Crucial things to consider when choosing a UK University

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This quick guide is designed for international students who are considering studying at a UK university.

Some of the most important factors for international students when considering studying abroad are consistent regardless of where the student intends to study. These factors are: (a) quality of education (compared to their home country), (b) international recognition of qualifications, (c) the country’s attitude to international students (d) safety, and (e) ease of getting a visa.

Below are some important things to think about when you are researching a university in the UK.

Is the UK the right destination for you?

As an overseas student you literally have a world of choice when deciding where to take your degree.

When deciding whether the UK is the right choice, you may wish to factor in: (a) current UK immigration policies, (b) ease of obtaining a visa, (c) impediments to international students being able to work, or (d) most crucially, incidents of crime against international students and racial intolerance.

The UK is one of the world’s leading study destinations and scores very highly on the above criteria. That said, make sure you do you research as this may change depending on your own country of residence. It may, for example, be more difficult to secure a visa to study in the UK from some countries than others.

Course First, Institution Second

For many overseas students the most important factor considered is the quality of the course being offered by the institution. Choosing a university based on the reputation of the university is usually no longer itself enough to secure a good employment after your studies. Employers today focus much more on the degree itself and its relevance to their industry and/or company. Be conscious that some universities will heavily market their top performing courses. This is fine if you are interested in these subjects but if you are not, then make sure you thoroughly scrutinise the rankings of the courses that you are interested in.

Course Fees

Research and carefully compare the fees at universities that you shortlist. Often a low fee is not a guarantee of a good course. At the same time, if the institution is charging a higher fee question what additional benefit you are getting from the higher fee. For example, does the university offer post study assistance in finding employment or do they have strong links in your chosen industry? You may wish to consider paying more where you perceive an additional benefit in return.

Existing Student Satisfaction Levels

Overseas students often tend to look for one key thing from a university: well-respected programmes that act as a springboard to success. Do not, however, assume that the reputation of the university alone will be a guarantee to high levels of student satisfaction. When communicating with the university (or they representatives in your country), can they demonstrate that student satisfaction levels are high at their establishment? Social media may be a great way to research this area. You can look out for online reviews or feedback from current students on YouTube or Twitter. There will be no better way to really find out what students at your prospective university really think.

Graduate Outcomes are Key

Prospective international students often look very objectively at their choice of study, and this is the right approach. Take a long term view on your choice of university and really tie your decision to your long term goals.

And finally….

We hope you found this post helpful?  If you are an overseas student considering studying in London and need accommodation, then why not consider homestay?  What is homestay accommodation?  In short, it is a fantastic way to experience life in London in a supportive “home from home” environment.  It is a much more personal accommodation option than halls of residence or student house shares.  It is also a great way to improve your English by speaking with your hosts on a daily basis.

If you think you may be interested, take a look at our How Homestay Works page for students for information on the booking process or take a look at our Student Help Centre.

Please feel free to contact us if we can help with advice on anything to do with moving to London, universities or language schools, or homestay accommodation here in London!