Source: DIFC Ireland
Education has always played a quintessential part in everyone’s life, and everyone must recognize its significance. Pursuing a Master’s program or an undergraduate program abroad could be seen as a daunting step you take in your life, and therefore, you must choose the ideal program that fosters your passion and helps you build your career. Have you contemplated about pursuing your education in the United Kingdom? If not, this article will deeply evaluate all the options and provide you with the factors that will assist you in making a decision. Interestingly, studying in the United Kingdom has certain benefits, experiences and lifelong takeaways.
For decades, the UK has been a hotspot that has attracted millions of international students by providing quality education, exclusive work opportunities simultaneously, safe and secure environment, a dynamic environment for their overall growth. Studying in the UK will fetch you long-lasting experiences and will ensure that you tackle all the challenges which come ahead. Let’s evaluate these crucial factors in detail that will allow you to arrive at a decision.
Advantages of Studying in the UK
Outlined below are a few crucial advantages of studying in the UK.
1. Academic Brilliance and a Well-Built Education System
Source : University of Oxford
The United Kingdom has consistently set benchmarks globally and provided a world-class education to many students. It is quite evident as the UK has quality institutions that are dominating the world rankings. Out of the top 10 universities globally, the University of Cambridge, the Oxford University, and the Imperial College are part of this elite group.
Continuous assessment of UK universities and colleges plays a significant role in ensuring no compromises occur in the way of the UK’s evergreen aim of mastering in higher education. The qualitative education provided in the UK will help you establish a career, help discover your potential, and impart leadership skills.
2. Unforgettable Experiences and Flexibility
Studying in the UK can lead you to various memorable experiences that will last forever. The education system is designed in a clinical way to help you interact, learn and explore multiple options. There are more than 100,000 courses which will help you in choosing the ideal field of study. Both the undergrad and post-grad courses have a limited duration (approximately ranging from one year to three years programs), which is beneficial as you could quickly complete the course and work on your plans.
Besides, it also provides the liberty to merge different subjects in a particular course. It will assist as you could keep testing other subjects and ideally decide what suits you the best. There is no question of the scarcity of information as these valuable sources comprising professors, counsellors, and advisors have a huge role to play.
Ultimately, this will help you realize your passion and specific area of interest, and therefore, studying in the UK will provide you with a holistic approach to learning.
3. Numerous Opportunities to expand your network while you explore the UK and Europe
Source : Wallpaper Safari
The amount of options that lie ahead of you is innumerable. It includes the chance of making massive connections and adding to your depository list, which could be of help anytime in the future. The UK’s strong ethnic background, combined with its unique culture, gives rise to several occasions/celebrations and options of being a part of something great while making valuable connections with students from across the globe.
Additionally, you will have the opportunity to travel around Europe and get to know about various famous cities. It will help you culture-rich experience and provide you with the platform to learn and grow as an individual.
4. Exposure to a Multicultural Community
The UK is a hotspot for various international students as nearly 400,000 international students from 170+ countries were studying in the UK in 2019. It is a land filled with experiences that will assist you in interacting with new individuals and peers from all over the globe. It adds to your career’s dynamism and will make it easier for you to adapt to this global world and improve your job aspects.
In an era like this, it is prominent that you get global exposure, enhancing your thought process and aiding you to respect different cultures. It also helps by giving you a chance to express and develop your soft-skills.
5. Exclusive Job Opportunities
Source : Royal Society of Biology
The UK is a global forum with more than 7,000 corporate set-ups and companies like Unilever, HSBC, AstraZeneca and BHP, dominating the international markets. Additionally, several companies and start-ups in the UK are looking for potential individuals/candidates who could align with their mission and vision. This gives rise to surplus job opportunities for students to explore all their options and carefully choose an organization that will help them build their profile and skill-set. The campus placement option further boosts your job prospects and ensures that you find the ideal company which will lay out a path to establish your professional career.
6. Financial Support and Health Benefits
Studying in the UK is not easy on your pockets considering the tuition fee and high cost of living; however, you will find plenty of financial support options in terms of scholarships, bursaries and your own home country scholarships/funding support.
Additionally, the UK provides free healthcare support to international students who have a valid UK student visa. International students can avail the benefit of free treatment through the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), similar to the privileges held by a permanent UK resident. Free healthcare benefit is an enormous advantage for international students as it cuts down a major cost in times of health issues.
Do visit the link below to check whether you are eligible to apply for a government scholarship.
Disadvantages of Studying in the UK
Like any other international study abroad destination, UK also presents a few challenges for international students. Enlisted below are some of the disadvantages of studying in the UK.
1. Tuition Fees and Cost of Living
Source : Dice Insights
Although scholarships could help, some of you might find it challenging to cater to your financial needs. The living expenses have also risen over the years as well. According to valid sources, the average UK cost of living is £2,249 per month for a single person, again depending on the university location.
Tuition fees have also gone up over the years as per the “Reddin Survey of University Tuition Fees” which states that the international undergraduate tuition fees vary considerably, starting at around £10,000 and going up to £38,000 or more for medical degrees. While cost is a major factor that could deter you from studying in the UK, but as we have mentioned before, there have been instances where international students have received a 100 per cent scholarship on tuition fees. Fellowships, grants and scholarships are part of financial support you could use to fund your studies in the UK.
2. Language and Cultural Barriers
The UK could be seen as a diverse country when you move, and you could initially face language and cultural barriers. You might need extra time to settle down and adapt to their culture and integrate yourself, which could make you feel home-sick initially. Discrimination and racial prejudice are not alien to Asian students, but this is something that is not uncommon in other countries as well.
However, UK universities have stringent regulations to keep a check on racial discrimination. Additionally, the universities have set-up their counselling departments, and there are mental health societies where students can seek help. Over time, you will be able to handle these issues by ignoring the negative energy and focusing on your end-goal of achieving your master’s degree.
3. Challenging Programs
Source : Capital Area Human Services
It might be natural to feel stressed when you study in the UK as different countries have different education systems that you have to adapt to. Quite naturally, the standard of education will be higher as compared to your home country and so would be the methodology. The course curriculum and the program structure will be intensive and will require more efforts and focus from your end. If you are working part-time, then managing your finances with a heavy schedule could make it highly challenging. The survey results of the Natwest Student Living Index 2019 show that almost 45 per cent of the student population are stressed out. However, striking a balance, formulating study plans and working towards your goal will help you figure out your way.
4. Student Visa Regulations
The UK’s strict visa rules, combined with its stringent migration policies, could make it slightly hectic to pursue your education in the UK. International students do have different sets of needs and paperwork that are necessary to pass those requirements accurately. Therefore, this might be a hurdle for your academic endeavour. Nonetheless, if you have all the necessary documents in order, you will get through the visa process. Additionally, there are agencies and visa service support available, but one needs to be cautious in seeking help from external sources.
All in all, there are n number of pros and cons to studying in the UK, and international students must carefully weigh each and every aspect before making the right decision. According to the UK immigration statistics, the rise in the number of Indian students receiving visas almost saw “a jump over 93% with the new visa rules”. It was a relief as the UK announced a post-study work permit of two years for international students called the Graduate Immigration Route (GIR)”. It could be a significant boost for various Indian students who wish to pursue their one-year Master’s program in the UK and give confidence to those who want to make a career in the UK. Besides, the UK’s high-quality education, rich cultural experience and unending opportunities make it one of the most popular study abroad destination for international students.