According to the latest figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency (2022), there are a total of 685,645 international students studying at universities in the UK. The number increased from the number of the previous year (2021) of 485,645 students.
The UK government awarded sponsored study visas (Tier 4) to 276,899 students in the year ending September 2021, an increase of 16% on last year’s figures and the highest since 2015.
The host country is a big consideration for all international students when looking for higher education options abroad. This will not only determine the value of the degree you earn but will also play a significant role in shaping your future career choices.
And this fact is so pronounced that the UK is listed in the top three choices for almost all international students.
The UK is truly the epitome of academic success and its popularity has grown steadily with international students, with thousands of enthusiastic students choosing to study at one of the UK’s top universities.
Also, after Brexit, there are predictions that the drop in the value of the pound (£) could result in reduced tuition fees at UK universities.
So if you’re looking to apply to an undergraduate, postgraduate, or research program in the United Kingdom (UK), you’ve come to the right place. This article will enlighten you on the facts that make the UK one of the best options for international students.
Why Study in the UK
Internationally recognized universities and degrees
The UK is the preferred destination for higher education students from around the world and, according to the World University Rankings, is home to 3 of the top 10 universities in the world.
In addition, universities, employers, and government bodies around the world accept a degree you receive from a UK university.
Due to its long tradition of providing quality education, the UK has maintained its position as a popular destination for international students. To ensure education quality standards are met, official organizations regularly assess and rank teaching and research standards at UK universities and colleges.
While UK institutes are responsible for ensuring the standard and quality of the various programs, the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) for Higher Education carries out independent audits.
Additionally, professional bodies may direct the curriculum and conduct assessments of individual departments within an institution. Universities in Scotland may be subject to reviews by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education.
Opportunities offered by the UK education system
Wide variety of study programs
One of the main benefits of studying in the UK is the variety of study programs on offer. You can choose from over 150,000 programs/courses offered by various UK universities and colleges. You can contact the institute directly to request prospects.
Duration of the Undergraduate Program
The shorter length of courses in the UK helps reduce the cost of tuition and accommodation. If you are planning to do a Masters in the UK, you may find the one-year period to be a significant advantage in terms of reducing the cost of education and living. Alternatively, you can apply for a Master’s program alongside a Ph.D., which will save you an extra year.
Selection of subjects and language skills
The UK education system offers the opportunity to integrate multiple subjects into a single course of study. Additionally, almost all institutions provide English language support to help international students acquire the critical language skills needed to successfully complete their courses.
Strong research infrastructure
As a research student, when evaluating the benefits of studying in the UK, you might find it fascinating to learn that the UK accounts for 6.4% of world journal articles, 11.6% of references/citations, and 15 .9% of the most cited articles in the world, although it represents only 0.9% of the total world population.
The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF), which monitors the quality of research conducted by 154 leading UK universities and colleges, ranked 30% of research as ‘world-leading and 46% as ‘internationally excellent.
Between 2008 and 2013, the UK awarded an impressive 95,184 research doctorates. The areas of health and medical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, industry, and humanities are of great importance for research in the UK.
Work while you study
Most international students in the UK gain work experience alongside their studies and research.
A part-time job, internship or vacation placement, and volunteering are effective ways to emphasize your candidacy on your resume.
For some universities, a professional placement is part of the course of study, and the university or college may help with the placement.
Permission to work at the end of the study
There have been some changes in the UK since November 2015 regarding post-study work visas. According to the new law, if you have a job offer with an annual salary of at least £20,800, you can stay in the UK after completing your graduation.
It is the best; there is no limit to the number of international students who can remain in the UK after completing their course.
However, in order to work in the UK, you must switch to a general tier 2 visa from your tier 4 visa after completing your studies.
Depending on your post-study employment status, you may opt-out of the following:
Tier 2 (General) visa – Open to recent graduates holding a UK-recognized Bachelor’s, master or Ph.D. with an offer of employment from a licensed employer paying at least £20,800 a year in salary.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa: Open to students in the process of developing a world-class creative concept and who are sponsored/funded by their university.
Scholarship and financial support
International students who are worried about expensive tuition fees should also not lose sleep as there are plenty of scholarships you can apply for to support your studies and the cost of living, especially at the postgraduate and research level.
However, you will need to gain acceptance into the course of study before you are eligible to apply for UK scholarships offered by universities.
The bottom Line
Education in the UK is and will continue to be one of the best options for international students for a significant period of time. The quality of education, exposure, and experience you get at an English college/university are second to none.
However, the benefits mentioned above are facts designed to help you choose for yourself, which should be based primarily on your personal preferences. As a general rule, remember that “the best is what is best for you.”