.
First, you must know what to expect while studying in the UK. Following a governmental decision in 2017, UK universities are allowed to charge their home and EU students with tuition fees capping at €9,250 per an academic year (the highest that ever was at UK universities).
Meanwhile, non-EU foreign students in the UK are charged with a lot higher tuition fees which in some particular courses range up to over £50,000 per an academic year. If you’re an EU student, you can use the benefits of student loans, but if you’re a non-EU and non-EEA student financial help is needed.
UK scholarships for international students can be divided into two major group:
• Governmental Scholarships
• Non-governmental Scholarships
As a global educational attraction, UK maintains a strong awareness toward international student financial matters. Thus, the British government runs two large scholarship schemes for international students.
• Chevening Scholarships
• Commonwealth Scholarships
Chevening Scholarships – Is the main state-governed global scholarship programme in UK. This scheme has a long-term goal to support students with high academic potential. Since its foundation in 1983, students aim to support students with high academic potential. Since its foundation in 1983, thousand of students benefited from this scheme.
Chevening funds are provided from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and their partners including universities. The programme awards two types of grants
Typically a Chevening scholarship is awarded for a one-year Master course at a UK university but it can also be granted for other postgraduate courses. To apply for this type of scholarship you must first be a citizen of a Chevening-eligible country
Other requirements to be eligible for this scholarship are:
1. You have an undergraduate degree
2. You have 2+ years work experience
3. You meet the English requirements
Commonwealth Scholarships- Commonwealth Scholarships is a rich scheme of UK scholarships for international students governed jointly by 53 countries (former British colonies) plus UK part of the Commonwealth of Nations or Commonwealth as it’s shortly regarded. Commonwealth Scholarships are funded by the Department for International Development at it’s open to all students who are citizens of a Commonwealth countries and want to seek a university degree in UK.
Typically Commonwealth Scholarships are awarded for these courses
• One-year Master taught or equivalent courses.
• Doctoral degrees lasting for 3-4 years.
A Commonwealth Scholarship covers your tuition fees, airline airfares, essential living costs plus other allowances.Currently this type of scholarship is awarded to students of these subjects
• Engineering & Technology
• Theoretical and Applied Science
• Humanities and Social Sciences
UK University Scholarships
In addition to scholarship programs described above, there are a lot of other scholarship resources in the UK. First, there are several scholarship schemes, funded by governmental or non-governmental organizations, designed for students coming from particular countries.
Besides, many universities have established their own programs of UK scholarships for international students. To see if the University of your Choice has such programs on offer you must reach them by email.
LIVING IN THE UK
Studying abroad is an ideal opportunity for a student who wants to broaden their horizons and is aiming towards academic excellence and development. The UK has proven to be a marvelous academic destination for internationals arriving from all around the world. In the academic year 2017/18, the number of international students enrolled in UK universities reached 458,490; and the numbers just keep growing. The UK is the second most favored place of study for internationals after the US. Thousands of internationals enroll each year in some of UK’s top universities.
The UK has a multicultural society, with a rich diversity of cultures, languages, and faiths. You’ll find widely varied cuisine, strong transport links, famous music festivals, and international sporting championships.
It is important to stay informed and read about the country you will reside in, beforehand. As an international student, you should always be attentive of your surroundings, making sure you won’t get lost – since the UK is quite large. The crime rate in the UK keeps decreasing and with that in mind, as well as the excellence of UK universities, be ensured you have chosen quite a special academic destination to spend your students years in.
WORKING IN THE UK
In UK, similar to most of the top international study destinations, foreign students are allowed to work part-time. In the UK as an international student, you’re allowed to work up to 20 hours at maximum per week during term-time and full-time during holiday breaks. But there are many restrictions and conditions you must stay in line with in order to be allowed to work.
Your eligibility to work in the UK while studying depends on two major restrictions: those set by your university and those by state-run official institutions. First, you must ensure that your university doesn’t have any constrain pulling you back from working before dealing with state officials. For example, depending on your study course your university may limit working hours to you, aside from governmental restrictions.
In the UK, particularly in big cities like London, international students can easily find a part-time job. Some universities may only allow you to work inside the campus, but there is no need to worry because there are still many options available to you. However, before getting out hunting part-time jobs you must check if you’re eligible for such work. It all starts with your Tier 4 visa, the official student visa in the UK. The first criterion you must check is your age. If you’re under 16 and don’t have a Tier 4 (General 4) you’re not qualified to work in the UK.