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Want to study abroad in the UK?

date:Mar 22,2013 source:互联网 editorial staff:linan clicks:

On paper, the UK’s appeal as a place to study can sometimes appear to verge on mystifying. The weather is miserable, its cuisine is roundly mocked by the rest of Europe, it’s crowded and it’s expensive.
However, this is not enough to keep the international students away. In fact, British Council figures show that the number of international students studying in the UK at graduate level is continuing to rise. In the five years between the 2006-07 and the 2010-11 academic years, the number of taught graduates rose from 134,950 to 178,550, and the number of research students went from 50,525 to 58,345.
“At [graduate level], international students make up the majority in certain subject areas; for example 90% of graduate taught students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects are international,” reveals Pat Killingley, the British Council’s Director of Higher Education.
Elite universities
Of course, there are plenty of positive factors which cancel out the negative. In terms of music, art, literature, film, and fashion, for example, the UK remains a global superpower. Its long established ties with nations all over the globe means that it offers a lively multicultural milieu, and it remains a political and economic powerhouse.
These factors all help to draw in students, drawn to fashionable London, cultured Edinburgh, the vibrant music scene of cities in the north of England and the charming picturesque historical university towns which pepper the nation.
But while all this helps, a glance at the QS World University Rankings reveals the UK’s trump card: its universities. No other country other than the US, which we must remember is considerably larger, can boast greater representation in the rankings. And like the US, the UK can lay claim to a concentration of universities in the top 200, including the ultra-prestigious Universities of Cambridge, one of only three universities to top the ranking, and Oxford.
Oxford or Cambridge?
A two-way street
For students looking to study at elite institutions with strong research profiles, under the wings of internationally renowned academics, the UK is an obvious choice.

But, Killingley explains, it’s a two way street: “A reduction [in the number of international students] would threaten the UK’s long term research base. International students are very important to the UK.
"Not just in terms of contributions through tuition fees – in the longer term, the presence of highly ambitious, career-orientated international students creates vital opportunities for forming international partnerships, developing commercial opportunities, and exploring new markets that the UK would otherwise miss out on.”
International students, she argues, enrich UK universities, benefitting local students too, by exposing them to new and different ways of thinking. It is precisely this factor which motivated Erkin Koray, from Turkey, to choose to do his master’s degree in international relations at Manchester University.
“My initial decision to study in the UK as an international relations student was related to both in the sense of students and lecturers having benefited from international perspectives about international politics, relations, and affairs. Such diversity in this country, both on a societal basis and at the universities, is something every social science student looks for.”
Fees and visas
Studying in the UK at graduate level is not cheap. Tuition rates are set individually by universities and will vary from course to course. EU students pay the same as local students, so around £4000 (roughly US$6,500) a year, while those from further afield can expect to pay in the region of £9,000-£18,000 (roughly US$15,000-30,000) depending on their disciple. Fees for certain research degrees for non-EU students can even reach £30,000 annually (close to US$50,000).
However, when considering costs, bear in mind that graduate degrees in the UK tend to be short. Master’s degrees tend to last a single year, and some PhDs can be completed in a little as three.
There is also the possibility of getting funding, particularly at PhD level: “The UK is home to seven research councils,” explains Killingley, “which between them have a budget of nearly UK£3 billion (close to US$5 billion) a year in grants which helps fund numerous graduate programs and research projects.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England, meanwhile, donates millions of pounds to various research and graduate work schemes and to organizations such as the [National Health Service].” Many universities, she adds, offer their own internal funding, so it’s certainly worth doing some research.
Students from outside the EU will need visas. The usual conditions – having enough money to support yourself (£600 a month, rising to £800 in London –roughly equivalent to US$940-1,250), fluency in English, and a place at university – apply.
Excitement, fun and creativity

When choosing a study destination, it is important to think about if you’ll be happy there in your day-to-day life. Luckily, the country has a lot to offer in this respect, as Killingley explains.
“The UK is bursting with energy and has a fascinating heritage ready to explore. As an international student you’ll fit straight into the UK’s multicultural society, ready to enjoy a student life full of excitement, fun and creativity.
"As the UK is such a cosmopolitan society, you’ll find that many UK customs may be already familiar to you – so you’ll be able to settle in fast.
“The UK’s rich culture and outstanding achievements in the creative arts is accessible to all,” she continues, “with many museums and galleries free to visit.
"Our education system is renowned across the world for its quality and commitment to helping students develop independent thought, which has made the UK the world’s second most popular destination for international students.
"As the UK is relatively small, with good transport infrastructure you really can explore the nation while you are here, and find examples of the UK’s global role in every corner.”
So there you have it: an interesting and welcoming nation which is home to some of the world’s best universities. And the food? Well, thanks in part to the large immigrant population, the days of boiled beef are long gone.


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