Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom comprises of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Second only to the US, in terms of popularity, the UK offers high quality teaching and a different array of programs to choose from.
The UK has some of the world’s finest institutions, which offer education of the highest standard. The education system is flexible, allowing students to combine different types of courses according to their needs and abilities. The range of specializations available enables a student to pursue a course that suits his interests and ambitions. Specializations can be pursued in fields ranging from computer games programming to marine engineering, satellite positioning technology to hotel management, sound engineering to multi- media design, cross-cultural psychology to anthropology, etc.
According to statistics provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), there were 3, 10,190 international non-EU students in the UK in 2013-14. China leads the way with 87,895 students, followed by India with 19,750 students. Business/Administrative studies were the most popular field of study, with 38.7% international students enrolling for these courses. This was followed by courses in Engineering & Technology (32.7%) and Law (25%).
Data Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) First Statistical Release and the publication ‘Students in Higher Education 2013-14’.
Undergraduate degrees take three years to complete and postgraduate courses last for one year, as compared to the four and two years in other countries. The courses are shorter, more intensive and economical (in terms of both university fees and living costs). Undergraduate students can also take up an optional placement year called ‘Sandwich’ year in their third year. The Sandwich year is a great opportunity to gain practical experience related to the student’s field of study. In the fourth year, the student will return to the respective university to complete their degree program.
Generally British universities do not require an entrance test for undergraduate studies. A GMAT score may be needed for certain post graduate programs. However, students will need to prove that they are proficient in English through IELTS or TOEFL, irrespective of the program and level of study they are planning to pursue. Supplementary documents may include a personal statement, academic transcripts and reference letters.
A centralised application service, called Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), manages and processes all the undergraduate applications in the UK. Post graduate applications are generally submitted directly to the university, except a few which are submitted through UKPASS (UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service).
Undergraduate fees may range between £ 15,000 and £ 18,000 per year approximately. The fee for Masters Programs will be between £ 22,000 and £ 30,000. Tuition fees for MBA programs may be in the range of £ 28,000 to £ 32,000 annually. The fees will vary according to the university and subject chosen. Living costs may be between £ 7,200 and £ 9,000 per academic year.
International students can apply for financial assistance also, but the eligibility criteria may vary between universities. A scholarship/ financial aid application will generally be selected on the basis of a student’s academic record and will cover course fees, and not travel and personal expenses.
There is so much to see and do in the UK: world renowned tourist attractions, vibrant cities, breathtaking countryside and a pulsating nightlife. It also has a lot to offer foreign students with its prestigious qualifications, advanced research systems, first class amenities and a diverse multicultural environment.