Why do international students choose the UK?

International students in Sheffield city

There are more than 300,000 international students studying in the UK right now. London alone is home to over 100,000 international students from over 200 different nations, more than in any other city in the world.

So what makes the UK so popular? From its stellar educational standards to its rich, multicultural society, there are lots of reasons why international graduates call their study time in the UK the best experience of their life and it's the same story throughout the country.

Always at the forefront of research and discovery

Whether its arts and humanities or science and engineering, the UK has played a uniquely important part in the development of a range of subjects. Giving us innovations and discoveries as varied and as life-changing as the NHS, the jet engine, the telephone, television and the world wide web, the UK’s thirst for knowledge takes some beating.

Still at the forefront of research, development and teaching, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council gives more than £850 million to new projects every year, the Science and Technology Facilities Council gives £500 million a year, while the Arts and Humanities Research Council offers around 700 new research awards and 1,500 postgraduate awards worth more than £60 million each year, in subjects including literature, languages, archaeology and philosophy.

Renowned teaching standards

The UK is home to some of the world’s best and longest-established universities, colleges and business schools. According to the latest QS rankings, four of the top six universities in the world are based here. It’s a country with a tradition of academic excellence, where teaching standards are second to none. The qualifications you gain in the UK are recognised globally, allowing your career to progress successfully overseas as well as within Britain itself.

Teaching methods

Teaching methods in the UK allow international students to expand their study skills and experience new ways of learning. There’s a modern approach to teaching here, favouring a mix of hands-on, practical learning alongside traditional classroom teaching. Increasingly, the online world is being used to educate too, with distance learning and blended learning courses allowing more students than ever to benefit from British teaching, be it full-time, part-time, on-campus or from home.

Lots of opportunities

Students in the UK are given unique opportunities to learn from professionals and make industry connections. According to the UK government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the UK ranks second in the world for collaboration between universities and businesses. So, no matter what sector you study in, you’ll find opportunities to reach and make the most of your learning.

Throughout your studies you’ll be making connections with students, tutors and mentors from all over the world that will open doors for you and your career post-graduation.

Welcoming to international students

The UK has a long tradition of welcoming international students into its schools, universities and colleges. It’s reassuring to know that you’re coming to a country that fully understands the unique dreams, hopes, needs and worries of students from overseas, and has support mechanisms in place to help you when you need it most. It’s why universities like the University of Sheffield have an International College – to specifically help international students get the best British education possible – and have a great time in the UK while they’re here.

Improve your English language skills

English is fast-becoming the global language, used increasingly in the worlds of business and politics. There’s no quicker way to strengthen your English language skills than to use it every day – and if you choose to study in the UK, you’ll have no choice! You’ll surprise yourself at just how quickly your English language skills improve once you’ve started to study in English and live in an English-speaking country.