UK has become one of the top destinations in the world for international students to study, despite the fact that USA, Canada, Germany to mention a few have reputations in providing quality education, the UK remains top on the list writes Folorunso Kolade
According to UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) statistic shows UK receives over 400,000 students every year from different countries. Home office secretary, Rt Hon Theresa May MP stated that “UK has a worldwide reputation for providing quality education to overseas students, Britain is rightly the destination of choice for many people wishing to study abroad’’.
Meanwhile, in spite of this, the UK home office poses strict rules on international students and and the huge amount of money charged by UK universities is a concern to many. Rt Hon Theresa May MP says “We aim to reduce net migration from the hundreds of thousands, back down to the tens of thousands. The most significant migrant route to Britain is the student route. And so we must take action here too”.
While speaking with John an international first year student of Computer science and multimedia at Queen Mary University London, he said “I went through many difficulties before getting my visa to come here, after producing all the required documents, I went through interviews, I paid so much money for example; visa fees, university fees, accommodation etc. I think, it is very difficult and expensive to come here as a student”.
International students undergraduate fees for 2013-2014 start at £10,000 (US$16,167) rising to £36,600 (US$58,201) for an undergraduate medical degree. Again at the postgraduate level the majority of international students fees for 2013-2014 are between £10,000 and £12,000 (US$16,167 and US$19,400).
According Queen Mary University, Head of International student recruitment, Mr Lee Wildman “a big reason behind UK becoming favourite destination to thousands of international student is simply because the UK education system is highly valued by parents and international students take for example the 12 months postgraduate program in UK to the 24 months postgraduate program in USA. I believe this is one of the huge factors UK is enjoying in convincing international students.”
London South Bank University, Senior International Student Adviser, Mr Niel Gillet stated that the UK is a favourite destination for international students because, “UK historically has a good reputation for outstanding education, prestigious institutions and excellent system. Finally every international student takes with pride having UK qualification because it is widely recognised”.
Many international students who prefer not to stay long in education will definitely want to study in the UK. The US education system is wholly different, UK students spend 3-4 years as undergraduate and 1 year for Masters programmes, whereas in the US courses are 4-5 years undergraduate and 2 years Masters.
The UK has provided international students with expensive education however according to the students themselves and the reputation that the countries academic system has received internationally, it has also provided students with quality studying for a shorter time period. A win lose situation for international students.