435,500 international students chose the UK as their study destination in 2013-2014. Home to some of the highest ranked universities in the world, Britain has long held a reputation as an academic leader. Multicultural, vibrant, offering qualifications that are recognised globally - it’s easy to see why 18% of the UK’s student population is international.
Studying overseas can open up your career horizons, help you to develop your language skills and provide you with memories and experiences that will last a lifetime. Are you thinking of taking your career and educational goals to the next level? Here’s why you should choose the UK to study abroad.
1) Quality of education
UK learning institutions consistently rank among the best in the world. Four of the world’s top six universities are in the UK  and qualifications from British universities are internationally valued and recognised. At centres of learning like the University of Sheffield, you’ll be taught by the world's leading academics and experts, feeling assured that your qualification will take you wherever you want to venture post-graduation.
2) Britain is a research leader
The UK is a world-leading research nation. It currently undertakes 5% of the world’s scientific research and produces 14% of the world’s most frequently cited papers. According to the Research Assessment Exercise, 54% of the research conducted by UK universities and colleges is either 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.
And if you’re hoping to develop your research career and travel too then choosing the UK to study abroad will stand you in good stead for the future. According to a UK Government report, the UK researcher population is highly mobile internationally. Almost 63% of researchers that are or have been affiliated with UK institutions have also published articles while working at institutions outside the UK.
3) Career opportunities
Increasingly, employers are looking for multilingual candidates with multicultural experience. Higher education in the UK gives you the opportunity to experience a range of cultures and languages, both at university and in the workplace. Major cities in the UK like Sheffield, London, Birmingham and Glasgow are home to multinational companies with plenty of opportunities for global career development and experience.
As well as broadening your career choices post-graduation, when you choose the UK to study abroad you’re also more likely to increase your post-graduate salary. According to the Tracking International Graduate Outcomes survey by BIS, UK-educated international graduates achieve markedly higher average salaries than in their home country.
4) Learning style
Choose the UK to study abroad and you’ll benefit from shorter courses that can help you to save on tuition fees and study costs. The majority of undergraduate degree courses take three years to complete, although in Scotland it would be typically four years and postgraduate courses can be from one year upwards.
Degree programmes in the UK are also very flexible, allowing you to blend vocational and academic training. Degrees can be tailored to suit your interests and educational goals with specialist modules.
5) Lots of support
With a long history of teaching international students, the UK’s educational institutions offer lots of specialist support. International colleges like the one at the University of Sheffield offer degree preparation courses that give overseas students the necessary academic and language understanding to succeed at university. Highly experienced international colleges like these are designed to help international students every step of the way, from the application process right through to finding employment.
6) Earn while you learn
You can help to cut the cost of your course, make new friends and gain valuable work experience by taking on a part-time job whilst you study in the UK. Typically, international students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during holidays. If you are from an EU country, there will be even more flexibility. You can find out more about the conditions for working on the UK Border Agency website and also on the UK Council for International Student Affairs website.
Learning English opens doors to a global career. Choose the UK to study abroad and you’ll be learning English from day one of your studies. There’s no better or faster way to strengthen your English language skills than to speak it every day. As the official ‘language of business’, developing your English will make you an even more attractive candidate to businesses worldwide.