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FAQ – Studying in the UK

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about pursuing studies in the United Kingdom. Read on to get to know if the UK is the right country for you, the most sought after courses and more. The Global Study Link education consultants are only a call away if you have any more questions!

Why study in the United Kingdom?

International education is one of UK’s few globally competitive sectors.

With a rich tradition of quality education, highly-qualified teachers, best-in-class infrastructure and a reputation of world-class research; UK higher education degrees, doctorate and qualifications are recognised by employers and academics across the globe.

UK not only offers the best and a wide array of traditional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses, but has also modernised its research institutes and infrastructure for more specialised areas of study like Data Science, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Space Exploration/ Aerospace Engineering, etc.

The UK ranks among top 3 in its Business and Management courses in the world with more than 9000 courses in this stream offered by more than 337 institutions.

The UK has a multi-cultural atmosphere. Students get first-hand opportunity to meet other international students from Africa, China, South-east Asia, South America and of course the local students, thus offering them a good networking and socialising platform with people from various cultures. Interacting with such a diversified culture opens up a whole new gamut to develop your skills by improving your world knowledge, brain-storming and understanding of the much important geo-political system and build new connections to drive forward your careers.

Another colossal benefit – courses in the UK are of a much shorter term (1 year) as compared to the USA. This saves students a lot of money on tuition fees and the cost of living, also enabling them to get into the global job market much quicker than their competitors from other nations.

With Brexit around-the-corner, there is a possibility that the universities could increase the number of scholarships and the UK government may provide other grants and incentives to fill the vacuum that will be created by the declining students from EU states both, in the education sector and the job market. The government is already thinking of strategies in the education sector to attract fresh talent.

Do institutions from the UK accept the 10+2+3/4 education system of India?

Yes, any Bachelors degree from a recognised Indian University is accepted by UK universities for masters programs.

Where to study in the UK?

With more than 150 higher education institutes and circa 240 colleges, the United Kingdom offers a wide variety of colleges to choose from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Being the capital of the UK, the City of London has the maximum concentration of colleges. However, most of the big institutions are based out of London, in the beautiful country-side and the capital is just a train-ride away.

What factors to keep in mind while choosing a University to study in the UK?

Depending on the interest in a specific subject, one can choose their University based on multiple factors. Some of these factors are:-

  • University ranking
  • Entry requirements
  • Tuition Fees
  • Course Modules
  • Subject ranking
  • Geographical Location
  • Campus Size
  • University Facilities
  • The Student Halls – This is your in-campus accommodation
  • Cost of local accommodation
  • Cost of living
  • Nightlife (Oh Yes ! London and Manchester top the list)
  • Student Ratings and Reviews
  • Faculty Ratings
  • Alumni
  • Loans and Scholarships
  • Job Placement Rate
  • Percentage of international students

Speak to one of our student advisors at Global Study Link to get an idea of the best University matching your interest. At Global Link we can help you get placed at Ulster University. Our UK education consultants will guide you on English Language Requirements, scholarship for courses in the UK and will ensure a smooth application process to join a course in the UK. Our education consultants will help you to get all your questions answered about the upcoming intakes, programs, application process, IELTS waiver, scholarship offers and more.

What are the popular courses in the UK?

Some of the popular courses for international students include various streams of physical science, medicine, biological science, international law, engineering, including computing. Some international students also opt for courses in Sociology & Social Studies, waste management and environmental sciences. However, a post-graduate course in Business and Management Studies is the most sought after course in the UK.

To provide you a heads-up about some of the courses mentioned above, branches of physical sciences including astronomy, chemistry, physics and earth science gives you plenty of choice to choose for a productive career anywhere in the world. Medicine is a broad area, encompassing a number of courses including those ranging from a degree in Nursing to advanced Neuroscience, biomedical sciences and physiotherapy. The UK National Health Service (NHS) has a short-fall of nurses and doctors and there is always a plethora of job openings for the right candidate. With a desire to improve social health such as in the current scenario, pioneering new medicines or providing treatment and therapy, there is always a vacancy in the NHS for a degree obtained in medicine.

Love it or hate it – viruses have become a part of our lives now. And that’s what you will learn about as a biological scientist – all about the science of life. Contrary to the physical sciences, you’ll be studying living systems and living organisms. Vastly ignored until the last decade, the recent pandemics has led most researchers to delve deeper in this gray area between living and nonliving, the role of micro-biological elements in the study of evolution and the future of mankind. This is a subject with vast opportunities in

Be that of humans, animals, bacteria or plants, with so much yet to discover, your skills in the graduate world of biological sciences are sure to be in demand.

Students usually prefer to do a masters degree in international or corporate law but you can also opt for a course to obtain a degree in law if you want to pursue law in the UK. Unlike the USA, where all states have different bar exams, it is not that cumbersome to obtain a law degree and practice law in the UK. Moreover, the Bar Council of India recognises Law degrees from most of the UK universities where you can study the subject and practice later on in India as well.

India provides ample of computer engineers to the UK every year. With a dearth of right skills and an ever-increasing demand in the computing field, a graduate with high-level computing skills are highly sought after by many employers globally. It is also believed that this is an easy route for many international students to obtain a Tier 2 general visa. If you can secure a degree in this field from any of the UK colleges, there are high chances that you will definitely have employment after college.

A course that falls under the umbrella of subjects allied to computer science may include advanced computer programming, automation testing, artificial intelligence, robotics, data science and data analysis to research in a specific field of choice.

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) course can allow you to leverage the skills honed in any sector and any part of the globe. MBA from a UK college is not only recognised worldwide but gains a lot of respect as well. Your course is generally for one year in which you are taught many subjects and can choose to specialise in more than one area which means you can customise your MBA as per your interests.

Some of the niche subjects that UK universities are known for include:

  • International Management
  • Marketing
  • Strategy
  • Consulting
  • Business planning
  • Sports Management
  • Insurance
  • Global Finance
  • Brand Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Business laws
  • Communication skills
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Information Technology

Apart from the techno-functional knowledge, you are also trained in the soft skills that employers want and get several chances to meet potential employers through project work, internships, company visits, etc.

How much does it cost to study in the UK?

Tuition fees for international students can range between 6,000 GBP to 38,532 GBP annually with an average cost of 10,825 GBP towards your cost of living. A scholarship or university grant can definitely cover up most if not all of this cost. Most Universities in the UK offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries to international students.

If you wish to apply to UK Universities, please get in touch with our experts from the UK Education counselling team who will be happy to help you with the entire admission, selection and visa process!

What are the basic steps for Application Procedure to study in the UK or some of the documents to keep handy?

You can start by arranging for the below mentioned documents. The basic steps and documents required for applying to study in the UK are:

  • Choose your required programme
  • Identifying Universities you want to apply to
  • Health documents, if required
  • Tuberculosis test report may be required
  • Take required tests like IELTS, TOEFL, GMAT, etc. (if required by the University)
  • Arranging and preparing essays and recommendation letters
  • Statement of purpose
  • Completing and sending application forms along with necessary documents
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies document from your University
  • Bank Statements
  • Student loan or proof of income supporting your cost
  • Applying for VISA after obtaining an unconditional offer from your preferred university
  • Scholarship letter from the university, if any

What are the accommodation options available for a student?

Most universities offer Student Halls (self-catered or full-board) for students from other countries. This is your on-campus residence where you get your own study/bedroom, fully equipped with a bed, chair, desk, private wardrobe and a locker. Living as a resident on-campus may be a very affordable option especially if you are placed in London, however you need to apply for it well ahead in time to secure a slot for yourself.

If you are unable to find such an accommodation or wish to stay alone, you can get a space for yourself on rent in shared apartments / house of multiple occupancy (HMO) or stay with a local family. Remember, the rentals will vary from city to city and factor in the setup, initial deposit and travel cost as well if you are not not staying in the student halls.

What visa is required to study in the UK?

A Tier 4 (General) Student Visa is required if your course duration is more than 6 months and you are 16 or over. A Tier 4 (child) visa is required if you are below 16 years of age.

Institutions are licensed to sponsor migrants under Tier 4 visa category. In order to apply for a visa, you would need a letter from the education provider confirming your placement in the course (CAS) and financial proof showing sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and support yourself during the complete period of the course. Applicants need to maintain the required amount for a minimum of 28 days in their bank account prior to applying for a UK Student visa. The earliest a Student visa can be applied is 3 months before the start date of the course and you usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks of application.

You will also need to apply for a biometric residence permit (BRP) if you are staying in the UK for longer than 6 months.

These are some basic documents that will be required for Tier 4 visa application once you get your confirmation of  acceptance letter from the university–

  • Your original valid passport. current passport with a blank page in your passport for your visa. Your passport should be valid for the whole of your stay in the UK
  • Your old passport if any
  •  One passport-sized photograph which meets the UKVI requirements (please note not all visa application centres will require this),
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Evidence of English language proficiency
  • Financial requirements documents
  • Health documents, tuberculosis reports if required
  • Bank statements
  • Evidence of qualifications
  • Any approved student loan document from the bank
  • Proof that you can support yourself and pay for your course – this will vary depending on your circumstances.
  •  proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if you’re under 18
  • A certified translation of any documents that are not in English
  • Scholarship letter from the University if any
  • Proof of income supporting your cost

Want to know more about visa requirements in the UK? If you wish to apply to UK Universities, please get in touch with our experts from the UK Education counselling team who will be happy to help you with the entire admission, selection and visa process!

Family members of students in the UK

Your parents, siblings or relatives count as your family members and spouse or civil partner and children are considered as your dependants.

The UK is a very friendly country and your family members can visit you anytime as long as they or you (sponsor) can show enough financial evidence to support their expense for the period of the visit. A UK visit visa will be required if your family wants to visit you during your stay in the UK.

If you have any dependants i.e., spouse / civil partner, children (less than 18 years old), you need to file for a Tier 4 dependant visa. Note that your parents and in-laws do not count towards your dependants.

You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.

The cost of living in London is higher as compared to other cities and hence if you will study in London, you need to show £845 equivalent INR for each month of immigration permission you have been granted (if your dependants are applying after you have received your permission) or will be granted (if your dependants are applying at the same time as you) for each dependant. This is up to a maximum of 9 months (therefore, a maximum figure of £7,605). The definition of ‘London’ for these purposes is complicated, so check with your college or university whether or not you will be considered to be studying in London. Your college could be on the outskirts of London but may still be considered to be part of the city, or vice-versa.

You must show £680 equivalent INR for each month of immigration permission you have been granted (if your dependants are applying after you have received your permission) or will be granted (if your dependants are applying at the same time as you) for each dependant if you will study somewhere other than London. Again, this is up to a maximum of 9 months (therefore, a maximum figure of £6,120).

The minimum requirement for each month of immigration permission for your dependant will also depend on the length of your course, whether you’ve finished a UK course or are currently studying.

 Will I receive any health benefits in the UK?

UK offers free medical treatment via its publicly funded healthcare system National Health Service (NHS). All Indian students in the UK are eligible to access the full breadth of critical and non-critical medical care if enrolled in a full-time course lasting at least 6 months. You have to pay a healthcare surcharge of £150 per year as a student while making your visa application prior to your arrival in the UK. Your spouse/ partner and/ or dependent children will also be exempt from payment if they reside with you during the course of your study programme. All you have to do is visit a doctor’s office or health care centre and register yourself and your family members. Carry a letter from your university proving that you are a student and ask to be added to the NHS list. You will receive a card in the mail within few days which will contain your NHS number. As a student, you are entitled for free of charge consultation with your GP, free of charge hospital treatment if recommended by your GP, walk-in to any Accident and Emergency centres for free treatment and hospitalisation and free contraceptive services and maternity care. You can also opt for private insurance if desired.

Can I work in the UK as an International Student?

Need that extra money in your free time, want to gain some international experience or you are the one who likes to be busy all the time, there are countless reasons one might want to work and so are the opportunities. A part-time job, internship or placement during vacation and volunteering are some ways to develop valuable skills that you can add to your CV. The UK Home Office recognises that international students may want to work in the time when they are not expected to study and hence allows them to work up to 20 hours per week (7 days) at maximum during term-time and full-time during holiday breaks. This however depends on your Tier 4 visa type. You can work 20 hours if you have a Tier 4 (General) and 10 hours on a Tier 4 (child) student visa. You are not allowed to work on a Short-term study visa i.e., courses that are less than 6 months.

Your work limitations and conditions will be printed out on your Tier 4 vignette (passport sticker) including the number of hours you can work per week during term-time. When receiving your biometric residence permit paperwork there will be a letter that will offer you all information, whether you can work or not while you’re studying.

International students can easily find a part-time job especially in big cities like London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

You can take up most forms of employment on a Tier 4 (general) student visa, depending on your course level. Some of the jobs that are easy to get and students generally prefer are:

  • ·         Student Union sabbatical officer
  • ·         A customer facing job in the Food and Beverages industry
  • ·         Graphic Designer
  • ·         Photographer
  • ·         Tour Guide
  • ·         Language Translator
  • ·         Social Media freelancer
  • ·         Blogger
  • ·         Delivery Boy
  • ·         Barista
  • ·         Bartender
  • ·         Driver
  • ·         Fitness Instructor

There are multiple job opportunities within the university as well and it’s a good idea to contact the university before your course starts to discuss any opportunities. You can arrive in the UK up to 1 month before your course starts on a Tier 4 visa if your course lasts more than 6 months, during which you can apply for jobs and work full-time.

However, as you are expected to be a student focusing on learning, there are certain constraints on the type of work you are allowed to do. Some of the work type that you cannot engage in are,

  • ·         Full-time permanent job (usually these are 37.5+ hours)
  • ·         Self-employed or own a Business
  • ·         Sports coach or be a professional sportsperson
  • ·         Work as a trainee or full time Doctor including dentist.
  • ·         Work in the entertainment industry

Some universities also provide dissertation as a part of the study course which are an excellent and easy way of obtaining work experience. Dissertation or thesis involves working onshore or offshore at an institution or private organization. Most universities have a placement tutor that will assist in providing these placement based on your skills, course and area of interest. You can also find them on your own. You can spend up to half of your course in the UK undertaking dissertations. This allows you to gain first-hand industry experience and can help you make decisions about your later career.

Experience in a workplace prior to a first full-time job has become increasingly important to employers; many consider that no amount of study can adequately prepare an individual for the world of work. Work placements are usually unpaid if they are for a small tenure. However, if you are on a sandwich course which includes a year in the industry, opportunities will be already arranged on your behalf by your education provider so you may be able to bypass the application process. Such a ‘sandwich placements’ usually come with a reasonable wage. Salaries range widely, but generally fall between £10,000 and £26,000 depending on the industry, type of work, location, etc

Most students also get a letter of recommendation from their colleagues or manager with whom they have assisted with work. It’s a great addition to your CV and is helpful when applying for jobs after your study.

However, you are not allowed to do work placements if you are a part-time postgraduate student or if your Tier 4 sponsor has probationary sponsor status and your course is below degree level.

An internship is much similar to a graduate role which may also include travel and a full time training. However internships could be less or unpaid as it allows you to immerse yourself in a real working environment and see if that type of industry and role is for you. In all other cases, you can take an internship only if you are permitted to work and it will be subject to the restrictions on Tier 4 employment. This means that you cannot work full time unless it is your vacation period. Often, a summer scheme internship for a large company can lead to a place on their graduate scheme.

Placements and internships are all great assets to your CV.

Students who wish to remain in the UK after they graduate must apply for a work visa, unless they meet the criteria for a two-year post-study work visa for international students.

 Can I work in the UK after graduation?

UK presently offers a 2 year post-study work (PSW) visa for students who have completed a full-time degree from any of the registered colleges. The visa is designed for overseas students to be able to work full-time or look for work after completing their course.

As per a recent report published in London, the UK is set to open up a new Graduate visa route which could turn out to be a total game-changer for students in India.

Jo Johnson, brother of current UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed the UK government to double its post study work visa offer to four years for the 2020-21 intake to attract more students from around the world, specially Asia and Africa.

It will offer international students from countries like India the chance to switch onto a skilled work visa after two years if they find a job which meets the skill requirements of the route.

The former Member of Parliament, has been a long-term supporter of competitive post-study visa offers to keep the UK in line with other higher education destinations such as USA, Australia and Canada.

“It would be sensational for the ability of our universities to go and market British higher education in India,” said Jo Johnson, who also happens to be UK’s former universities minister.

“The increase that I am proposing to the post-study work visa will be of particular appeal to students from India, who are very sensitive to whether or not they have an ability to stay on in the country after they graduate to put to use the skills they have acquired in higher education and earn a bit of money to help them pay the pretty considerable fees that our universities charge them,” Johnson said, adding that the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has always been a “strong supporter” of international students and is therefore likely to take the report’s proposals into consideration.

The current Covid-19 situation has put a lot of pressure on British Universities which are reliant on international students. Coronavirus is significantly going to reduce the number of international students that are globally mobile this coming year and probably following years as well. To overcome this, he recommends that the government recommit to existing 2030 exports targets outlined in the International Education Strategy – and create an additional goal for the UK to be the number one study destination worldwide after the US.

Among a range of other measures as well that has been proposed in the report, giving International students more time to find the job of their choice and switch to a work permit could help the UK higher education sector overcome the shocks of Covid-19 and Brexit.

As per a research, the current majority of international students in the UK are mainly from China. To reduce the universities’ over-dependence on students from one particular country and remove visa bureaucracy, UK intends to double the number of students the country attracts from India by 2024 and increase significantly students from other key countries such as Nigeria and Malaysia to rebalance the mix.

The Home Office’s continued exclusion of India from its ‘low-risk Tier 4 visa’ list, which denotes countries from which student visa applications are streamlined, has understandably provoked deep unhappiness especially for students from India. Such a process ties down the universities by “bureaucracy and obsessions with poorly-crafted immigration targets and petty rules”. It stresses the need for the UK to go further and also streamline visa processes and remove a perceived “hostile bureaucracy” around Britain’s university offering, he counselled.

There is also a proposal to reverse the Home Office’s “continued and deeply unpopular” exclusion of India from its low-risk Tier 4 visa list – which currently allows students from China and certain other countries like USA, Australia and Canada a streamlined visa process, but not to India. If this goes through, it would mean students applying from India would have a cheaper, faster and easier visa application process.

The report also highlights that the UK is well-positioned to capitalise on an “unmet demand from India”, which registered an impressive 136 % hike in student visa numbers to almost 50,000 in the year ending March 2020, since the 2 year PSW was reintroduced last year.

With an intention to turbocharge the effectiveness of the student visa, UK intends to provide “best-in-class student visa offer” with doubling of post-study work visas from two to four years and not only maintain its foothold as a top student destination, but move up the move up a rung on the ladder.

The current progression in the education sector in the UK and uncertainties prevailing on work visas, Permanent Residency and health safety in countries like USA and Canada, UK definitely becomes “The Best” choice for Indian students.

Can I set up a Business in the UK after my education?

Yes, you can obtain the necessary visa to set up your own business anywhere in the UK. Your university may also have certain rights to help you with this if you can convince your university that the business that you are setting up will employ the necessary knowledge and skills you have learnt from your education.

Can I obtain a Work Permit and Residency in the UK?

You can also obtain a skilled-worker general work visa (Tier 2) or any other work visa category depending on your nature of work. This is usually sponsored and provided by your employer.

Becoming a permanent resident for international students is securing the “indefinite leave to remain (ILR) Visa”. After five years of completing a graduate job and continuous residence, a person can apply for the ILR.

If you have secured a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, you will be eligible to apply for ILR after three years of living in the UK.

Unlike some of the other developed countries, securing an ILR is much simpler in UK. A stable income satisfying minimum income requirements and a good moral conduct will help in securing the ILR visa.

Moreover, on whatever visa category you are in, you can easily move between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and choose to take a job and settle anywhere in these countries.

Considering the upcoming prospects, it’s no secret that this is the most opportune time for international students to enroll themselves into post-graduate programmes within the UK.

With so many benefits, why don’t you consider speaking to one of our representatives from the Global Study Link UK Education counselling team to help you prepare for getting a degree in the UK?

Will Brexit have any impact on the education sector in the UK?

With Brexit around-the-corner, there is a possibility that the universities could increase the number of scholarships and the UK government may provide other grants and incentives to fill the vacuum that will be created by the declining students from EU states both, in the education sector and the job market. The government is already thinking of strategies in the education sector to attract fresh talent.

What kind of scholarships are available for Indian students ?

The UK government welcomes international students and the British Council along with the government or other public/ private associated organisations offer a wide range of scholarships for Indian students to ease their stress on finances. These can be merit-based, program-specific, university-specific, country (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) or location specific.

Apart from this, government funded scholarships or grants which students can avail to pursue higher education in the UK. Some universities also provide concession in the tuition fee if initial deposits are submitted within a stipulated deadline.

Generally, scholarships offer total deduction on tuition fee, but some scholarships award other forms of aids like living expenses, airfare and visa fee, based on the applicant’s academic and work excellence and background.

The amount of university-specific UK Scholarships varies depending on the student’s profile, ranging from £ 3,000 up to £ 20,000. Doctoral degrees in the UK are generally fully funded.

The general eligibility criteria for UK Scholarships for Indian Students are:

  • Must be an Indian citizen
  • Must have completed his/her education in English medium
  • Must have a good academic background
  • Can provide a noteworthy statement of purpose

Some of the common Scholarship programs are –

  • Chevening Scholarships – 1500+ scholarships provided to high academic performers from around the world
  • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan – students of Commonwealth countries who will make a significant contribution to their home country
  • The Global Study Awards – provided to students with competitive IELTS score with interest in increasing intercultural understanding and exchange.
  • Education Future International Scholarship – offered to the meritorious Indian students who lack means of self-funding their foreign education
  • Hornby Scholarships – available to English language teachers
  • Goa Education Trust Scholarships – available to deserving Goans
  • Inlaks Scholarships – granted to students with exceptional talent applying in top institutions
  • Felix Scholarship – provided to underprivileged students
  • Erasmus Mundus Scholarship – funded by EU, the student must select to attend one of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Programmes at Masters or Doctorate level
  • British Council Great Scholarships for Indian students – open for all courses and    students

Besides these, there are 2500+ UK University-specific scholarships.

Since many students apply for these scholarships, we suggest that you apply in advance and be mindful of the deadline. To find out more about the grants, scholarships and bursaries available in the UK and your eligibility for the same, speak to one of the education consultants at Global Study link.

What services does Global Study Link Provide?

At Global Study Link we provide end to end study abroad services. Our expert advisors will guide you all through the way, right from choosing the right University, the admission process, applications to various Universities, visa advice, financial guidance, student loan advice, scholarship advice as well as brief you about the English Language requirements and its alternatives.

Speak to one of our student advisors at Global Study Link to get an idea of the best University matching your interest. At Global Link we can help you get placed at your preferred University. Our UK education consultants will guide you on English Language Requirements, scholarship for courses in the UK and will ensure a smooth application process to join a course in the UK. Our education consultant will help you to get all your questions answered about the upcoming intakes, programs, application process, IELTS  waiver, scholarship offers and more.

With so many benefits, why don’t you consider speaking to one of our representatives from the Global Study Link UK Education counselling team to help you prepare for getting a degree in the UK?

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