The United Kingdom is a popular study abroad destination for students from Africa, Commonwealth countries and the European Union.
Why do students choose to study abroad in UK? They are attracted by the cultural diversity and the cosmopolitan vibes of the cities. They are also inspired by the iconic historical landmarks found in London, Oxford and Cambridge. And sports fans will be awed by the Wimbledon, the English Premier League and the Lord’s cricket ground. The top UK universities are well-known for their world-class education and high student satisfaction.These factors alone is a strong pull for students to study overseas in UK.
Why study overeas in UK? University qualifications from UK are well-recognised in Commonwealth countries because of historical ties.
There are around 120 universities in the UK comprising England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. To study overseas in UK, you must choose the right university and the right course in order to get the best experience for your study abroad in UK investment.
The top UK universities are known for their academic excellence and tradition. For example, Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, UCL and Imperial College are famous worldwide. The history of UK higher education spans a few centuries, a period of time longer than the history of United States. In fact, graduates of the older UK universities went on to found top US universities like Harvard and Yale. This fact alone makes UK a popular study abroad destination for many overseas students.
As a first step to studying overseas in UK, you need to apply for your desired universities through UCAS, the UK central organization that processes applications for full-time undergraduate programs at UK universities and colleges. UCAS stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. For non-European Union countries like Singapore, the application process starts on 1 September each year and will end formally on 30 June the following year. In the month of July, all late applications will go into the UCAS clearing scheme where students are matched to universities with vacancies. Every applicant can apply to five UK universities. However, you cannot apply to both Oxford and Cambridge. You have to choose between the two top universities. Also bear in mind that Oxford University and Cambridge University are made up of independent colleges and you have to apply directly to the college which will make the admission decision. Oxford University has 38 colleges and 6 permanent private halls (PPH) and Cambridge University has 31 colleges. Both universities also accept a student application going into a central pool if the student cannot decide which college to apply to. However, the chances may be weaker compared with someone who applies directly to a college. This is a minor complication for students who want to study abroad in UK as the Oxbridge’s collegiate system is unique in the world.
The UCAS works on a tariff system where numerical score is allocated to a range of academic qualifications and attainments and establishing a comparable value between them and allowing the aggregation of scores from many different qualifications.
To get full information on the UCAS tariffs, visit www.ucas.com. For example, you may want to know the tariff value of your academic qualifications for admission to a certain UK university.
Unlike the United States, UK universities do not usually require America-originated tests like SAT, GRE, TOEFL or GMAT. Therefore the admission process is less onerous.
However, for some programs like law, medicine, biomedical sciences, an admission test is usually administered by a central body or by the respective universities.
To study overseas in UK, take note of the university terms and semesters which follow this format, with variations from university to university.
Autumn Term : September / October to mid-December
Spring Term : Mid-January to mid-March
Summer Term : April/ May to June/July
Annual tuition fees for undergraduate courses range from 8000 pound (UK/EU students) to 14,000 pound for international students. Tuition fees for medical courses are higher due to lab and clinical costs – the range is between 27,000 to 39,000 pound per year. The UK Visa & Immigration department require students to have a budget of at least 1,265 pound per month for living expenses.
To study abroad in UK, you need to know the top UK universities – the Russell Group:-
The Russell Group represents the top 24 research-intensive universities in the UK.
These universities are widely regarded to be best in the UK in terms of academic excellence and student quality. Most of them are also featured in the annual top rankings of The Times Good University Guide and Edupoll
University of Birmingham
University of Bristol
University of Cambridge
University of Exeter
University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
Imperial College London
King’s College London
University of Leeds
University of Liverpool
London School of Economics and Political Science
University of Manchester
University of Nottingham
Queen’s University, Belfast
Queen Mary, University of London
University of Oxford
University of Sheffield
University of Southampton
University College London
University of Warwick
For more information, visit: www.russellgroup.ac.uk
If you plan to study in Ireland, you should also check out this excellent Study Abroad in Ireland portal at: www.educationireland.com. It provides comprehensive information on fees, course admission criteria, student finance, scholarships, visa and living costs.
For Singaporean students who are keen to embark on careers in the Singapore government, they may apply for a PSC Scholarship to study in the UK. PSC Scholarships are for promising young men and women who want to serve in the public sector. Successful candidates will be bonded for 6 years upon graduation. To apply for a PSC Scholarship, visit their website at: www.pscscholarships.gov.sg
Eligibility Criteria for PSC Scholarship Application Singapore
Students with GCE A-levels should generally offer at least 10 Academic Units (AUs). General Paper (GP), Project Work (PW), Mother Tongue Language (MTL) at A-level or Higher MTL at O-level, and other H1 subjects are considered as 1 AU.
H2 subjects, including Knowledge and Inquiry (KI), are considered as 2 AUs.
H3 subjects are considered as 1 AU.
Applicants with H3 subjects will not have an advantage over others, as H3 subjects only serve to provide an indication of the students’ interest and aptitude in a particular subject.
Students with qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), NUS High School and polytechnic diplomas are also eligible to apply for PSC Scholarships.
President’s Scholarships are awarded to selected PSC Scholarship holders as an added recognition. A President’s Scholarship in Singapore carries no monetary value.