The demand for education in the United Kingdom has skyrocketed over the past few years, thanks to the United Kingdoms’s world-class infrastructure, globally recognised schools and opportunities for graduates. GSP’s Regional Manager in India, Nikita Gupta, who has been working in the international education industry for close to a decade now, can speak about this; based on her observations and experience, the UK is the ideal destination for students who are looking to study abroad to pursue a degree that is recognised internationally. Nikita was focused on Australia in the early stages of her career, but she has worked with education agencies and students keen to study in the UK. Nikita has gained heaps of insights into the UK as a destination for international students. In this article, Nikita answers some of the most important and frequently asked questions about assisting students with their application to a university in the UK.
What is the average student cycle from enquiry to commencement?
The first step to take when a student expresses an interest in studying in the UK is to counsel the student on the best university and course based on his/her requirements. On average, it takes around three-four weeks to secure an offer letter from a UK university. Once an offer is received, they then need to submit the financial documents to the university to receive the Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), which can take another two-three weeks. Once the CAS is procured, the visa is filed. The UK has a priority student visa category. So, in total, around three to four months is the average period from enquiry to visa lodging.
What are the challenges and benefits unique to the UK?
There are no major challenges when it comes to studying in the UK particularly. Some students may face a few challenges around fitting in and understanding the new culture, feeling lonely and homesick, difficulty in learning how to juggle their time between studying and a part-time job, making new friends, and of course, adjusting to the climate. But the good part is that all these challenges are temporary and can be resolved with a little hand-holding and support, which now all the universities make sure that they provide to international students.
Other benefits of studying in the UK are the availability of part-time jobs which is generally a great help for international students to meet their day-to-day expenses, an opportunity to apply for a post-study work permit, shorter course duration, and friendly government policies.
What is the biggest factor influencing a student’s decision to study in the UK?
When choosing a study abroad destination, students should consider multiple factors — not just where their friends are going. Other factors to consider include budget, university rankings, course availability, climate, proximity, and teaching quality. Another important factor to consider when deciding on the course offerings of a UK university is the students’ needs and interests. Students should conduct a needs analysis to determine the course offering that matches their requirements.
Any advice for agents?
Before promoting the advantages of studying in the UK, you first need to understand what’s keeping them from signing up. Communication is crucial and being able to listen to the students’ needs enables them to offer the right course and university. Never try to push what you want, but rather, find out what the students want and give them options based on their needs. Make them aware of both the pros and cons of living in a new country and working and studying at the same time so that students are well-prepared and ready to face the challenges. Lastly, transparency is the most important factor to which we at GSP always adhere to. We understand that each student has a unique need, and we make sure that the students are aware of what they are getting themselves into.
Interested in sending your students to the United Kingdom? Speak to us to book an appointment with our regional marketing managers like Nikita and you’ll be on your way to sending your students to study in the UK soon.