The UK is one of the preferred study abroad destinations for students from all over the world. It has a reputation for world-class research and offers higher education degrees and qualifications that are recognized by employers and academics worldwide. International students mainly prefer to study in the UK to develop the skills, knowledge, critical thinking, and connections to drive forward their careers.
British education providers are internationally for their creative and challenging environments that push students to be their best. The universities in the UK are highly regarded for their standard of education having experts on many academic topics and high international university rankings. Some of the reasons for international students to study in the UK and the total cost of studying in the UK for Indian students are discussed.
Why Study in the UK?
International students planning to pursue higher studies in the UK are mainly considered about the education and the cost of study. The value of the degree plays an important role in defining their career choices ahead. Studying in the UK also has several other benefits other than top-quality education and globally recognized qualifications. Listed below are a few benefits of studying in the UK for international students:
- Internationally recognized universities and qualifications
- Quality education
- Opportunities offered by the UK education system
- Best research infrastructure
- Work-study opportunities
- Work permit after graduation
- Scholarships and financial support
- Health benefits
- Multicultural experience
Internationally Recognized Universities and Qualifications
The UK is a popular study destination for students from all over the world. It houses three of the top 10 universities in the world, according to the World University Rankings. The degrees offered at UK universities are globally recognized by top universities, employers, and government bodies. Graduates from top UK universities such as the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford have a high employability quotient according to the QS Graduate Employability Rankings. Listed below are some of the top universities in the UK accepting international students:
- University of Oxford
- University of Cambridge
- Imperial College London
- University College London (UCL)
- University of Edinburgh
The UK has consistently maintained its position as a popular destination among international students known for its quality of education. The teaching and research standards at UK universities and colleges are routinely assessed and graded by official organizations to ensure that set benchmarks are met. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) also conducts independent audits to ensure the standard and quality of different programs are maintained. Constant reviews are done on the curriculum and the individual academic departments to maintain the quality of education.
Opportunities Offered by the UK Education System
International students willing to pursue higher education in the UK have a wide choice in picking their field of study and institution. Students can choose from over 150,000 courses offered at colleges and universities across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Students applying for master’s courses in the UK have an advantage of the one-year duration of all master’s programs. One can also enroll in a master’s program in combination with a Ph.D. course to save an additional year. The shorter duration courses help in reducing the tuition and accommodation costs.
The UK education system encourages close interaction between students and lecturers and also offers to combine several different subjects into a single course of study. Many UK universities provide English language support to international students that help them develop the essential study and language skills required to complete their course successfully. There are also counselors and advisors present to help students with any kind of information and support.
Best Research Infrastructure
In spite of having just 0.9% of the world's total population, the UK is known to have put across 6.4% of global journal articles, 11.6% of citations, and 15.9% of the world’s most highly-cited articles. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) checks the quality of research conducted by 154+ leading universities and colleges in the UK. International students can pursue research in some of the popular fields of clinical sciences, health & medical sciences, social sciences, business, and humanities.
International students studying in the UK gain adequate work experience along with their studies. Students can pursue a part-time job, internship, or placement during vacation or do volunteer work that helps them to develop valuable skills to be added to their CV. Graduates can also be a part of the work placement offered as a part of the study course for some UK colleges and universities.
Work Permit After Graduation
International students have an option to apply for a work permit and stay in the UK after graduation if they hold a job offer with an annual salary of at least 20,800 pounds (Rs. 18.3 lakh). Students willing to work in the UK after the completion of their studies should switch from a Tier 4 Visa to a Tier 2 General Visa. Alternatively, students can also apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa if they are in the process of developing a world-class innovative idea and are sponsored by their university.
Scholarships and Financial Support
International students willing to pursue higher education in the UK especially at the postgraduate and research level can avail themselves of various scholarships and other financial assistance to support their tuition fees and other living expenses. To be eligible for a scholarship in the UK, the applicant must be accepted to the course of study and should have a letter of acceptance from the respective university in the UK. Some of the popular scholarships for international students in the UK include:
- Chevening Scholarship
- Cambridge India Ramanujan Scholarship
- Inlaks Study Abroad Scholarships
- Oxford-Indira Gandhi Graduate Scholarship
- Charles Wallace India Trust (CWIT) Scholarships
Indian students pursuing full-time studies in the UK are eligible for free medical treatment by the National Health Service (NHS). The spouse/ partner and/ or dependent children are also exempt from payment if they stay with the student during the course of study. Certain UK universities or colleges may also have a special health policy for international students.
The UK is home to nearly 500,000 international students coming from 180+ countries around the world. The Indian student population of about 18,000+ is the second-largest student group studying in the UK. International students can experience multiculturalism and meet new people and fellow international students from across the world. This helps them in developing a range of interpersonal and networking skills that are necessary to be part of today's global workforce.
Why UK for International Students?
The UK is reputed around the world for offering higher education degrees in an extensive range of disciplines. A degree from any top-ranking university in the UK is recognized worldwide and is ideal to look for work in the future irrespective of the industry and location. Some of the benefits of studying in the UK for international students are given below:
- The UK is home to some of the world-renowned universities offering quality education at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. It is globally renowned for its academic excellence and is home to 4 of the top 10 universities in the world
- The UK student community is multicultural with a diverse student population belonging to different nationalities
- Graduates in the UK are exposed to brilliant work opportunities in various fields such as engineering, management, business, etc
- International students receive financial support to study in the UK to pursue the course of their choice
- A degree program in the UK takes less time to complete as compared to other countries with the average duration of an undergraduate course being 3 years and postgraduate qualification one extra year to complete
- The UK culture is unique in the sense that international students have something to do depending on their interests. It has a unique mix of different cultures, food, and interests for students to choose from
- International students can choose to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week during term time to manage their everyday living expenses in the UK. Students can even work full-time during the semester break
- All international students have access to free medical treatment while studying in the UK through the National Health Service (NHS) by paying a small International Health Surcharge (IHS).
Cost of Studying in the UK for Indian Students
International students willing to study in the UK are required to bear the living expenses in addition to the basic tuition fees for the respective program. The living expenses vary based on the location of the university and also the living standards of each student. The average cost of studying in the UK for Indian students is shown below:
Tuition Fees for International Students to Study in the UK
The tuition fee is the primary expenditure for students that depends on the type of qualification and university or school that one opts for. The cost of studying in the UK also depends on where the students choose to study like England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, and also the level of study. Courses in the fields of humanities, arts, and education are cheaper as compared to medicine and engineering. The average tuition fees to study in the UK for international students at different levels of study are given below:
- Undergraduate degree: GBP 10,000 to GBP 20,000 per year
- Graduate degree: GBP 10,000 to GBP 20,000 per year
- Doctoral degree: GBP 15,000 to GBP 24,000 per year
Living Expenses for International Students in the UK
International students are required to bear the cost of living in addition to the tuition fees to study in the UK. Students can avail of on-campus accommodation to be able to live and study in the UK. These living costs vary from city to city. Additionally, students also have other living expenses such as books and supplies, mobile charges, and the cost of travel and transportation. The living expenses for international students to study in the UK are tabulated below:
Food and Housekeeping
£160 - £200
Books and Stationery
Travel and Transport
Leisure and Sports
£10 - £20
£15 - £50
£40 - £50