Every year there takes place almost a mass exodus of Asian students, who leave their native shores for the pursuit of higher studies in Europe and America. One of their favourite destinations happens to be the United Kingdom.
For many would-be students this is actually quite a daunting experience. Many university and college application forms are not as user-friendly as they could be,as a result the students end up confused.
If you have received a prospectus or other information from a university or college you will probably have received an application form as well (for postgraduate not undergraduate students). If they didn't send you one, you should question how serious they are about taking you as a student! Many institutions now have their application forms on their web site, and you should be able to download a form or even apply electronically.
Alternatively, you should be able to get an application form from your local British Council office. The Education Counselling Service (ECS) will have a variety of forms - institutions own forms, standard ECS forms for either postgraduate or undergraduate study.
Some universities and colleges also have what they call a pre-application form. This is so that potential undergraduate students can make an application to the institution in advance of submitting an application form. This is a quick way to find out whether your chosen university or college is able to offer you a place.
Before you travel to the UK, you must have a valid passport (or a valid national identity card if you are an EEA national). In some countries, it may take several months to obtain a passport, so don't leave this to the last minute. You may also need to arrange 'entry clearance' - permission to enter the UK - in advance.
There are two different types of entry clearance:
If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA), you'll need to check that you fulfil the following requirements in order to enter the UK as a student:
Course fees vary a great deal from one university to another, and different courses at the same university can charge different fees. For example, a one-year master's course in computing at Sheffield University costs £2,840. At the University of Essex the fees are £3,395, while at the London School of Economics, master's course fees are a minimum £6,288 and most are £9,684. MBA degrees at all institutions generally cost more, typically between £7,500 and £20,000. Research degrees including PhDs and MPhils attract annual fees in the region of £2,700.
Most universities offer some bursaries for PG students. These may be tied to one department or held centrally. It is always worth asking the institution course organiser and registrar whether they have any suitable bursaries for which you might apply.
The Directory of Grant-making Trusts and The Grants Register, both available in good careers libraries, provide an excellent source of organisations that provide funding for a vast range of activities. If you find one that matches your circumstances an application for funding is definitely worthwhile. Most offer hundreds rather than thousands of pounds. An approach to your local Rotary Club may also be fruitful.
To get a student visa you need to contact your local British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. Complete the form carefully, and then submit it to your local British Embassy or High Commission along with the following: