Why the UK remains an inviting overseas study destination

Why the UK remains an inviting overseas study destination

Time and time again, many students and young professionals looking to study abroad choose to go to the UK. It’s no wonder, as the UK is known to provide a thriving environment where anyone can cultivate and advance their personal, academic, and professional growth.

Pursuing studies in the UK, at various levels, has evidently been a popular choice through generations across the globe. Some notable alumni are Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Carrie Fisher, Amal Clooney, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Malala Yousafzai among numerous others. Here are five major reasons why people from all over the world and all walks of life choose the UK to pursue their education.

 

High quality of education

The UK has been a leader in academia for centuries, having a long history of providing unparalleled education, and it continues to uphold this quality without falling behind as it evolves and adapts to what is relevant in today’s world. It is home to many prominent and prestigious universities recognised around the globe – four out of the top 10 universities in the recent QS World University Rankings 2024 are from the UK. 

The UK maintains its status as an acclaimed study destination as its universities are held to a high standard by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), an independent charity which is “an essential part of the quality assurance infrastructure of higher education institutions across the UK [which] help[s] to safeguard the global reputation of UK higher education.” The QAA works with universities, the government, and students to ensure institutions are at par with the regulated standards which guarantee that they are giving students the best possible experience in their education.

 

Numerous grants and scholarships

With around 8,000 different kinds of scholarships per year, spanning different courses and including fully-funded ones, the UK is one of the countries which has the highest number of scholarship opportunities for international students. Around 1,500 of these scholarships are available at UK’s top universities.

 

Streamlined career pathway

The UK is one of the global leaders in business, medicine, research, law and so many other sought-after fields. Students who come to study in the UK not only get the knowledge they need in their schools, but they’re also able to access hands-on learning and experience real-world application through the broad spectrum of “work while you study” schemes available. International students are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during holidays, enabling them to earn lucratively while also gaining work experience valuable to their respective fields.

Another new and advantageous provision created for international students is the points-based Graduate Immigration Route, which “provides an opportunity for international students who have been awarded their degree to stay in the UK and work, or look for work, at any skill level[.]”  This is offered to all international students who have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above. Those with an undergraduate or master’s degree at a UK university can benefit from two years’ work experience, while those who complete a PhD, are granted three years. This gives all international graduates an extended opportunity to propel their professional experience in the UK.

What’s more, data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) showed that international graduates from UK universities enjoy exceptional prospects for employment – 81% of graduates were employed, with 76% of those in the UK securing highly skilled occupations.

 

Diverse culture and lifestyle

The latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that in the year ending June 2021, there were “6.0 million people (…) living in the UK who had the nationality of a different country (9% of the total population).” Additionally, according to The Economic Times, “the number of international students in the UK reached an all-time high of 559,825 in 2023, representing a 23.7% surge from the previous year’s statistics.” 

Beyond its rich history, the UK is considered to be one of the most modern, progressive, and multicultural countries where people from all backgrounds are welcome. This gives international students the chance to encounter not only their own or familiar cultures, but ones that are completely new to them. They will be able to learn more about people from all corners of the world as they immerse themselves in different cultures and lifestyles.

 

Rich travel experiences

In the UK alone, it will be hard for students to run out of tourist attractions and must-see places to visit. These range from places of historical significance to great natural wonders; like the Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Loch Ness, Edinburgh Castle, and Snowdonia, to name a couple. But beyond this, the UK is also well-connected to major European countries like France, the Netherlands, and Belgium, making travel around Europe accessible for international students who wish to do so.

There can be a handful of other reasons why the UK continues to be one of the top study destinations for international students. But with this roster alone, we completely understand why it would be an intelligible choice for any student wishing to achieve academic growth and success abroad.

Visit the GSP platform to learn more about GSP institution partners in the UK.

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