Why study in the UK?
The UK has been welcoming international students to its universities and colleges for many years. In 2016/17, there were around 1.6 million full-time undergraduate students in higher education, of which nearly 237,000 were international students.
At all higher education institutions there are people who will support you through the application process, answer any queries you may have, and help you during your time studying in the UK.
A programme of social and cultural events is normally held at most institutions to help international students settle in and make friends. There is also a range of clubs and societies you can join to get involved in the student community and meet new people.
Higher education in the UK
UK universities offer respected and internationally-recognised qualifications across a broad range of subjects.
The UK higher education system is renowned for its academic excellence, where the quality and standard of undergraduate courses are guaranteed through the work of various official bodies.
As well as meeting strict academic criteria, universities and colleges in the UK will motivate and encourage you to perform well in your chosen subject, and help you reach your full potential.
Many institutions have international open days, international offices, international student clubs and societies, planned social events, advisers and counsellors to help support you during your time as an undergraduate in the UK.
Reasons for studying in the UK
Each year, more and more international students from over 180 different countries are choosing to pursue their higher education in a UK university or college. Below we outline some of the reasons they decide to study here.
1. Excellent international reputation
The quality of UK education is internationally recognised by employers, universities and governments, making it a popular choice for many international students.
The UK is also renowned for the excellence of its research and teaching.
2. Good quality of education
The quality of a university's or college’s teaching and its general facilities are assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Research standards are examined by the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which publishes its findings every five years.
The results of all these assessments are freely available on the internet. Information on quality assurance and assessments is also available from the Higher Education Funding Councils.
3. International tradition
The UK has always welcomed students from all over the world. In 2006/2007, there were 239,210 international students in the UK at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
UK universities are used to looking after the welfare of non-UK students and have well-developed support services and social networks on campus.
4. Choice of courses
Higher education institutions in the UK offer a broad range of courses. Therefore, you are sure to find one that caters for your interests and career goals. You can search over 50,000 courses on the UCAS website to find the right one for you.
5. Business language
Studying in the UK offers a great opportunity to improve your knowledge of the English language – speaking English fluently is a vital skill to have if you are considering entering the international business world.
As the UK is a member of the EU, studying here can give you a valuable insight to how the European market operates.
6. Culture and people
The UK is full of many different cultures and people, another reason why international students are interested in coming to study here. With big cities, rural towns and villages, modern and historical architecture, the UK is a diverse and exciting place to explore.
7. Value for money
Undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the UK are generally much shorter than those abroad, which helps to reduce the amount of money you will end up paying in tuition fees and living costs.
Most undergraduate courses take three years to complete, although in Scotland it would be typically four years. A postgraduate Masters course will normally only take 1 year, whereas PhD will take 3 or 4 years.
For more tips and advice on coming to the UK to study, please see: