A university education in the UK is an amazing experience on many different levels. Of course, its universities are some of the best in the world, and many are also among the oldest in Europe. This tradition of academic excellence is just one of the reasons UK degrees are respected the world over, and students flock to England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to study and prepare for exciting, well-paid careers.
So what are the 5 best reasons to consider studying in the UK?
- You’ll be able to participate in world changing research
The UK contains some of the most important research facilities in the world, many of which are part of its extensive university system. It is a hotbed of research on world-spanning social, political and economic issues, and the birthplace of many of the different technologies which shape our everyday lives.
The UK’s top universities are globally recognised for their contributions to research and scholarship on so many different topics! On a global scale, the UK is a tiny country, smaller than many of the States, Provinces and other divisions which make up the largest countries in the world. Nevertheless, it is number 2 in the world for science and research output! In fact, 54% of the nation’s research was ranked as world-leading, an amount which outstrips Brazil, Japan, Germany, Canada and even the US. You’ll also find UK research referenced in academic articles more than that of any other country on earth.
Studying at the universities who produce this cutting edge research gives you a chance to connect with the world’s top researchers professionally, and even to learn directly from them! The fact that so many high level students learn directly form prominent researchers is just one of the reasons that 93% of international postgraduate students praise the teaching quality they receive in the UK.
UK universities tend to have cutting edge laboratory equipment and facilities, especially for this subjects in which they specialise. Students can use these facilities to conduct their own research, often in a meaningful, industry-facing manner.
In fact, the UK university system is incredibly well integrated into its industrial sectors. Due to that close collaboration, UK researchers see their ideas rigorously tested and applied in the real world, and its impact can be seen immediately.
This all makes the UK a clear choice for international students of both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, who want to found their careers by publishing in respected journals. After all, there is a reason that more than 1/3 of all Nobel Laureates who studied abroad did so in the UK!
- The UK’s teaching methods are truly world class.
One of the reasons the UK produces so many top level researchers, industrialists, desi
gners, technologists and other experts is because their universities’ teaching methods are excellent. Not only do UK schools have the advantage of more than 1000 years of academic tradition behind them, they have an academic culture where both innovation and rigorous, evidence-based evaluation are valued highly. This lets the UK’s schools build the future of teaching by standing on the shoulders of past giants, without being limited by out of date theories, perspectives or values.
One of the UK’s widespread teaching techniques most often cited as great is called ‘Problem-Based Learning’ or ‘Enquiry-Based Learning’. This system sees students given either real life or hypothetical problems, and asks them to apply what they have learned to propose practical solutions. It is all about applying theory to practice.
When combined with real world learning, site visits, simulated events or business situations and similar experiences, problem-based learning prepares students to take up active roles in their fields, working innovatively to solve problems without being told what to do.
Of course, students need access to Theory Based Learning before they can engage in Problem-Based Learning, so UK university education relies heavily on lectures, seminars and in-depth tutorials as well. Students are also expected to read and learn independently, gaining a deep background of knowledge, both specialised to their field and more generally. The three systems work together to improve students’ communication and analysis skills as well as their ability to manage themselves and their projects with minimal supervision.
No matter what subject you study, your university experience is likely to involve exposure to a great deal of advanced technology. Of course, if you select an IT, Engineering or Technology course you’ll learn to work in some of the most advanced facilities in the world. Even if you choose a less technical field, though, you’ll learn with the aid of modern technology and information systems. Even if your studies involve paper books exclusively, you’ll be able to study in bright, modern library environments designed specifically to aid you in your pursuits.
Another of the reasons UK teaching methods excel is the high quality of the country’s curse tutors. Many of the UK’s brightest minds teach rather than pursuing commercial research because they love opening new minds up to their field of specialty, and learning new ways to approach their life’s work from their students. This commitment cannot help but to inspire excellence in their students.
Of course, all teaching methods depend on your ability to speak the local language fluently. Not only has English become the closest thing to an International Language of science, commerce and culture over the centuries, the UK’s universities have a very long tradition of welcoming student from all over the world. They have excellent systems in place to help new students secure their grasp on the English language generally, and each department knows how to make sure its unique jargon is fully accessible to both international and local students.
- Student life in the UK is great!
The university experience is more than just studying and preparing for a career. You’ll be able to enjoy yourself, explore an exciting new culture (many of them, in fact), meet truly interesting people and discover many new interests and passions. The UK has an incredibly rich history, a beautiful countryside, and of course some of the world’s most famous cities, each bustling with art, fashion, sport and nightlife.
- The UK boasts many of the world’s top universities and has excellent academic standards.
The UK’s oldest universities opened their doors nearly 1000 years ago, and the country’s reputation for academic excellence is nearly as ancient. Not only does that history keep the UK’s academics on the straight and narrow path towards absolute rigour and integrity, is encourages them to keep innovating and seeking better ways to learn in order to add to that history and not merely rest upon it.
As a result, UK universities have been among the highest ranked in the world ever since formal ranking bean. That tradition continues today. In 2018 the Times Higher Education World Rankings named the top ten universities in the world, and three of them were in the UK, including both the number one and number two universities in the world – not surprisingly Oxford and Cambridge. That representation is the same at all scales as well. The UK claims seven of the top 50 universities worldwide, and 32 of the top 200.
One of the reasons for that continued excellence is the UK government’s insistence on the highest standards. The UK boasts 162 universities and higher education institutions which have official authority to grand degrees. This list of Recognised Bodies is updated every year, ensuring that those standards never slip.
- As a result of all this, a UK education can be expected to work for you once you graduate.
UK degrees are respected in nearly every part of the world. Even if you don’t intend to live and work in the UK, that UK degree you’ll carry home will open many doors for you. Employers know a UK education is a quality one. All else being equal, they are likely to choose a UK educated employee than one with a less prestigious degree as well. Simply put, employers will know that you worked hard and received what you’ll need to succeed in life at a UK institution.
It is more than just prestige, though. Your time in the UK really will improve the way you approach your career and your life. Not only will you be challenged academically and encouraged to develop to the best of your potential, you’ll have many opportunities to grow as a person as well.
The QS global survey of graduate employers is a great resource for students, as it gives you great insight into what potential employers are looking for in new hires. The survey shows that employers all over the world place great faith in UK degrees in a wide range of different industries, and across the public, private and not for profit economic sectors.
The UK is also among the world’s top 5 countries for industry-university collaboration. That means you’ll be able to develop more practical skills while you are still at school, and have the chance to graduate with real world working experience – something all employers respect.
In short, a UK education is a great way to start nearly any career, anywhere in the world. It will start you off on the right foot both academically and professionally, and gives you great opportunities for personal growth.