The basics
THE UK: Destination Guides

Why study in the UK?

Why should you study in the UK? Read our guide as to why international students choose to come to Britain to study every year...

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The United Kingdom (UK) sees thousands of international students choosing to come and study at one of its universities every year. Between 2010 and 2011 there were over 480,700 international students coming to study in the UK.

The UK is made up of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and has an estimated population of 61.4 million. London is the biggest city with a population of over 8.1million. As one of the most multicultural countries in the world, the UK is a vibrant and exciting place to study and learn in.

The UK has one of the longest traditions of higher education and three of its universities, the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and Imperial College London, are ranked 4th, 6th and 8th respectively in the world (2012-13). The UK education system is made up of a three-tiered system – primary, secondary and higher, with education compulsory up until the age of 16, when students can choose to go onto college, and then university if they wish.


Multicultural Britain

Hundreds of thousands of international students choose to study in the UK each year. Other cultures and ethnicities are intrinsic to Britain's cultural and social identity following decades of immigration from Europe, Africa and Asia; this makes the transition into UK society and culture very easy. In a city like London or Manchester, which is one of the world's most sought out tourist hotspots, an international student will never feel homesick - you can always find treasures and reminders of home at every turn (for example, most towns will have one or more Indian cuisine restaurants on their high street).



History and Tradition

The UK has one of the longest traditions of international higher education, with overseas students attending its universities for decades; many of the world's greatest minds and leading figures were educated at British universities, from Stephen Hawking to Bill Clinton.

The term 'Oxbridge' is world-renowned as the toast of academic excellence (as well as for the famous annual boat race). However, we recommend you keep an open mind and consider all the universities and colleges which the UK has to offer. For a comparatively small country, the UK offers a lot of variety; so ensure you make an informed decision which is perfect for you.

Another reason why the UK holds an advantage over other destinations like the US or Australia, is that it has a farther-reaching historical background going back to the Romans and Celts. This is something which many students - whether History students or not - are attracted by (especially if their own country does not have the same rich history). This provides many extra-curricular options for daytrips and things to see.

Get to know the British higher education system


What better place to perfect your English?

What better place to sharpen your English language skills than in England itself (or Wales, Scotland or Ireland for that matter)? Studying in the UK will give you the opportunity to constantly sharpen your English skills as each day goes by. While you must be proficient in English to a good standard in order to be successfully accepted onto a course in the UK, there is no reason why you should settle for being simply 'satisfactory' when it comes to speaking English. Continue to improve your language skills and you'll amaze employers when looking for that first graduate job (as well as your friends and family at home).

Institutions in the UK make sure that international students receive as much support as they need when it comes to the English language, and you will often find you are able to take extra classes in English if you need to in order to achieve the best possible result in your main course.

Learn about pathways courses to sharpen your skills before beginning your degree


Value of a UK qualification

As mentioned above, Britain has one of the most highly-regarded reputations in the education world. Every year, British universities like Oxford and Cambridge consistently sit at the top of world rankings of universities. Not just anyone is accepted at a British university! Therefore, those who emerge with a qualification from a university in the UK immediately distinguish themselves as a special prospect in their field; this is important when trying to get that crucial first job after graduating. Law, Medicine and Business are just a few fields which UK universities are strong in.



So much to see and do

Tourists flock to the UK year after year, and studying in the UK will mean you are right in the heart of one of the most exciting countries in the world. With huge bustling cities to tranquil villages, the UK is one of the most diverse countries for its size, boasting spectacular landscapes, from incredible mountains to rolling hills to cityscapes that light up the night sky. The UK is also home to some incredible sites and attractions such as Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge and the White Cliffs of Dover, to name just a few; and being an international student, you should grab every chance you get to go and visit these.


As an international student you will also have the chance to explore the beautiful landscapes, visit the historic castles and landmarks, and soak up the culture in this incredible country; and as an international graduate from the multicultural, diverse and exciting United Kingdom you will have many doors open for you when it comes to choosing your career.

As an international student in the UK, you will be able to truly live the great British lifestyle, and there has truly never been a better time to choose to study here.


Start your journey to studying in the UK - browse popular and highly ranked institutions, read guides and search for courses in the UK.


Read more:

'The British higher education system...simplified'

'Tuition fees in the UK'

'Applying to study in the UK'

'Applying for a UK student visa'

'Student accommodation in the UK'


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About Author

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Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.


'Study in the UK' eBook

Enjoy what you’ve read? We’ve condensed the above popular topics about studying in the UK into one handy digital book.