Each year, more than 270,000 students from over 200 countries and territories head to the UK (as per Higher Education Statistics Agency Student Record 2016-17) for an education that prepares them for the big league. The most important factor that attracts students from India and all over the world to the UK is the value that the UK’s education ecosystem offers. The UK is known for its educational excellence, built on the strength of individual institutions, located across regions and nations, many of which have a long tradition behind them. They work to provide the best academic environment, as well as an outstanding overall experience for all students, equipping them to succeed in the highly competitive global jobs market.
Indian nationals in particular, trust the UK as an education destination. This reflects in the number of students and professionals who apply for an education or job in the UK each year, and their success rates. Almost 19,500 Indian nationals were granted a Tier 4 student visa in 2018 – a 35% increase over 2017 and the highest total since 2011. 96% of Indian nationals who applied for a UK Tier 4 student visa were successful. Home to some of the world’s most respected universities, the UK offers a host of reasons that makes it the preferred destination for Indian students. Here are the top four:
Return on investment is key for everyone who puts their hard earned money into a higher education course. And the UK scores impressively on this benchmark. According to QS World University Ranking’s global survey of 44,000 graduate employers, UK graduates are among the most employable in the world. Studying in the UK is also an excellent long-term investment for any student’s future. With the life experiences and networking opportunities that all UK students get access to, an education here offers real value for money.The UK itself welcomes Indian professionals with open arms. More than 55,000 skilled work visas were granted to Indian nationals in 2018 – more than the rest of the world combined.
2. Academic Excellence and Choice
The UK has a global reputation for academic excellence. Many UK universities are world renowned for their subjects, courses, professors and tutors. There are also universities and colleges that have a very strong focus on a specific subject area, such as business, art and design, music or engineering, attracting determined students who seek the best faculty and resources in a particular stream. These institutions offer highly specialised education in the chosen field and enable exchange between like-minded students – great for focused development and future contacts.
Contrary to certain perceptions, the cost of a UK education is comparable or lower than other international destinations like US and Australia. A host of scholarships across UG and PG courses offer considerable financial assistance to aspirants. In fact, even while studying, students can explore work placements and internships to fund their education – generating an income stream along with work exposure.
4. Culture & International Exposure
Studying in the UK is a great experience that goes beyond academics. The UK’s global outlook and multicultural society ensures students receive a warm welcome and that they quickly feel at home. Students can expect support by the UK universities themselves. 33% of UK university staff are from overseas, enabling exchange of diverse ideas, knowledge and best practices.
Based on the UK government’s white paper on skills based immigration and the recommendation by the independent migration advisory committee, the government has now announced that international students will be given visa extension of up to a year to look for work in UK – 6 months for UG and PG students and a year for doctoral students.
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1. According to Government of UK immigration statistics, 2018
2. According to Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2019
3. According to Government of UK immigration statistics
4. According to British Council analysis of HESA Staff Record (2016-17)