Every year, we speak to many of the hundreds of students who flock to the mega education’ events held in Delhi and experience the continuing enthusiasm for studying at UK universities. In 2016-17, the number of Indian university students studying abroad in the UK increased to 16,550 — ten percent more than the previous year. So, what is UK’s secret?
Here is what makes UK a sought-after study abroad destination for Indian students:
1. UK still seen as a GREAT’ destination
Since 2012, the GREAT Britain campaign’ has been promoting the UK as a welcoming country, which offers talented Indian students high-quality, flexible courses including integrated work placements, networking opportunities and skills development plus wonderful research opportunities.
The UK has now benefited from a downturn in the popularity of the US due to the Trump administration’s negative stance towards visas.
We know access to visas which allow you to work for a period after completing your studies are really important to Indian applicants. Essex is part of a pilot offering post-study work visas so we’re delighted that the UK government is proposing to extend this and we’re now calling for a two-year post-study work visa.
2. Scholarships for talented students
UK universities offer a wide range of scholarships and discounts to study in UK. The programmes to look for include:
- Chevening scholarships
- UK STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Scholarships (launched in December 2018, for female applicantsin STEM areas)
- the Commonwealth Masters Scholarships
- UK India Education Research Initiative (UKERI)
- Newton-Bhabha Fund
- the British Council’s GREAT Scholarships
Several smaller academic excellence awards offer 20-50% fee discounts.
Besides, universities are always happy to provide advice.
3. A return on investment
Indian applicants always want to discuss Return on Investment’, especially if they are studying abroad in the UK.
We think it often takes three to four years (on average) for a millennial to get started in their chosen careers and at this point, graduates really reap the benefits of the international network and experience provided by their UK degree.
4. Global reputation
India’s youth population is booming, but Indian institutions cannot meet their demand. Studying abroad in the UK can offer bright students a chance to study at universities with global reputations.
If you look at the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, which assesses education and research, you’ll see only one Indian university in the top 300.
In the UK, 11 universities are in the top 100, another 18 are in the top 200, and 10 more including the University of Essex are in the top 300.
5. Less stressful to apply
Admission processes at UK universities are equally rigorous compared to other countries, but entry criteria are based on the applicant’s overall profile.
The application process to study abroad in the UK is much less stressful as unlike the United States, UK universities don’t require exams like SAT and SAT subject tests for admission to their undergraduate programmes and accept Indian grading systems and boards like CBSE and ISC.
6. Language is no barrier
If you’re worried about your English to study abroad in the UK, many UK universities offer pathway courses to improve your language skills before progressing to an undergraduate or postgraduate programme.
For example, the University of Essex International College at our Colchester Campus offers a range of degree preparation courses.
The Indian diaspora in the UK plays a massive role in influencing application decisions for their family members in India. These recommendations come from trusted family members, often based on personal experience, and are really valued by applicants.
One should try to take time to talk to their family in detail about their plans to study abroad in the UK.
The founding fathers of our nation Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were educated in the UK and many eminent leaders, politicians, economists, authors and businessmen are UK alumni.
These inspirational examples provide powerful validation to Indians aspiring to study in the UK.