Study in UK
The United Kingdom (UK) is made up of four countries- England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland. The English Channel separates this cluster of island countries or archipelago from the mainland. The UK is no longer a part of the European Union after its ‘Brexit’ in 2016. England and North Ireland are under a unitary monarchy as well as a parliamentary rule. Wales and Scotland are under the monarchy but have autonomous powers.
Why the UK?
The UK offers a very flexible education system. The students can customise their education based on their lifestyle and aspirations. The benefits of choosing the UK as a study destination include:-
- Global leaders in the field of education. The UK universities have ranked best consistently among the universities of the world. All educational institutions are evaluated annually by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) on multiple factors from quality of education to student life. During the last survey, it was noted that one-fifth of the top 50 universities of the world are in the UK.
- The UK has 1 percent of the global population; they conduct 5 percent of global research and publish 14 percent of the cited papers globally.
- The UK provides diversity in education choices. The degrees offered are for diverse subjects like Art and Design, Business and Finance, Media, medicine and so on.
- Education in the UK is flexible. They have long-term courses, short-term courses, and vocational courses. If you plan to study full time, you can complete the education in a shorter time frame.
- The UK has a lot of grants and scholarships available for those international students who have potential but limited means.
- Students get access to the largest library in the world. The British Library has more than 170 million books in the last catalogue.
- The UK is a land of travel, culture, diversity and opportunity. Its rich heritage and history, and its modern multicultural society make it the place to be.
The UK has some of the most historic and iconic universities, such as the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, London School of Economics and Political Science. The education system in the UK is renowned for its origins dating back to the 11th century. The UK provides cutting edge education in the fields of engineering, business and management, art and science. It has a rich heritage and legacy of scientific research. Education in the UK is beyond traditional textbook education. Here education is imparted through seminars, workshops, tutorials and conferences.
The UK education system is divided into four jurisdictions- namely those in England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland. Each region has a different form of education, qualification and specific rules and regulations.
- Primary education
- Secondary education
- Further education
- The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications of Degree Awarding Bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ)
The Framework for Qualifications of Higher Education Institutions in Scotland (FQHEIS)
The undergraduate system for the UK stands as-
|Higher National Certificate (HNC)/ Diploma (HND)||1 – 2 years|
|Diplomas or Certificates of Higher Education (CertHE/DipHE)||1 – 2 years|
|Foundation degrees in Arts or Science(Fd A/Fd Sc)||6 months to 2 years|
|Bachelor/ Honours Degree (such as BA, B.Sc, BEng)||3 years in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 4 years in Scotland|
|Integrated courses (where undergraduate and postgraduate is combined to earn a Master’s degree as first degree)||4 years|
|Postgraduate certificates or diploma (PG Cert/PG Dip)||9 – 12 months|
|Masters (MA, M.Sc., LLM, MBA, MRes)||1 year|
|Research Masters ( MPhil, PhD, DPhil)||2-3 years|
The UK also offers Pathway programs, also known as preparatory courses. They are language courses or foundation courses undertaken to qualify for university-level studies.
- Art and Science Courses
- Economics and Philosophy
- Applied Sciences
- Finance and Marketing
- Chevening Scholarship- The scholarship is awarded by the high commission and British embassies. It is available to professionals with prior leadership skills. The quantum of the grant is full tuition fee, airfare and living expenses. It is valid for one year, and can be extended to two.
- Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship- This scholarship is granted by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK. It is available to low income and deserving candidates of Commonwealth countries. The quantum of the grant covers the entire tuition fees, living expenses, airfare and maintenance expenses .
- GREAT Scholarships- This scholarship is jointly funded by the UK Government’s GREAT Britain Campaign and the British Council. The grant is available to meritorious students. The quantum of the grant is £10,000 and onwards.
Scotland Saltire Scholarships- This scholarship is awarded by the Scottish government. It is awarded to candidates in the field of science, healthcare, technology and creative industries and renewable and clean energy. The quantum of the grant is £8000.
International students in the UK have the flexibility to adjust their costs as per their lifestyle, habits and budget. It is a country of multiple options and possibilities.
On an average and in approximation the costs are:-
- The undergraduate tuition fees range from £10,000 – £30,000 per year for full-time courses. For fields of study like Medicine and business, the tuition may be higher.
- The graduate tuition fees range from £10,000 – £13,000 per year for full-time courses.
- For post-doctorate programs, the fees range from £10,000 – £14,000 per year for full-time courses.
Other expenses are-
Gas and electricity
Stationery and textbooks
Travel (buses, trams, and trains)
£90/month (one bus ride: £1.50)
Dinner at restaurant
These are approximate figures which may vary from city to city.
Student Visa application with effect from 5th October 2020 has moved from Tier 4 Route to the new Student Route. Student Route follows UK’s new points-based immigration system. Visa’s already awarded under Tier Route 4 are still valid. This is only for new applications.
As per the Student Route, the visa document requirements are:-
- A confirmed offer from the college or university that has been approved to be a licenced sponsor. When you receive this, you can apply for a visa. The university would then issue a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS).
- An application needs to be made and accepted before arrival on UK soil.
- Application fees of £348 for students have to be paid.
- A valid passport is needed
- The student needs to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge fee towards access to National Health Services. The amount for which is £470 per year.
- The visa can be applied for up to 6 months prior to commencement of the course.
The UK is a land of dreams and opportunities. It is a country where you can have a flourishing career in almost every field.
The top industry choices by graduates are:-
- Healthcare and Medicine
- Retail sector
- Business and Marketing
- Education professionals
Part-time work opportunities
As per the Immigration Rules and Home Office guidance effective from 1st June 2021, for students with a visa via the Students Route, the students above the age of 16 are allowed to work part time along with their education. This allows for financial augmentation, meeting new people, building connections and experiencing work-life in the UK.
The permission to work depends on the type of student sponsor. To check for the same, one must look for the sponsor type and status columns of the register of Student sponsors.
Most commonly international students are sponsored by the study abroad program of universities registered under overseas higher education sponsorship. Students of such institutions can work:
- up to 20 hours a week when classes are being held.
- full-time outside the term time
- in vacations and before the course starts
- on work placements and internships
- post completion of a period of study in the UK
For students of an independent school, this guideline remains the same, except the working hours are restricted to 10 hours.
Effective from 1st July 2021, the UK introduces a policy of Graduate Route. The Graduate Route program enables the students who have completed their education to gain work experience after study. The time allowed to stay in the UK post-undergraduate and postgraduate program is 2 years for necessary work experience. This is 3 years for post-doctorate programs.
Here are some important aspects of the Graduate Route:
- It is only applicable to students who have a valid student visa at the time of application. The students must have completed their higher education with a track record of compliance with regulations.
- It allows students to look for work, stay and work at any skill level. They are allowed to switch to skilled work when they find one.
- The Graduate Route is applicable from 1st July 2021. Any student who graduates after this date is eligible for the graduate route, irrespective of the start date of their education.
- The Graduate Route visa application can only be made while residing in the UK.
- The visa fee charged is £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge is charged at the full rate of £624 per year.
- Students are required to have knowledge of the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) that they used for their last Student (or Tier 4) application. It is a prerequisite to apply for the Graduate Route.
- Students studying from home due to Covid-19 restrictions are still eligible to apply for The Graduate Route provided they comply with the other stipulations.
- The official guidance issued by the UK government under Covid-19 concessions for students is:
- If a student has taken up a distance learning course in 2020 or 2021 which is os 12 months or less in duration, and has not entered into the UK previously, will be able to apply for student visa and make an application to arrive and study in the UK before their visa ends or by 27th September 2021, whichever comes first is sooner.
- Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 who have existing permission as a Student to study that course, and who have already travelled to the UK during that period of permission, will be able to make an application as long as they are present in the UK before the end date of their permission.
- Students sponsored for a course lasting longer than 12 months will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate Route as a result of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021.
Life & Culture
Student lifeStudent life in the UK is an experience that can not be matched by anywhere else. Additionally, consider the ease of travelling to any other European nation and access to quality healthcare from National Health Services. The UK speaks 300 languages. No international student can feel lonely and out of place here. The historical educational universities not only give a sense of being but also impart a zest for preserving heritage and being open to creating future legacies. It is easy to make friends, work and enjoy life balance in the UK. Culture The United Kingdom leaves you enriched with a culture of arts that is not restricted to famous sculptures and paintings in museums and galleries. The UK has a vibrant mix of performing arts, traditional and contemporary plays. The UK is also home to some eclectic mix of music across the world. From opera to modern funk and electronic, there is music for everyone. The culinary experience is thriving and diverse. The food here is as traditional as an English Scone and as modern as molecular adventurous cuisine. Pubs are not just about alcohol, they offer non-alcoholic drinks, football and cricket, karaoke, conversation and are often the birthplace of many philosophies and stories.
Famous placesEducation in the UK will enrich you with unmatched experiences. From snow-capped peaks, lush greens, meadows and highlands to historic cities, the natural beauty of the UK is spellbinding. History and culture meet modern technology, fashion and literature to form a harmonious symphony. Some places to visit are-
- England- London, the city of Royalty which has many attractions like the Thames, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Woodlands in Kent, football in Manchester, Nightlife in Liverpool, hills in Yorkshire amongst others.
- Northern Ireland-Belfast, the capital city, has amazing nightlife and beautiful architecture and the legendary rock formation in Giant’s Causeway.
- Wales- famous for national parks Snowdonia, the Pembrokeshire Coast and the Brecon Beacons.
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