The United Kingdom, separated from the European continent by the North Sea and English Channel, consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK's form of government is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system and its capital city is London. The United Kingdom has fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land surface and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies.
The UK has grown to become one of the top destinations to study around the world. With traditions of excellence dating back hundreds
of years, high class institutions at every corner and much more flexibility than many other countries, the United Kingdom has much to
offer international students that other English-speaking countries cannot offer.
But what makes the United Kingdom stand out? Why should you make UK as a destination to further your international education?
The degrees and qualifications from UK higher education institutions are known around the world as high quality and world class. The standard of excellence is set by some of the older universities with recognizable names, like Oxford and Cambridge, but the tradition carries through to many of the universities and colleges throughout the UK. When looking for work in the future, this can be a great selling point in your favour!
The quality and standard of UK higher education are guaranteed through the work of various official bodies. The quality of a university's teaching and its general facilities are assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Research standards are examined by the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which publishes its findings every five years. The results of all these assessments are freely available on the internet. Information on quality assurance and assessments is also available from the Higher Education Funding Councils.
The cost of education for an international student in the UK can be lower compared to the USA and other countries. Tuition for the majority of UK higher education institutions is in the region of £9,000 to £14,000 a year - considerably less! You can also save a lot of money because your degree will generally take less time to complete in the UK than in other countries. Although four-year programs are increasing in popularity, most degree programs in the UK require a three-year course and a masters program is typically between one and two years. When you consider the shorter timeframe, the cost will be much lower if you only have to plan for three years instead of four or even five as in many other countries.
A major advantage of studying in the UK is the opportunity to perfect your knowledge of the English language – one of the most important skills in the international business world. If you are an overseas student, especially if you are studying a commercial subject, you may well appreciate the opportunity to observe at first hand the operation of the European market. The UK is a member of the EU, and living and studying here can provide a useful insight into how this major trading bloc functions.
With the addition of the Channel Tunnel and low cost airlines such as EasyJet and Ryan Air, Europe is easier to access from the UK than ever. You can reach most areas of Europe from the UK within a few hours by train or direct flight. For example, if you are studying in London or Manchester and you want a weekend away in Italy, you can fly Ryan Air direct to Rome, Milan, Pisa, Genoa, Venice or several other cities in Italy. The direct flight would take around two hours and cost anywhere from 30 to 100 pounds, depending on when you travel and when you book.
The UK is known for having a multicultural society with all religions and faiths represented in some way. With a racial, ethnic and religious jumble, the UK is very open to new traditions and cultures - something that is a great thing for students from other countries! You can also be sure that a place of worship will be easily accessible for most major religions.