Studying at a prestigious university in England is a dream for many Indian students. The launch of the Graduate Route visa in July 2021 offers a two-year period for students to stay and work in England adds substantially to the attraction of a UK degree.
According to the British High Commission, from September 2020 to September 2021, the UK issued more than double the number of student visas for Indian students than it did during the same period in the previous year.
But before students set out to apply to their dream universities, they must formulate a robust strategy to meet the entry criteria for the UK’s world-leading institutions. These are the following components students should consider:
1. English Language is a prerequisite for studying in the UK
A key component of this strategy is the ability to demonstrate their English language skills to the respective universities. The UK’s world-ranked universities are known for their quality of teaching and research.
Students are graded not only on their performance in exams, but also through a combination of methods like assignments, group work, all of which require an excellent command of the English language.
Therefore, students must prepare for a standard English language test like the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE to secure an offer of admission.
2. Apply early and keep a note of the deadlines to unlock access to bursaries and scholarships
Before students embark on their journey to study in England, they also need to account for various costs apart from just the tuition fees, accommodation and food. Therefore, access to scholarship opportunities and funding is crucial for self-funded Indian students.
UK institutions offer a range of scholarships and bursaries for postgraduate and undergraduate courses, especially to support applicants during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meritorious applicants should also keep a lookout for external funding opportunities such as the Chevening and the Great Scholarships that are offered by the British Council. For postgraduate students, the application process should start at least nine months in advance i.e by January 2022 if you are targeting the Fall or the October 2022 intake.
For undergraduate students, it is worth completing the UCAS application before 26 January 2022 for targeting the September entry. Early application, allows course selectors to process and review essays, references and personal statements comfortably and recommend scholarships accordingly.
3. Get accurate and timely information regarding student life in the UK
UK institutions invest an incredible number of resources into offering world-leading facilities and infrastructure to their students. A good way to keep abreast of recent developments on campus is by following the social media handles of the institutions.
As a prospective student, these platforms give you the opportunity to embrace the campus culture virtually and prepare for the UK’s student and social life well in advance.
They are also often full of useful advice to make sure students make the most out of their study experience.
4. Plan for Covid-related restrictions or travel regulations
The university you are applying to should also provide regular updates via email and have lots of information on their website to keep you informed about the latest situation. Always check their website regularly before you set off and watch out for new emails.
Since Indians now account for the second-highest number of sponsored UK study visa grants, Students should plan well in advance and seek professional advice for applying for a UK student visa.
It is essential to also have enough funds to pay for the NHS health surcharge and to make a deposit to the university to receive a CAS letter after receiving an offer.