UK Education: Favorite Destination for Higher Studies
Britain has ruled almost all over the world. Now they rule in being one of the favorite destinations among students for higher studies. The highlights of UK Education are latest technology, strong economy and comparatively, shorter course durations.
Some people think courses in UK are shorter, hence, there will not be enough knowledge imparted during the course. But this is not the case. Courses in UK are shorter but intensive. There are less number of holidays and a student is required to attend classes for 18 hours per week. In some Universities, course duration goes up to 35-40 hours per week. And this is not all, students are given lots of assignments to work on and the marking scheme gives equal emphasis to exams and assignments.
In British Education system, students are given due attention. If a student is not able to follow a topic or has a doubt, he or she can directly approach the faculty and can have a convenient location (even if it is a study area or a college refractory) instead of a class to discuss the same. In addition to lectures, there are also seminars and small tutorials conducted which give more attention to students.
UK is made up of 4 Isles: Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England. Many people confuse Northern Ireland with the country Ireland. Scotland is the coldest region of the country. This is the reason, why many students opted out of that part of country to study. But the HSMP and the SEGS schemes changed the scenario, encouraging more and more students to opt for Scotland.
Studies in United Kingdom are quite flexible. Normally, 75-80% marks are required to pursue UG at a good University. But these days, Universities are coming up with more flexible programs like an extra foundation year. Some of the Universities provide foundation year within their campuses. On the other hand, some have tied up with various foundation providers and guarantee a student place in the first or second year of course upon successful completion.
In UK Education system, UG applications are made through UCAS. In the UK, UG engineering programs are also of 3 years in duration (BE, BTech, BEngg, MEngg, BA, BSc). Courses commence in September and generally, one cannot apply directly to most of the Universities. A student needs to apply through UCAS and the last date is 30th June. There is a provision of applying to 5 Universities at once and UCAS charges GBP 21 for it. There is a small intake in Jan, for which one doesn't have to go through UCAS and can apply directly. At least 50% in 12th is required to get into the bottom ranked university or college. Or if you take the foundation route then you will have to study for an extra year. For the foundation route, the course will commence in Jan while the Main course will be conducted from September. The application is to be filled online and documents are to be uploaded before submitting the application. After June 30, students can apply to only one University through clearing. The clearing forms are out only if a University has seat and it is not necessary that all Universities might issue clearing forms.
Application to PG courses in UK Education system is slightly different. They are to be made directly to the University and there is no limit to the number of Universities that a student can apply to. A minimum of 60% in graduation is what British Universities expect to pursue a PG-level course. But the requirements do vary from subject to subject and University to University.
IELTS is mandatory and 6.0 is required for UG courses and 6.5 minimum for PG courses. Some of the management or creative writing or English literature courses demand 7.0 as well.
It is always recommended that subject wise ranking or even the TQA ratings be considered while selecting the colleges in Britain. According to the latest overall ranking, the top 10 Universities in UK are:
- Oxford University
- Cambridge University
- Imperial College London
- University of St Andrews
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- University of Durham
- University College London
- University of Warwick
- University of York
- Lancaster University
Fees and Living Costs
Fees vary a great deal in UK. The colleges charge a lot less than the Universities. However, one can easily expect a fee between GBP 9,000 - GBP 30,000 per annum and beyond for any UG or PG course. MBA is the most expensive course. Living costs are GBP 5,400 per annum for regions outside London. Within the London boroughs the living costs are GBP 7,200.
To apply, students need to collate all of their educational documents, concentrate on Letters of Recommendation and Statement of Purpose, a copy of passport is a must document to be sent along with the application form. The application form can be downloaded from the University website or the application can be filled online. The Universities take about 4-6 weeks to inform of the decision. The final document from the University is a CAS letter with a unique CAS number on it, a copy of which is also sent to the British High Commission. It is after receiving this document that a student can proceed with filing for visa.
Latest Visa Rules
- Only Highly Trusted Sponsor institutions can sponsor a student. Colleges that are not well-known will not be able to sponsor, hence, student's future will not be jeopardized by mean agents and small-time colleges.
- English requirement has been made stricter. Hence students scoring less in IELTS will have to reappear. In a way, this will restrict entry of non-serious students and stop business of small-time colleges that take students with just 50% in class 12th.
- Part-time work rights are only for students who attend public-funded Universities and who are sponsored by Government.
- Overall, time that can be spent on a student visa is 3 years for lower levels and 5 years for higher levels. This will stop students failing 1 subject just to be in the country only to engage themselves in small time jobs.
- 2-years post study work visa is not issued anymore. But those who are able to gain employment before completion of course will be allowed to stay back and work. No extra time will be allowed to look for employment.
- Only PG students who study in British Universities and the government-sponsored students will be allowed to take their dependents with them.
Source: Sagarika Sharma
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