As the pandemic continues to impact our present and alter the course of our future existence, every nation is making concerted efforts towards establishing a new normal. But, one may wonder what does this new normal imply for an overseas education aspirant. It definitely requires them to reassess study plans in a post COVID world. Although UK has been impacted by the pandemic, it is fast emerging as a preferred study abroad destination.
Here are the reasons why UK is emerging or rather reclaiming its spot as one of the most preferred study abroad destinations.
- New Merit Based Immigration System
While UK always had one immigration system for non-Europeans and another for EU citizens, largely favoring EU nations when it came to education and job prospects, the new points-based system intends to treat both EU and non-EU citizens alike.
What this means is that the focus would be on providing equal study and work opportunities to meritorious and talented students and skilled professionals from the world over to ensure that the UK remains one of the most sought after hubs for international talent.
The new immigration system aims at awarding points based on skill sets, qualifications, salary, and the type of profession being pursued by considering selection factors such as job offer, English proficiency, A level qualification and minimum annual salary of £ 25,600, which is now revised from the existing £30,000. As the policy solely focuses on talent, skillsets and merit, irrespective of the nationality of students and professionals, aspiring work professionals will need to amass 70 points as qualifying criteria to enter the UK to make good of their employment opportunities.
- Internationally Recognized Universities and Certifications
UK ranks second to the US when it comes to imparting quality education with internationally recognized degrees and is home to many universities of global acclaim including, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Manchester, Kings College, London School of Economics, The University of Bristol, and The University of Warwick.
- Shorter and Flexible Duration of Degree Programs
With course duration being shorter and cheaper as compared to the US and Australia, students can save considerably on tuition fees and accommodation costs.
While it takes anywhere between 3-4 years to complete undergraduate studies and 2-3 years to complete graduation in other countries, in the UK it takes three years for an undergraduate degree and one year for a post-graduate degree. There are different levels of master’s degrees available though:
- One-year master (without research, internship)
- Two years’ masters (with research, internship)
- One year MBA
- Two semesters (one year)
There is also flexibility to select and combine different subjects into a single course of study such as studying business with hospitality and tourism.
- The Opportunity to Work While Studying
Though studying in the UK is generally considered expensive, one can avail of the option to work for 20 hours per week while pursuing academics. This also facilitates gaining work experience while studying.
- Scholarships and Financial Support
International students can avail of wide-ranging scholarships to fund their education, stay and cost of living.
- Chevening Scholarships
- Common Wealth Scholarships and fellowships
- Reinstatement of Two Years Post Study Work Visa
Since exploring post-study work options is an important factor for overseas education aspirants while considering a destination, UK’s reinstatement of its two-year post-study work visa for international students in 2019, makes it all the more favorable for Indian students to study in the country and subsequently explore promising post-study job opportunities.
- Free Healthcare for International Students
UK’s National Health Service (NHS) provides free healthcare services ranging from GP consultation to surgery to students pursuing full-time programs (more than six months’ duration)
- Cultural Diversity
The sheer diversity of the United Kingdom, home to many international communities and students, makes it a safe, secure and welcoming destination to live, study and fructify academic and professional dreams
Today’s global workforce requires professionals with quality education, international exposure, ability to work in a multi-cultural environment, and most importantly talent and skills stamped with high employability quotient, and the UK as an overseas education destination offers it all!