To be or not to be in the United Kingdom to pursue higher education, that is the question.
Is this one of your most important questions and are you still pondering over its answer?
Questions like these do not have a right or a wrong answer. So, here are the pros and cons of studying in the UK that will help you make a decision.
UK universities are known for their high pedigree and the world-class education they provide. They are considered to be on par with their American counterparts and are revered all over the world for the research opportunities they provide.
While people think of Oxford and Cambridge when reminded of top universities, those are not the only universities to feature among the best globally. 35 of the UK universities rank among the top 300 of the world, positioning it second only to the USA.
Also read our article on the top 10 universities in the world based on the Times Higher Education ranking featuring 3 UK universities in the top 10.
While the UK has many impressive universities, not all universities are known to provide many course options. Unlike American universities, you will not have the option to branch out from the subject you took in your undergraduate. You will have to continue further with the same subject and develop its knowledge in the Masters. Also, the UK provides a 1 year Masters program unlike the 2 year courses in the USA. Compressing a 2 year Masters course into 1 year can be a bit of information overload to a few people.
If you want to continue in the same field you have specialized in your undergraduate, then the UK universities will be excellent for you.
UK universities are famous for their 1-year master’s degree. It offers the same value as any 2-year Masters degree around the world. In addition to being globally accepted, the shorter degree provides you a quicker entry into the job market at half the expense in terms of tuition fees and living expenses.
Even though it seems logical to do a 1 year Masters course and save on another year’s tuition fees and living expenses, it is not accepted by Indian universities and public sector employers.
If you are looking to come back to India after completing a Masters and pursue your Ph.D. from an Indian university or take up a government job, then a Master’s degree from the UK is probably not for you. However, if you would like to take advantage of its shorter degree and get valuable work experience through its 2-year Post Study Work Rights, you can choose to study in the UK without a doubt. This 1-year degree and work experience you acquire will be accepted globally and by private employers in India as well.
Students looking to pursue Masters in the UK have a number of options to finance their education or at least reduce the burden. In addition to the universities providing their own individual scholarships and grants, the UK government also provides financial assistance to international students. Some of the financial options available are university funding, scholarships, bursaries, private grants, and charities. In addition to these, you can also work part-time for 20 hours per week and look for jobs for up to 2 years post-graduation to ease your financial burden.
Compared to other countries, the tuition fees and living expenses in the UK are significantly more. 1 pound works out to 102 INR at the time of writing this also makes life difficult for Indian students in the UK.
In spite of having high tuition fees and living costs, the shorter degree will help cut down your overall degree finances to an extent. Also, given the innumerable scholarship options, it is possible to accomplish your study abroad dreams in the UK without breaking a sweat. On the whole, compared to the high expenditure on studying in the UK, the Return on Investment (ROI) you will gain after graduating and finding a job is worth it.
Unlike other countries, your IELTS can be waived off if you secure more than 70% in your 10th and 12th grade if your medium of instruction is English for your last 4 years of study. In addition to this, studying in a country where English is the primary language will boost your English speaking and communication skill which is of utmost importance in the job market these days.
Even if your IELTS is waived off, you are expected to possess good English Language skills in order to acquire your study visa and gain entry into the UK. In addition to this, you will have to deal with many accents of English like the Irish, Scottish, and Welsh while in the UK. It is believed that there is a change of accent every 25 miles in the UK.
While it might be a little overwhelming in the beginning to understand new accents, you will eventually get used to the language. Over the course of time, your English Language skills will improve.
As the UK has ruled over many colonies, it has acquired a lot of cultural diversification in addition to staying true to its own culture. As a result, you will get to experience distinct cultures, traditions, food, music, sport and much more during your study time in the UK.
If you are not up for experiencing new things in life then you are in for a culture shock. Right from the food you get to eat, to the accent and sophisticated etiquette, everything will come off as a shock to you.
Though things are different in the UK for us Indians, the culture shock is less drastic when compared to the USA. Give it some time and before you know it, you will be integrated into their culture.
Want to read more? Check out our explainer on the difference between studying in the UK and Canada.
If you have trouble making a decision and need more clarity, feel free to contact our student support team, who will work with you to bring the clarity you need.
All the best!
Ubergrad.com is a D-I-Y (Do-It-Yourself) study abroad platform that is democratizing the way students APPLY and ENROLL at top universities overseas for graduate studies. You don't need to go to any person/agency for help. You can do it all by yourself from the comfort of your home !!
In case, you need help at any stage of the process – from ‘shortlisting’ universities to finally ‘enrolling’ at your chosen university abroad, Ubergrad's Expert Counsellors are always available and are just a phone call away (Book a call by clicking on "Talk to Ubergrad Counsellor" button).