Right from the alluring countryside to bustling cities, and of course, from modern significance to rich history, the United Kingdom has it all for international students visiting the nation for their higher studies. The four nations that make up the United Kingdom, Wales, Northern Ireland, England and Scotland have a combined history and culture. If you choose the UK as your study abroad destination, you are sure to get experiences of a lifetime. Your experiences will include cultural immersion and academic opportunities.
How About Study Visas Granted To Indians In The UK?
The year 2010 showed a great rise in the number of Indians granted study visa in the UK. Thereafter, there was a considerable decrease in the year 2011. From thereon, there was a continuous decline, but the year 2017 shows an increase in this number. Here is a chart to show the same:
From the latest data, it is again showing an increase in the number of Indian students getting study visa at the United Kingdom. To make your dream to study in the United Kingdom easier, here is a guide to help you out:
Selecting Where To Study In The United Kingdom
As you very well know, the first step is deciding where to study. The good thing about the United Kingdom is that she is the home for more than 100 universities and colleges. The institutes in the nation range from rural polytechnics to institutes with world recognition. Thanks to the useful resources online that will help you with the selection process.
Where To Compare Courses?
There are dependable sources online to help you in this regard. For instance, you can take the case of the official website for data on the United Kingdom University courses called Unistates. It is the best place to compare courses based on different factors. The comparison factors include cost, the level of satisfaction gained by present students, etc.
Nevertheless, it can be overwhelming to select a university based on different factors. So, the best thing you can do is to decide on the course you wish to do. Once you decide it, you can look for league tables offered by another website .
The important point to remember here is that the university that you choose should be a part of the Register of Tier 4 sponsors. The reason is that only these institutions are eligible for a student visa in the United Kingdom.
How About The Application Process?
Once you choose your preferred destination, it would be better to choose different backup options as well. You should do it, particularly if your choice is a competitive university for a top course. Once you have shortlisted the universities, it is time for you to begin the application process.
For UG Degrees in publicly-funded universities, you should apply through the central admission system of United Kingdom. It is called the University and Colleges Admission service or UCAS.
On the website of UCAS, you will find complete details about the application process to be followed by an international student. You will be asked to pay a small application fee. Once you pay this fee, you can submit online applications. The good thing here is that you can apply for up to 5 universities in the United Kingdom in this process. Here, you will have to submit a detailed personal statement, your educational history, and your personal details.
When To Apply?
You should never forget one thing, if you are planning to apply for a UK college or university; the deadline is generally 15th January every year. However, some universities have an earlier deadline as well. So, to avoid last-minute hiccups, you should gather details and should submit the application in advance.
When most universities accept the online application, some wants the students to apply directly. So, it would be better to check with the chosen university in this regard.
You should remember that the Academic life in the United Kingdom is very structured. The courses generally require a focus on individual motivation and students should be dedicated. The grades are generally decided on the basis of single work pieces as against a compilation of your overall course work.
English, as you know, is the language of instruction. But, initially, you will have hardships in understanding the accent. But, nothing to worry as most people is really understanding in the United Kingdom.
Getting A Student Visa
If you are planning to study for more than six months in the United Kingdom, you need a Tier 4 Visa. You will find short-term visas if you are intending to take short-term courses of less than 6 months duration in the United Kingdom.
What Is Tier 4 Visa?
Tier 4 Visa is nothing, but the General Student Visa to study in the UK for children of more than 16 years of age. To get this visa, you should have an unconditional offer to study at a licensed Tier 4 sponsor institution in the UK. You should have enough money for supporting yourself and also to pay for the course. The amount of money you should have will vary based on your situation.
What Is The Key To Successful Visa Application?
The key to successful visa application process is that you should have the right documents handy. You have the option to apply for the visa only for utmost three months before your course begins. So, begin your preps early. Here is a brief of the documents you will have to submit in the process:
A Place In An Institute
As mentioned earlier, you should prove that you have got an unconditional admission offer from one of the Tier 4 sponsor universities. Once your admission is confirmed, you will get a reference number called as Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies shortly called a CAS. To complete the visa application, you should have this number.
English-Speaking Proficiency Proof
As you are from India, you are a non-native English speaker. So, you should take up an English Language Test. When it comes to a test approved for obtaining UKVI or United Kingdom Visa, the IELTS is the most popular option.
Test for higher education in UK
Here, you will have to take up the IELTS Academic test as you are intending for the admission to a UK University. The test is suitable for applying both for UG and PG level education in the United Kingdom. This test encompasses listening, reading, writing and speaking. All these skills will be evaluated and a final IELTS score will be awarded to you. The same should be submitted when you apply for the UKVI.
The result of this test is generally made available within 13 days from the date of the test. The result is available online alone and only you will get the Test Result Form or TRF to your postal address.
Current Passport and Other Valid Documents
It is important that to get the UK visa, you should have at least a single page in your passport that is blank on both sides. Further, you should submit a passport size colour photograph as well.
Financial Support Proof
You should also prove that you have sufficient money to pay for the course. Also, you should show that you have funds for supporting yourself during your stay in the United Kingdom.
TB Test Results
As you are from India, you will have to submit a proof that you are free from tuberculosis before you enter the United Kingdom.
Once you have all the documents ready, you can start the application process. You should submit your photograph and biometric data to the nearest Visa Application centre. After your application for the visa, it will take at least three weeks to know the outcome.
Finding An Accommodation
Once your visa is approved, the next step is finding the right accommodation to stay in the United Kingdom. The good thing in the United Kingdom is that there are housing options available for students like dorms and flats. Even, you can find catered and non-catered options as well. International students in the United Kingdom are generally housed with freshmen.
Do you know who is a freshman? In the UK, the first year students at the high school level are referred as freshmen. If you look for a mature environment to stay, you can look into halls that do not generally provide space to incoming students.
How About Fees In The United Kingdom?
In the United Kingdom, the fee you will have to pay for obtaining a degree or PG varies based on different factors. For instance, the fee relies on the university you choose, the course, and the location of the university. For instance, the fee structure in English universities is different from Scottish Universities. However, in general, you can expect to pay anything from £3500 to £18000 per year. You can get an idea about the tuition fee in the UK in all four destinations from.
Are There Funding Options Available For Foreign Students at UK?
If you look for financial help to meet your higher education cost in the United Kingdom, you can apply for scholarship programs. But, they are highly competitive. Before applying, you should check your eligibility. Do you look for more information about the financial support available for foreign students? You can visit the website of the UK Council for International Student Affairs at www.ukcisa.org.uk. Many colleges provide their own monetary assistance as well. So, you will have to check the website of the appropriate institution to know.
Read : Study Abroad In USA
Is It Possible To Work Alongside Your Studies In The United Kingdom?
It is true that earning a bit extra when you study in a foreign nation will surely help. In the UK, you can work during your studies. However, the rules concerning it are complicated. So, you should remember one thing. When you work, you should never overstep the restrictions on your visa.
The UK Council of International Student Affairs has framed the following guidelines:
- The Tier 4 (General) students, backed by a Higher Education Institute shortly called HEI or by a foreign HEI for studying a full-time course have the option to engage in a job during their course period.
- Tier 4 students of more than 16 years of age can work, but those less than 16 years of age cannot work.
- Tier 4 (general) students sponsored by a private provider, an independent school, a publicly-funded college or an embedded college cannot work. However, they can take up work placements that are part of the coursework.
- Tier 4 (General) students, who are sponsored by an HEI to study a part-time PG course is not allowed to take up any work inclusive of work placements.
- Students, who are funded by a publicly-funded institution and has applied before the 3rd August 2015 for a Tier 4 (General) immigration permission that they hold till date can work.
What Type Of Work Can You Do?
UKCISA suggests that a student with Tier 4 visa can do the following works when they study in the UK:
- Business or own-employment
- Trained athlete including a sports coach
- As a performer
- A permanent full-time employee
- A dentist or a doctor in training, unless you are on a foundation course.
Permitted Number Of Work Hours
In general, the work forms encompassing the utmost hours you are permitted to labour during term-time are issued on your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or your Visa Sticker. It relies on the date of application of your most recent immigration application. In case, your BRP or your visa sticker is not clear, you should choose the data you have applied from these choices.
What Does The Date Of Application Mean?
The date of application denotes the date on which you submitted the online application and the date on which you paid the immigration fee. In case, you applied using a paper form or conventional form for the UK, the application date denotes the date of your posting the application or the date which you were present at the appointment at a premium service.
In case, your employer is outside the UK, the number of work hours counts towards the restriction of 10-20 hours a week in term time.
Top Universities in the United Kingdom
You might have heard about QS World Ranking. According to this ranking, the UK is the home for 76 universities with world ranking. In fact, 5 universities in the United Kingdom got into the QS World Ranking list newly in the year 2018.
Four Universities in the UK has gained one among the top 10 positions, while a further 24 institutions have achieved a ranking among the top 200 world universities. Here is a table that shows the top 10 universities in the United Kingdom as per QS Ranking:
|Ranking in 2018
|Name of the University/Institution
|Ranking in 2017
|Ranking in 2016
|University of Cambridge
|University of Oxford
|UCL (University College London)
|The University of Edinburgh
|University of Manchester
|London School of Economics & Political Science
|University of Bristol
|The University of Warwick
Some UK Universities have an improved ranking as compared to the previous years as the table given above shows the comparison of ranking.
What The Advantages Of Choosing The UK For Your Higher Education?
There are many benefits associated with studying in the United Kingdom and three important benefits are listed below:
The excellent thing about choosing the UK for your higher education is that you will be exposed to topics and lectures that you would not find in your home country. Further, class expectations are also high in the UK.
Most universities in the United Kingdom have a very great history. Getting your education from such a university will add weightage to your resume for sure.
The diversity not just in foods, but also in languages and cultures will truly give you a new experience in the United Kingdom. Irrespective of the ethnicity you look for, you can find the same in the UK.
Three Surprises To Expect In The UK
During your stay at the United Kingdom for your higher studies, you can expect three surprises:
- The first and foremost thing to remember as you are planning to do your higher education in the UK is that the classes are more challenging.
- The culture is completely different in the UK. So, you should be ready to face and handle it.
- The foods are really good as compared to what you expect.
Read : Study Abroad In Australia
When you plan to study in the United Kingdom, you can add value to your resume by taking up courses in three main disciplines and they are literature, business, and theatre. Of course, you can take up other courses as well without any hesitation.