The UK has seen a 63% increase in the number of incoming Indian students. That number has been growing consistently over the past few years, and given the new post-study work visa policy, a higher number of Indian students are likely to choose the UK for their education. Be it to get a good education and return to their home country, get a global job opportunity, or start an entrepreneurial venture in any part of the world, the mix of Indian students choosing the UK is diverse, with one common denominator – trust in the UK’s education system and the opportunities thereon.
A good education, especially a foreign education, is a long-term investment. And like all other investments, the intent is to get a high return on the investment made. The UK scores highly on this aspect according to the Indian Graduate Outcomes 2019 study, conducted by Universities UK International (UUKi), which is the collective body representing more than 130 universities from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
As per the study, Indian graduates who have studied in the UK say that they earn above-average salaries in their work life. 51 percent of all Indians graduating from the UK say they make above or well above average. 60 percent of Indian respondents surveyed said they were in their current jobs because it was exactly the type of work they wanted to do, with 82 percent saying they are satisfied or very satisfied with their careers.
The feeling is unanimous across all international students in the UK. Globally, 90 percent of UK graduates are satisfied or very satisfied with all aspects of their lives, beyond just careers, with 82 percent of respondents feeling that studying in the UK is worth the investment. Globally, 81 percent of graduates felt they would not have been able to get their job without their UK degree, with 1 in 4 saying that a UK education was the most important thing to their employer.
According to Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International (UUKi), “the job satisfaction of UK graduates is higher, because chances of getting the job of one’s choice markedly increase. I think this also leads to more effective work performance and logically, more recognition for one’s work.”
Let us look at some of the factors that make UK education a smart investment:
Names such as University of Oxford and University of Cambridge do not need an introduction. But the UK has institutions of excellence beyond these two coveted institutions. The UK’s academic excellence is well established and the trust in the UK's education system reflects in many global university rankings that place the UK institutions highly.
The UK is home to 28 of the top 200 universities in the world (according to Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2020) including 4 of the top 10 universities in the world (according to QS World University Rankings, 2020).
The UK’s education system is student-centric and focuses on holistic growth, not just academics. At UK universities, students are encouraged to take part in the many societies offered by the student union and are involved in projects beyond their studies to help them grow as well-rounded individuals. There are many instances of international students finding their true calling outside of the course they had enrolled for, and pursuing their passion with great success assisted by the exposure they received in the UK.
UK’s industry-university collaboration ensures that students have access to work opportunities and enough on-field experience in their respective fields before they enter the global workforce.
The Right Courses!
The length and breadth of the courses offered by UK universities translate into opportunities for students from multiple backgrounds. Be it science, research, engineering, business administration, new technologies (such as AI, Machine Learning and Data Science), or even arts, UK colleges and universities attract students from across the globe.
Apart from full time and part-time courses, UK universities also offer combined degrees, top-up degrees, conversion courses, sandwich courses and integrated degrees which help students learn flexibly and graduate faster while still getting a quality education.
The UK has always been a preferred destination for Indian and international students. However, some of the recent policies by the UK government have made the UK’s offering even stronger for international students. The UK government recently announced a new two-year post-study work visa for international students coming to the UK. The ‘New Graduate Immigration Route’ comes into effect from the academic year 2020-2021 for all undergraduate level and above students and will allow eligible international students to work or look for work in any field for two years after graduation.
The UK also offers the New Graduate Entrepreneurship Route, which enables graduates with a business idea to start their venture in the UK. An investment in entrepreneurship learning is one of the highest return investments in Europe, with research showing that students who gain business learning are three to six times more likely to start a business in the future.
Global exposure is highly beneficial and while the thought of living in the country is very exciting, it can also be slightly daunting for some. But the UK scores well on that parameter as well. London has been named the world’s best city for students for two consecutive years, as per ‘The QS Best Student Cities Ranking’ compiled by global education consultancy QS Quacquarelli Symonds.