UK

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK), located at northwestern coast of the European mainland. The UK (capital is London) consists of four constituent countries: England (capital is London), Scotland (capital is Edinburgh), Wales (Capital is Cardiff) and Northern Ireland (capital is Belfast). The United Kingdom was the first industrialized country and the world’s foremost power during 19th and early 20th centuries. The United Kingdom has the world’s sixth largest economy with very high human development index rating. English is the official and national language of the United Kingdom but there are other regional languages too, such as Scots, Ulster Scots, Welsh, Cornish, Scottish Gaelic, Irish.

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Education System of UK

The British higher education system has five stages of education:

  • Early Education
  • Primary Education
  • Secondary education
  • Further Education (FE) and
  • Higher Education (HE).

In the UK everybody, aged over 5 and under 16 is obliged to attend school. This aging time frame contains two sections of the education system in the UK: Primary and Secondary School. Based on the actual education regulation, higher education in the UK mostly comprises; Undergraduate courses and Postgraduate courses. Likewise, international student may also transition to university level via pathway programs like English language courses and Foundation courses.

Undergraduate courses are designed to help students to get exposure on a whole new world after school. An undergraduate course usually take 3 years to finish, while at Scotland it takes 4 years to finish an undergraduate course. Some universities are offering 4 years undergraduate courses, also known as ‘sandwich courses’, includes work placement of one year usually after the third year. Likewise, some universities offer fast-track program where student can obtain a Master’s degree at undergraduate level. Students in these programs can attend an additional year of studying instead of taking a Bachelor degree and then admit to a Master program. But these programs are much intense because there are shorten holiday breaks and the schedule is heavy.

Program Duration
Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Diploma (HND) 1 to 2 years
Certificates or Diplomas of Higher Education (Cert HE/Dip HE) 1 to 2 years
Foundation Degrees 6 months
Bachelor Degrees 3 years/ 4 years in Scotland
Sandwich degrees 4 years with 1 year of work placement
Fast Tract Courses (Where masters is awarded as the first degree) 4 years

Postgraduate courses are more specific and involve in-depth study. Postgraduate courses mainly include Postgraduate diplomas, postgraduate certificates of education, professional degrees, Master’s degree (Taught or Research) and Doctorate Degrees. Most Master’s degree courses have duration of one year, which means students are eligible to compete in job markets faster than other counterparts studying masters in other destination.

Program Duration
Postgraduate Certificates and Diploma (PF Cert/PG dip) 9 to 12 months
Taught Master 1 year
Research Master (MPhil, PhD, DPhil) 2-3 years

GRADUATION IMMIGRATION ROUTE

On 11 September 2019, the UK government announced the creation of a new graduate Immigration Route, which will provide an opportunity for international students who successfully awards their degree from the summer of 2021 or after to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for two years under Post Study Work (PSW) visa.

Key information on the route;

  • The graduate immigration route will be open to international students who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at an institution with a track record of compliance with the Home Office’s immigration rules.
  • ​Students who successfully complete a course at undergraduate level or above from the summer of 2021 will be able to apply for the route.
  • Successful applicants on this route will be able to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK for a maximum period of two years. Graduates will also be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job.
  • It is expected that students entering the UK in the 2020-21 academic year intake will be eligible for this route.
  • The immigration route will be two years long and will require a new application (including payment of a fee) and payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge. The exact fee will be set out in due course.
  • The route is non-extendable and does not count towards settlement. However, graduates who find an appropriate job and meet the requirements will be able to switch into skilled work, which is a route to settlement.
  • Those who graduate and whose leave expires before the route is introduced will not be eligible for it.

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education

The unique factor of education system in the UK is its Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). It is the independent body that checks the standards and quality of UK higher education. It conducts quality assessment reviews, develops reference points and guidance for providers, and conducts or commissions research on relevant issues. It safeguards standards and improve the quality of UK higher education wherever it is delivered around the world. It checks that students get the higher education they are entitled to expect.

QAA mainly works for:

  1. Setting and monitoring the standards of UK higher education including the development of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.
  • The UK Quality Code for Higher Education is used to assure the standards and quality of UK higher education. It is used by UK higher education providers to ensure they are achieving the outcomes expected of them.
  1. Setting and monitoring the standards for Access to HE Diploma courses. It also licenses the agencies that develop, approve and monitor these courses.
  2. Providing advice and support about quality and standards to universities and colleges, higher education sector organizations and governments.
  3. Advising governments on applications for degree awarding powers and the right to be called a university across the UK.
  4. Reviewing UK higher education wherever it is delivered in the world and publishing a report on the findings.
  5. Investigation of complaints (concerns) about academic standards and quality in higher education.
  6. Training,  guidance and events to help UK higher education providers develop and improve their own quality assurance processes.
  7. Consultancy, training and international services to develop approaches to higher education quality both in the UK and internationally for professionals, institutions and governments.

Why Study in UK

The UK is an ideal destination for millions of international student from all over the world. The UK and its universities have an undisputed reputation for academic excellence and quality with thousands of courses available for students. The UK is a world leader in many areas of education including engineering, science, art and design, business and management, law and finance.

The UK education system allows the freedom to combine courses and subjects as per the needs and interest of students from different areas of studies. The UK has been the preferred choice for some of the most important minds in history. One in four world leaders has studied in the UK. The reputation and legacy as an academic and scientific research hub make the UK a magnet for some of the very best thinkers of the world. With only one percent of the world’s population, the UK is responsible for eight percent of global scientific publications. UK universities and research institutions have produces 107 Nobel Prize winners. So, the UK is undoubtedly a best destination for those creative thinkers who are dreaming of achieving the big things in their life.

There are a variety of reasons to choose the UK as a higher study destination. The top reasons for choosing the UK are:

  1. UK degrees take less time to attain than degrees in other countries. Where other countries take at least four years for an undergraduate degree and two years for postgraduate degree; in the UK only takes three years for an undergraduate degree, and one year for a postgraduate. So student get better value for money and can begin applying knowledge in the real world a lot sooner.
  2. The UK is substantially cheaper than other English-Speaking study destinations such as the USA and Australia. On the other hand, student don’t need as much bank balance in order to apply for your visa to study in the UK, compared to the USA and Australia.
  3. International student are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during holiday breaks. Any international student working part-time has the same rights as a full-time employee. The UK has a National Minimum Wage (NMW) that must be followed by every employer. The NMW for a student aged between 10 and 20 is £5.30 per hour; for those 21 and over, the NMW is £6.70 per hour.
  4. Along with part-time job, internship or placement provided by universities and colleges will develop the valuable skills that will be added to the CV. Such additional skills assist students to get job easily in International job markets after studies.
  5. Now students are eligible to stay back in the UK for 2 years after completing degree under the new Graduate Immigration Route.
  6. The United Kingdom has the National Health Service (NHS), which means if any student studying in the UK for 6 months or more, are able to access healthcare completely free of charge. In addition if spouse or/and children are resident in the UK with student as dependents they are also entitled to the same health care service. NHS provides free consultation with GP (General Practitioner or Primary Doctor), Free hospital treatment in Accident and Emergency, Free hospital treatment it GP recommends it, Free Contraceptive Services, Free maternity care, compulsory psychiatric treatment, diagnosis and treatment of certain communicable diseases. Student, however, need to pay for vaccinations, dental and optical treatments.
Scholarship

The UK government and UK universities offer merit based scholarship programs and funding opportunities to international students to support their studies and cost of living. They offer hundreds of scholarships, bursaries and additional financial support to students from several countries. UK government runs two scholarship programs namely Chevening Scholarship and Commonwealth Scholarship for Masters and Doctoral degrees. These scholarship covers tuition fees, living allowances at a set rate, examination fees, personal maintaining allowances, even an economy class return airfare and additional grants to cover essential expenditures. To apply, student will need to first gain acceptance to the course of study.

Area of Study
  • Art & Humanities
  • Business
  • Computing & Information Technology
  • Engineering
  • Health & Medicine
  • Tourism
Fees & Living Expenses

Tuition fees in the UK vary as per the locations and courses. International undergraduate fee ranges from £10,000 to £18,000 per year depending on the course and institution. Fee for Postgraduate courses vary based on the program, course duration and the course provider. If any student get scholarship from the UK government or education providers then such tuition fees will be lower.

Current UK student visa requirements stipulate that student must have at least £1,015.00 in bank account for each month if the study location is anywhere outside of London, this works out as £9,135 for 9 months. If anyone wishes to study in London, they must show that bank balance of at least £1,265.00 per month, the equivalent of £11,385.00 for 9 months.

International student are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during holiday breaks. Any international student working part-time has the same rights as a full-time employee. The UK has a National Minimum Wage (NMW) that must be followed by every employer. The NMW for a student aged between 10 and 20 is £5.30 per hour; for those 21 and over, the NMW is £6.70 per hour, this working right will help international student to support their expenses during their stay in the UK.

Types of Tier 5 Visa

There are different categories of Tier 5 Visa:

Categories Duration Condition
Charity Worker Visa Upto 12 months If you want to do unpaid Voluntary Work
Creative and Sporting Visa Upto 12 months If you have been offered work in the UK as a sports person or creative worker.
International Agreement Visa Upto 24 months If you are contracted to do work covered by international law while in the UK
Religious Worker Upto 24 months If you want to do religious work
Oppurtunities After Study

After the introduction of Graduate Immigration Route international students who successfully awards their degree from the summer of 2021 or after, are allow to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for two years under Post Study Working (PSW) visa.

After PSW visa expires, anyone who wants to stay longer in the UK will have to apply to transfer to a General Work Visa (Tier 2). Tier 2 visa is for a maximum of 5 years and 14 days, or the time given on the certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.

To be eligible for Tier 2 visa

  1. you must have a valid certificate of sponsorship for job from licensed sponsor,
  2. You’ll usually need to be paid at least £30,000.00 per year,
  3. You must have £945 in your bank account for 90 days before you apply. This is to prove you can support yourself. You do not need to prove this if you have a fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsorwho can give you at least £945 to cover your costs for a month if you need it. Your sponsor must confirm this on the certificate of sponsorship.

If any graduates have innovation business idea with potential for growth, they can apply for Start-up Visa. They can stay in the UK for two years on a Start-up Visa and can bring family members, including a spouse or partner and children under the age of 18. But, there is no option to extend the Start-up Visa after two years, but can switch to the Innovator Visa to extend stay in the UK and develop the business. The Innovator Visa is valid for three years, with the option to extend when it is due to expire.

Likewise, you can apply for Temporary Worker (Tier 5) visa to prolong your stay in the UK, if you have met the following conditions;

  1. you must have a valid certificate of sponsorship for job from licensed sponsor,
  2. You must have £945 in your bank account for 90 days before you apply. This is to prove you can support yourself. You do not need to prove this if you have a fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsorwho can give you at least £945 to cover your costs for a month if you need it. Your sponsor must confirm this on the certificate of sponsorship.
Rules & Regulations

Every international student must follow the following conditions before and during their stay in the UK:

  1. Must have a valid General Student Visa (Tier 4).
  2. Student must apply for visa no more than 3 months after receiving the Conformation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
  3. Student can arrive in the UK upto 1 month before the course start date, if the course lasts more than 3 months.
  4. Student can work as a student union sabbatical officer
  5. Work in most jobs- depending on the level of course. But must maintain the limitation of working hour during term-time.
  6. Student cannot get public funds.
  7. Student cannot work in certain job for example professional sportsperson or sports coach.
  8. Student cannot study at an academy or a local authority-funded school. (also known as a maintained school).
  9. Those applying for student visa and coming to the UK for 6 months or longer will be required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge as part of their visa application fee. Students will be required to pay £300 per year for the duration the visa will be granted.
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