Study in UK


Introduction

Location : Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France
Area : 244,820 sq km
Population : 60,441,457
Main States : London , Edinburgh , Bristol , Belfast , Plymouth , Cardiff , Glasgow , Liverpool and Manchester.
Industries : Machine Tools, Electric Power Equipment, Automation Equipment, Railroad Equipment, Shipbuilding, Aircraft, Motor Vehicles and Parts, Electronics and Communications Equipment, Metals, Chemicals, Coal, Petroleum, Paper and Paper Products, Food Processing, Textiles, Clothing, and Other Consumer Goods.

The United Kingdom is the home of Europe’s largest city and is embedded in the culture, vocabulary and dreams of English speakers worldwide. It is seen as an economic hub for trade between Europe and North America with the United Kingdom benefiting from the situation for centuries. The United Kingdom still has one of the strongest economies in the world today. Its economic strength coupled with the best educational infrastructure makes it one of the ideal destinations for an international student.

Over England the mean annual temperature at low altitudes varies from about 8.5 °C to 11 °C, with the highest values occurring around or near to the coasts of Cornwall. The mean annual temperature decreases by approximately 0.5 °C for each 100 m increase in height. To a very large extent, winter temperatures in the British Isles in influenced by the surface temperatures of the surrounding sea, which reach their lowest values in late February or early March. Around the coasts February is thus normally the coldest month. Temperature is moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current.

The United Kingdom has a population of diverse backgrounds, given the variety of people who have settled here over the centuries. The majority of the population is Anglo-Saxon which is predominantly German/ Scandinavian in origin. Since the middle of last century there has been significant immigration from many ex-colonies. The United Kingdom has a positive view on increasing multicultural population of the country with the number of people immigrating to the United Kingdom increasing every year. Nearly 15% of the population was born outside of the United Kingdom and have ethnic ties with over 140 countries. This melting pot of cultures range from European groups, particularly Germany and Spain, to immigration from countries across the globe, including Australia, USA, South Africa, Hong Kong, Turkey, Caribbean, Pakistan and India.

UK is made up of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland , and is one of the 25 member states of the European Union (EU). All these are unique countries with their own customs, cultures and traditions. UK has a strong tradition of public-service broadcasting and an international reputation for creative programme-making.

Capital cities

London – England

Edinburgh – Scotland

Cardiff – Wales

Northern Ireland

Why UK ?

Why are UK programs so great?

Indian students opting for higher studies in foreign countries has been consistently increasing. As businesses have increasingly become global, therefore companies are constantly looking for people with more international exposure. Although there are few world famous schools in India, they can intake a limited number of students. Reservation is another reason why many Indian students can’t get admissions in spite of having good scores.

International experience

Looking at the history, UK has been first choice for international students for higher studies and English programmes.

With over 2 million students from across the world, UK has simpler application procedures and offer international student service practices better than anywhere else on the globe. UK schools offer an international experience you won’t find anywhere else.

There are several reasons why international students wish to pursue their education in the UK. UK education equips students with unparalleled academic and professional skills and adds to their personal development.

Reasons why one should choose UK as a study destination?

High Quality Education : Quality standards for UK institutions are among the best in the world. A lot of education systems around the world have been derived from the British System. British Education has produced many of the world leaders that have had a huge impact on the modern Society. A few from the current generation include Bill Clinton, Manmohan Singh, Imran Khan, Benazir Bhutto. Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru were also products of British Education.

UK universities have long history and tradition, with many students making a vital contribution into the respective fields, industry and economy in the course of their career span. As far as infrastructure is concerned, UK schools offer very well equipped labs, libraries, modern class-rooms, accommodation facilities, etc, along with recreational and sports facilities, both of which are par excellence.

International Recognition : With an increasingly globalised world economy it is imperative to have a degree which has world wide recognition. Employers look for candidates with an international exposure yet with knowledge and skills comparable to their home country. UK education being widely recognised easily provides this and more.

Modern & Conducive Learning Environment : UK institutions use a variety of teaching and assessment methods to encourage independent learning. The teaching is interactive and extremely relevant to the industry with emphasis on practical knowledge and skills based approach. As one of the most developed countries in the world, the UK puts great emphasis on research and development. The most modern facilities and technologies create excellent opportunities for students to pursue research topics of their interest.

Wide Choice : UK has a wide range of institutions to choose from, with each institution offering multiple, varied and diverse courses. There are hundreds of courses on offer in UK. This ensures that the student can get a course which is very precise to what he/she seeks. There is also great flexibility in the way in which a subject can be studied and it is often possible to incorporate different elements such as vocational, English language training, work placements into a specific programme of study.

Work Placements : UK institutions for many courses offer the option of taking up a work placement as part of its programme. Having a work placement integrated into the course gives the students cutting edge knowledge and proficiency as well as the on-the-job training in the area of study.

Affordable : UK education is a cheaper alternative to other alternates. It further helps that the programmes in UK are shorter (3 years for undergraduate programmes & 1 year for postgraduate programmes) which reduces the over all cost.

The UK puts great importance on being competitive in the international student market. As a result, there are many international scholarships and grants available to students who wish to study in the UK.

Part-time Work : International students enrolled in a UK Higher Education Institution for a course at or above NQF level 6 are allowed to work (including off-campus) 20 hours per week and full-time during vacations. This helps the students to gain valuable exposure as well as cover part of their living expenses.

Post-Study Employment:

From April 2012 the Tier 1 Post-Study Work route has been closed to new applicants. Instead students graduating with a UK degree from a Recognised or Listed Body will be able to apply for a job with a UK Border Agency licensed Tier 2 sponsor. They will only be able to switch into Tier 2 if they are in the UK, before their student visa expires. They must be paid the minimum salary, i.e. £20,000 p.a. or the minimum set out in the relevant code of practice

Multicultural Society : UK is truly a cosmopolitan nation in every possible way. People from most nationalities/origin can be found studying and living across the UK. Students from over 150 nationalities study in UK creating a tolerant, stable society where students learn about diverse range of people.

No matter what course or level that you opt for, you’ll have the flexibility to shape your study to suit your needs. This freedom; combined with an encouragement to think independently and create your own ideas helps you gain confidence in your own abilities and equip you with valuable language, creative, analytical and research skills that employers look for. All major Institutions in the UK provide excellent English language learning support for international students. They offer English classes that assist you to gain the language and study skills you need to complete the main course.

Education System

Types of Institutions

  • Open University
  • College and Institution of Higher Education
  • Open College
  • College of Technology
  • Teacher Training College
  • Institute and
  • University – Universities in UK are of 2 types namely Traditional & New University.

Postgraduate programmes in the UK

If you are to gain an admission as a UK postgraduate student, the work you do will be on your own initiative, which really develops your lateral thinking and research skills. The postgraduate tutors and lecturers will provide the framework of the course, but you are encouraged to pursue the same with added research and submissions.

With postgraduate research programmes, the principal teaching method is original research, completed under academic supervision of your tutor or designated leader.

Many UK postgraduate research programmes offer introductory taught courses that provide training in research skills. This will help you prepare for the advanced research you’ll need to do.

Students who have completed a first degree are eligible to undertake a postgraduate degree, which includes:

Master’s degree (typically one year)

Doctorate degree (typically three years)

Types of Masters degree include:

M Sc (Master of Science)

MA (Master of Arts)

M Ed (Master of Education)

LLM (Master of Law)

MBA (Master of Business Administration)

Masters degrees by research (M Phil)

Research degrees involve at least one year, sometimes more, of full-time research resulting in an examined thesis.

PhD

If you would like to continue to study for a PhD, you will have to conduct a minimum of two years’ research after the award of your M Sc.

In some subject areas, a student may transfer from BSc/BA/BEng to PhD so that they follow a three year research programme for PhD without first obtaining a Masters degree.

Some courses are taught while others require research. Taught courses usually involve presentations, written course work such as marked essays, exams and dissertations. Classroom sessions are highly interactive, requiring student participation.

Intakes : Universities generally have 2 intakes per year, February & September

Scholarships : There are a variety of scholarships available to international students who wish to study in the UK. Institutions, organizations and the British Government offer funding schemes and awards to help cover course fees and the cost of UK living.

Application Procedure

  • Most of the Universities in UK do not have the application fees.
  • Postgraduate students can start the application procedure 3 months prior to the intake.
  • Students can apply to 3-4 universities based on their choice & eligibility.
  • Unlike undergraduate application, students applying for post graduation program are required to fill the university’s application form directly.
  • Though there are no application fees charged by the University, a few universities may require an application fee for some few specific courses.
  • Usually there are no given deadlines for making an application by the universities, but some of the top universities may have deadlines. However, the earlier student starts with application the better they stand a chance to start their course in time.

Documentations required for University application are as follows:

1. Resume

2. Statement of Purpose (mandatory for technical courses)

3. Academics

4. IELTS score sheet

5. Work experience certificates

6. Recommendation Letters (2)

7. Passport photocopy (1st & last page)

UK undergraduate degree courses

Degree programmes can be tailored to your interests. Although some core topics on your undergraduate degree will be compulsory, you can also choose from optional modules. This gives you the opportunity to specialise in key areas of your interest that could help you achieve your career goals. Lectures are an important part of UK undergraduate courses, and you’ll spend most of your time in small tutorial and seminar groups. Together with your tutor and fellow students, you will discuss and analyse pre-prepared topics. Here you will find your ideas and opinions are very welcome.

If you choose a technical undergraduate degree subject in the UK, you are likely to spend a large portion of your time in supervised laboratory work. This is designed to help you develop necessary technical skills.

An undergraduate degree normally takes three years to complete but can take longer if they include an industrial placement, an additional subject or a year abroad. They are also specialised from Year One.

The typical first degree offered at British universities is the Bachelor’s degree (typically three years). Many institutions now offer an undergraduate Master’s degree as a first degree, typically lasting four years. During a first degree students are known as undergraduates.

Some universities offer a vocationally-based Foundation degree, typically two years in length for those students who hope to continue to take a first degree but wish to remain in employment.

Types of undergraduate degree include:

BSc (Bachelor of Science) – a science degree

BA (Bachelor of Arts) – an arts degree

BEng (Bachelor of Engineering) – an engineering degree

Undergraduate Degree with or without Honours (e.g B.Sc Hons) – three-year undergraduate degree including extra subjects studied at a deeper level, or of four-year duration with an year in the Industry, for practical training.

Application Procedure for Undergraduates:

  • To make an application to UK universities, students are required to go through services of a centralized organization identified as UCAS. They are responsible for managing applications to Bachelors degree in the UK. However, many universities accept direct applications as well.
  • Through UCAS applications are done using online application system where students need to fill the form & enter the universities of their choice. Applications are required to be submitted before the given deadlines.
  • There are three application deadlines for courses through UCAS – 15 October, 15 January and 24 March. However, for international student, many universities and colleges will consider your application until 30 June
  • A fee is levied by the student for making an application through UCAS depending on the number of courses & institutions applied to.
  • Students need to pay £21GBP for applying to more than 1 & up to 5 choices of universities. If applying to only 1 university for 1 course, students pay £11 GBP
  • Once UCAS receives your complete application, it will forward it to all the universities you’ve chosen. The university then directly informs the student on the result of the application.

UK independent schools and colleges : Independent boarding schools in the UK are well-known for the quality of their teaching and excellent facilities. You can expect to be taught in a small group, where your teacher will give you all the individual attention you need. Independence, sociability and a love of learning are all gained from studying at UK independent schools.

UK career-based and pre-university courses : When you study a career-based course in the UK you are encouraged to take responsibility for your own studies. You might find yourself working on projects with other students, spending time in college libraries or being assessed through practical demonstrations. Your UK course will combine practical skills with a sound academic underpinning, all geared towards a particular career or job.

Studying & Living

Anyone opting for an education overseas is making one of the most important decisions in their life. Not just for the impact it has on your career prospects and long-term future, but also for the opportunities it gives you to experience new cultures, new customs and new ideas firsthand. So what does the UK have to offer international students?

Recognized and respected qualifications

UK undergraduate qualifications are respected and valued all over the world. They’ll give you an edge when you’re competing for a job, proving to employers that you’re capable of independent thought, research and self-discipline.

Value for Money

UK undergraduate study offers fantastic value for money and the sort of experience you can’t put a price on: fantastic libraries, state-of-the art laboratories, ultramodern computer facilities and extensive research resources that will blow you and your future employers away.

Improve your English

Practice your English language skills every day, in shops and cafés and while you’re out with English-speaking friends, as well as in seminars and discussion groups on your course. Many UK universities also offer in-session language support

Flexibility

The wide range of undergraduate courses on offer gives you a huge amount of flexibility Enroll on a bachelor’s degree, or start by taking a 2-year HND or foundation degree. Study a single honour degree or more than one subject in a joint or combined honour degree. It’s entirely up to you!

Improve your job prospects

UK undergraduate qualifications let employers know at a glance that you’ve got the skills they’re looking for, putting you on the right track for a great job and a great salary: a year after graduating, less than five per cent of UK undergraduates are unemployed.

It’s a multicultural experience

At a UK university you’ll be mixing with people from all over the world, whose different backgrounds and new perspectives will add to your experience. Of the 405,000 students who entered UK higher education in 2005, more than 10 per cent were international.

Learn outside the classroom

Cultural events and festivals run all year round, there are world-class museums, attractions, art galleries and exhibitions and hundreds of castles, palaces and historical properties to enrich your experience and support your studies.

Travel

Want to make the most of your time in Britain? Well then get out there and see some of it! With a Young Person’s Rail card or a BritXplorer pass, exploring the four diverse countries of Britain is cheaper and easier than you might imagine.

The Outdoors

Britain boasts 14 National Parks, 49 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and enough beautiful forests, beaches and mountains to satisfy any nature enthusiast. Cycle or walk from one side of Britain to the other on the Coast to Coast path or try extreme sports like white-water rafting, rock-climbing and hang-gliding.

Make the most of your time

Here are just a few other ideas: Visit a film location; go to a summer music festival; experience a unique UK event like cheese rolling; have a pint in a quiet country pub in the Cotswold’s; run the London Marathon; visit an historic palace; go to a national park; surf in Cornwall…Whatever you do, enjoy!

Visa Process

UK visas started as the Joint Entry Clearance Unit (JECU) in June 2000. It was established jointly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office to manage the UK’s entry clearance (visa) operation.

Visa or entry clearance applications are processed by entry clearance officers in UK embassies, high commissions and consulates abroad, collectively known as UK Missions. UK visas works closely with the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) of the Home Office, the Government department responsible for immigration policy and dealing with applications from people already in the UK to extend their stay; or to change their immigration status.

The Visa Application Centre will make applying for a UK visa easier and more convenient, and applicants are able to track progress of their application online or sms.

The visa application process takes about 15 to 20 days. However, this processing time may vary from student to student. Therefore, students should submit their application as early as possible to avoid any unforeseen delay.

Upon assessment of application, you may be required to submit more documents or to attend a personal interview. In such cases the processing time will be longer.

You can check the status of the visa application yourself. The UK Visa Application Centre will not be able to contact you personally. Application status can be checked through the following website: www.vfs-uk-in.com

All Indian passport holders who want to study in the UK are required to obtain a Student Visa from their home country.

Student visa applications are submitted to nearest Visa Facilitation Service (VFS) in their region. Eg. Students from Gujarat should submit their file in Ahmedabad but they may also submit their files in Mumbai.

How to Apply for the UK student visa?

Students are required to submit their application for visa to study in the UK at one of the VFS located in their region. You must have an unconditional admission and the CAS number (confirmation of acceptance of studies) from the Tier 4 sponsor where you wish to study. Along with the admission, the student must also prove that he is financially capable to fund his/her studies in the UK without having to work part-time or full-time during their stay in the UK. For a course having duration of 12 months or more, a student requires to show 1 year of tuition fees and 9 months of living expenses ie. £9000 (if your university is in inner London)/ £7200 (if your university is in outer or outside London). You may show these funds held in your savings account for at least 28 days. You may even a take a educational loan from nationalized/ private bank

Reasons of refusal

If a students application is not approved, the visa office will send refusal letter explaining why the application has been refused.

An application can be refused for reasons given below:

The student may not have shown proof of enough money to support themselves to study in the UK or the funds may not have been 28 days old.

The information doesn’t match with the details provided in the CAS

The student might have not included all the documents mentioned in the CAS

They fear that documents are not genuine or the intentions of the students are not genuine

Sometimes the refusal is the mistake of the visa officer

Points to remember before applying for the Visa

All the documents for UK student visa file should be original

The balance certificate, savings a/c statement and education loan sanction letter should be on banks letter head

Mini statements from ATMs are not accepted.

Tier 4 sponsor mean the college or university where the student is going to study

Disclaimer

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Most of the images used here are available from Internet.

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