The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain) is a sovereign state off the north-western coast of continental Europe. It spans an archipelago that includes the island of Great Britain, the northeastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, and the Irish Sea.
Students normally enter University from 18 onwards and study for an Academic Degree. All undergraduate education outside the private University of Buckingham is largely state financed, with a small contribution from top-up fees. The state does not control syllabuses, but it does influence admission procedures. Unlike most degrees, the state still has control over teacher training courses, and uses Ofsted inspectors to maintain standards.The typical first degree offered at British universities is the Bachelor’s degree (typically three years). Many institutions now offer an undergraduate Master’s degree as a first degree, typically lasting four years. During a first degree students are known as undergraduates. The difference in fees between undergraduate and traditional postgraduate Master’s degrees (and the possibility of securing LEA funding for the former) makes taking an undergraduate Master’s degree as a first degree a more attractive option, although the novelty of undergraduate Master’s degrees means that the relative educational merit of the two is currently unclear.
Some universities offer a vocationally-based Foundation degree, typically two years in length for those students who hope to continue to take a first degree but wish to remain in employment.
UK universities provide internationally recognised qualifications of the highest standard. They also offer more opportunities than ever before: there are currently over 55,000 postgraduate taught courses and research opportunities to choose from on the Prospects database alone.
World-class teaching – Delivering academic excellence and a high quality and standard of UK qualifications is guaranteed through the work of various official bodies, such as the The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) . Research standards are examined by the Research Assessment Exercise , which publishes its findings every five years. The results of all these assessments are freely available on the internet. Information on quality assurance and assessments is also available from the Higher Education Funding Councils.
International tradition – In 2008/9 there were 139,095 students from outside the EEA studying postgraduate courses at UK institutions. The quality of UK degrees is one reason why so many people come to the UK to study. Another is value for money. Unlike equivalent programmes in the United States or Australia, most UK Masters programmes can be completed in one year.
The language of business – A major advantage of studying in the UK is the opportunity to perfect your knowledge of the English language – one of the most important skills in the international business world. If you are from outside the EU, especially if you are studying a commercial subject, you may well appreciate the opportunity to observe at first hand the operation of the European market.
A warm welcome – In the UK, the level of professional support given to students is just as important as the academic quality. Britain offers more support to international students than any other country, whether it is help with your study skills or assistance with your visa application.
In order to obtain a visa students must be able to prove that they (or their parents) have the funds to pay the full tuition fees, Accommodation and living costs for the duration of their course. Fees for international students vary greatly between institutions.
Tuition fees – between £4,500 and £ 23,000 per annum
Accommodation and living costs (in London) – £7,200 approx. per annum
Accommodation and living costs (Out of London) – £5,400 approx. per annum