The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK or U.K.) or Britain is a sovereign country located on the northwestern coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively.
Studying in UK has ample benefits for international students. The UK has a rich history of academic excellence and international reputation for quality education delivery that gives it the position of World’s 2nd leading destinations for international student. There are 6 UK Universities in the Global University rankings (2019) and the education system has 90% Student Satisfaction in a population of 2.32 million students.
Capital : London
Currency : Pound Sterling (GBP)
Official language : English
Time Zone : GMT+1
Major Cities : London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Cardiff.
Area : 242,495 km²
Calling Code : +44
Student Route Points Based System (PBS)
What is the points-based system?
This is the system for managing entry to the UK for the purposes of work, study and training. You need to pass a points-based assessment to apply for a student visa in the UK. .
What are the main features of the Student route?
From 5th October 2020, the tier 4 PBS system of the UK has been replaced by student route. Under this, there are two categories:
Student permission – for post-16 years education and
Child Student permission – for children between 4 and 17 years (between 4-15 years, for study at an independent fee-paying school).
Applicants must pass a points-based assessment, score 70 points and meet the Immigration Rules in order to qualify for entry to study in the UK.
How do I accumulate the necessary points to qualify for a student visa?
You need to score 70 points for the following:
50 points for a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies – CAS – issued by a licensed sponsor to study a course at an acceptable level
10 points for showing you have enough money to cover your course fees and living costs (known as maintenance)
10 points for English language proficiency at a level of CEFR B2
What are the maintenance requirements?
You need to have sufficient funds to cover your course fees and your living expenses to ensure that you do not experience financial hardship while you study in the UK. The maintenance you need to show depends on where you want to study and the duration of the course.
You must show you have money for your course fees plus the following sums for living costs:
Inner London - £1334 for each month of the course, up to a maximum of 9 months
Outer London or elsewhere in the UK - £1023 for each month of the course, up to a maximum of 9 months.
Evidence must be dated no more than 31 days before the date of application and the required level of funds must have been held for at least 28 consecutive days (in applications made outside the UK).
You can prove you have the money if you have:
cash in an account – savings (in your name or the name of your parents or legal guardian)*
a loan in your name, which is unconditional
official financial or government sponsorship
*Birth Certificate & Financial sponsorship is required if the funds is in parents name
Studying in the United Kingdom is aspiration of many individuals around the globe. So, what makes UK the most approachable choice for gaining higher studies?
Academic Excellence: The degree gained from the UK are accepted and valued by the employers globally providing ample employment opportunities. Due to the quality of education, UK has the lowest “drop- out” rates. The modern infrastructures and unique curriculum of the UK makes the education gained more valuable. The employers all around the word prefer UK graduates due to their exposure of course and specific skills of thinking independently and creatively.
Value for Money: The cost of studying in UK for an international student can be generally lower compared to the USA and other countries. Due to the course duration and the scholarship arrangement it is affordable.
Fast – track courses: The courses in UK are generally shorter with 3 years Bachelor and 1 year Master degree. There are internships and placement options available as well which will help to save your money.
Research & Employability: The UK undertakes 5 per cent of the world’s scientific research and produces 14 per cent of the world’s most frequently cited papers. In addition, with the placement options and re-introduction of the Post Study Work visa, there are ample employment opportunities in the UK which you can explore.
Student Satisfaction: 90 per cent of international students are satisfied with their experience in the UK. The UK has also a proud mixture of students coming from different parts of the world. The cultural diversity provides ample opportunities to make friends and learn new cultures.
There are various types of scholarships in the UK for international students based on the funding by the government or the individual universities. So, some of the available scholarships in UK are:
Chevening Scholarships: The UK government offers a global scholarship programme called “Chevening”. It is open to all international students who meet the Chevening eligibility criteria.
Gates Cambridge Scholarships: The Gates Cambridge Scholarships are one of the most prestigious international scholarships in the world. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.
Rhodes Scholarships at University of Oxford: The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting exceptional all-round students at the University of Oxford. Established in the will of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, the Rhodes is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international scholarship program in the world.
Edinburgh Global Research Scholarships: The Edinburgh Global Research Scholarships (EGRS) scheme provides scholarships covering the difference between UK/EU tuition fees and the overseas tuition fee. This funding is offered to international students only (students from non-EU countries).
Denys Holland Scholarship at University College London: The Denys Holland Scholarship aims to support undergraduate students from any country, who without the support of the scholarship would be unable to secure the funding required to study at UCL(University College London, UK), and who can demonstrate their intention to make full use of the activities offered by UCL and the Student Union.
Provider Scholarships: Individual Scholarship scheme by the universities which can be awarded based on merits or during admissions for all. It can range from 1000- 5000 GBP.
Integrated courses (where masters is awarded as the first degree such as MEng)
Postgraduate certificates and diploma (PG Cert/PG Dip)
9 to 12 months
Taught Masters (such as MA, M.Sc., LLM, MBA, MRes)
Research Masters (such as MPhil, PhD, DPhil)
There are more than 3000 institutions that welcome international students in the UK. You can choose from a variety of routes through the education and training system, combining different types of course according to your needs and abilities. The sheer variety of specializations means you will be able to find a course that suits your real interests, your ambitions and passions.
For example, in the UK, you could specialize in anything from computer games programming, ocean engineering, music technology, meteorology or underwater photography to multimedia design, anthropology, women's studies, hotel management or dance.
The intakes in the UK are:
The main intakes are September and January where there are abundant course options for students. Some limited providers offer May/ April intake with few course options and campus location.
Admission in the UK Universities is based on individual institutions' requirements since there are no pre-requisite tests (other than for English proficiency). Most universities require good performance at the undergraduate level and year 12, in the relevant areas, to consider admission into their Master's and Bachelor level programs respectively. The required documents for the application are:
To study in UK Universities, international students are required to attend English proficiency tests like International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic). Few of the providers also accept Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Undergraduate: The academic requirement is 60% or 2.6 GPA in Year 12 or equivalent. Students with lower scores can opt for Foundation year courses. As for the English requirement: 6.0 IELTS/ 52 PTE
Postgraduate: An overall of 55% or above in a Bachelor’s degree from recognized University. In case of low percentages, Pre-masters or Extended masters are available. The English requirement is 6.5 IELTS
MBA: Admission in MBA program usually requires additional work experience of at least two years in Managerial position.
Cost of Education
International undergraduate and postgraduate tuition fees in UK vary considerably, depending on course type, level and the University:
Tuition Fees (Per Year)
£ 8,000 to £ 10,000
Engineering / Science
£ 10,000 to £ 13,000
£ 12,000 to £ 16,000
£ 10,000 to £ 25,000
The estimated Living expenses for Inside London is £1265 for each month while for Outer London or elsewhere in the UK the amount is £1015.
The estimated Living expenses for Inside London is £1265 for each month while for Outer London or elsewhere in the UK the amount is £1015.
Accommodation in UK has various options ranging from on campus to off campus:
On-Campus Accommodation: Most universities and colleges have their accommodation, hall of residence for the students. It is common for the halls to be owned and managed not by the university but by a commercial provider who has allocated some (or all) of the rooms to the university for student housing. Some more traditional university halls are “catered halls” which provide meals, although nowadays most halls of residence do not provide meals. Many larger cities have private halls or student villages which are not allocated to specific universities. Students can book directly with the company that manages the housing. Some institutions also own or manage some smaller blocks of flats (apartments) or smaller houses. An average cost can be GBP 500- 700 per month.
Private Accommodation: It is the most typical option where students can rent apartments or share with others. Students can live in a group renting flats and houses. The students can also choose homestay or lodger where they live with the owner sharing the facilities fitting in their lifestyle and any set house rules. The other options can include studio, hostels and homeshare. Usually, the cost can range from £ 500- 1200 per month based on the area and the type of accommodation
There are work opportunities for international students in the UK during their study. Tier 4 General Student:
Studying a full-time course at degree level (RQF level 6 or SCQF level 9) and above sponsored by Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance may work 20 hours per week in the term time and full time in the holidays.
Studying a full-time course below degree level (RQF level 6 (and equivalents) sponsored by a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance you may work 10 hours per week during term time and full time in the holidays.
The minimum earning can be around £ 5 - £ 7 per hour i.e. approximately £375 - £525 per month during the term.
WORKING AFTER GRADUATION
From summer 2021, international students will be able to benefit from two years’ work experience in the UK upon graduation. Also known as the Graduate Route, it will be available to international students who have a valid Tier 4 visa at the time of application and have completed a degree at the undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance.
Successful applicants on this route will be able to stay and work or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for a maximum period of two years. They will be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job.
UK permanent residence also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain is an immigration status granted to a person without the Right of Abode. An individual with permanent resident status can live and work in the UK indefinitely. They will no longer have any immigration restrictions on working or business in the UK and no time limits on their stay. However, the right can lapse if an individual spends more than 2 years continuously outside the country.
The UK’s capital city ranks among the world’s best cities for students, and has an impressive 18
universities featured in the QS World University Rankings. This large metropolis is the financial,
cultural and political center of the country. London life is busy and fast-paced and has a reputation
for being expensive. It is also home to many of the best libraries, museums, art galleries, nightclubs
and theaters in the UK, and the hub of many of its most competitive professional sectors.
Universities in London include some of the world’s best, with UCL (University College of London),
Imperial College London, King’s College London, London School of Economics and Political
Science and many more.
Manchester is a major city in the northwest of England with a rich industrial heritage. It is one of the
best student cities in the UK with highest score of student mix. The city is home to an eclectic range
of music venues, large and small, ensuring the city’s music scene is as vibrant and fast-moving as
ever. The trendy-bohemian Northern Quarter is popularly considered the cultural heart of the city,
while the Canal Street area is among its liveliest nightspots. Among universities in Manchester, the
top ranking institution is the University of Manchester which places 27th in the QS World University
The UK’s second-largest city, Birmingham is located in the center of the country. This city is a
thriving commercial hub, home to the UK’s largest shopping area outside of London, and one of the
most multicultural places in the UK. Birmingham’s six universities also make it the UK’s largest
center of higher education and academic research outside of the capital. The highest-ranked among
universities in Birmingham is the University of Birmingham, at 81 st place in the QS World University
Glasgow is a port city on the River Clyde in Scotland's western Lowlands. With historic architecture, distinctive local traditions and museums, Glasgow now also has enough trendy bars, restaurants and gig venues. It is the largest city in Scotland and also has the largest student population in here. The city is home to two universities which feature in the top 300 of the World University Rankings
2019: the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde.