Study in UK
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and North Ireland (UK) has always been a centre of academic excellence and technological innovation. Located on an island off the coast of Europe, the country is surrounded by the Atlantic Sea with the North Sea to the east, English channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to its south west. The country experiences a temperate climate which can usually be concluded to cold wet winters and warm wet summers. Unlike most countries, it rarely experiences extremes of heat, cold, drought or wind. With some universities dating their roots back to the 13th and 14th centuries, the country has always been a scholarly hub for being home to world’s best universities to study and graduate from. In fact, higher education in the UK is valued all around the world for its exceptional quality and standards. Eminent personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Amartya Sen, Indira Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh, all chose to study in the UK to acquire their academic excellence and achieve global recognition. While some of its universities have continued to top the world ranking charts, its capital city London has earned itself a reputation of becoming the capital city for higher education. However, recent years have also brought a number of international students to study and live in cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield. To top it all, with the essence of globalisation in the 21st century, the UK has advanced to become even far greater than just an academic hub for international students.
HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE UK
The higher education system in the UK can be majorly categorised into three different ways:
- Bachelors – For students fresh graduating from their schools, the bachelor’s degree is the first higher education cycle that they are exposed to. The bachelor’s degree usually takes up to 3 years of full time study on a general area of subject and a specialisation of their choice in that. Such specialisations are usually referred to ‘majors’ in the British Higher Education System. For instance, Bachelor of Sciences majoring in Anatomy. Such degrees are usually awarded as either ‘Ordinary’ or ‘Honours’ based on their academic performance. For a student to be given ‘Honours’, it becomes a symbol of pride and excellence as only a few are awarded with this.
Requirement for Bachelor’s degree
The general requirement to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in the UK are:
- Completion of class 12 education with more than 60%
- An IELTS score of more than 6.0
- Master’s – Student can pursue a master’s degree in the UK after their successful completion of their bachelor’s degree. Although the duration of a Master’s degree depends on the course, the usual time frame to complete a master’s program is between 1 year and 2. The British Higher Education system offers two different kinds of Master’s programs. They are:
- Taught Masters: Such a master’s degree is usually offered in the fields of Arts, Sciences, Business Administration and Engineering, where students are given academic lectures. Seminars and project assessments.
- Research Masters: A Research Master’s degree in the UK usually involves the practice of undertaking an academic research of 60,000 – 100,000 words by a student under faculty supervision. This habituates a student the environment of a doctoral degree if they wish to study further.
Requirement for Master’s degree
The general requirement to pursue a Master’s degree in the UK are:
- Completion of Bachelor’s education with more than 60%
- An IELTS score of more than 6.0
- Doctoral degree – A doctoral degree or a PhD is the highest awarded degree in the British Higher Education System. It comes after a student has successfully completed their Bachelor’s and Masters, and are willing to contribute to the academic circle. The study requires students to undertake research on an area of interest for 100,000 words and present the paper to a panel of experts in the University. Such a degree usually takes upto 3 years of full time study where students are usually given an academic stipend since their research would contribute to the British Academic Circle.
Requirement for PhD
The general requirement to pursue a PhD in the UK are:
- Completion of Master’s education with more than 60%
- A research proposal on an area of interest that a student wishes to undertake
- An IELTS score of more than 6.0
Cost of Studying in the UK
Although different universities have their own set of costs, the usual tuition fee for a bachelors’ degree in the UK range from GBP 8000 to GBP 9000 per year (around INR 7,10,000 – 8,00,000) with a maximum of upto GBP 30000 (around INR 27,00,000) for the elite institutions. Postgraduate degrees tend to be a little more expensive with annual tuition fees ranging from GBP 12000 to GBP 15000 (around INR 10,70,000 – 13,00,000) and a maximum of up to GBP 35000 (around INR 31,00,000) for elite institutions.
While Universities do provide hostel or discounted housing facilities, living in the UK for students range from GBP 1100 to GBP 1400 (around INR 98,000 – 1,21,000) monthly. This includes accommodation, travelling networks and food.
WORK IN UK
In order to contribute to their living expenses, international students are allowed to intern and work part time in the UK as per their Tier 4 Student Visa. However, students must note that such work paid or unpaid cannot be more than 20 hours a week. This can lead to cancellation of their visa status and eventually their academic degree. They are also not allowed to be self employed in any way and are only allowed to undertake programs that involve supervision.
However, once they graduate, the UK stands to be a perfect place for international students to work. Since they would already be ready with the academic excellence, professional experience from internships and social connections, students will have the perfect opportunity to find employment after their graduation. The essence of globalisation has led to an extreme demand of very different nationals in companies who help in contributing to the multicultural environment and creative thinking. This explains why the country had allowed upto 2 years of stay for any student post their studies. During this time, students are allowed to work and gain valuable industry experience. Since this is an open work permit, students are allowed to choose any area of work that they would build interest in during their time in universities and college. In addition, students may choose to pursue their masters or PhD after their undergraduation.
Some general requirements to acquire a Student Visa for the UK are:
- A valid passport that should not expire within 6 months
- A letter of acceptance from the University
- A visa letter from the university that should issued not more than 6 months before the application
- Proof of funds to pursue education and sustain the living costs abroad
- Scoresheets from IELTS
While many Universities provide their own set of financial assistance, the UK Government itself provides a great number of scholarships to international student willing to pursue their higher education in the country. . In 2018, the British government and the British Council had offered 480 scholarships to Indian students, which was approximately worth GBP 4.675 million. For more information, you can visit the website of the UK Council for International Student Affairs.