If you decide on studying for a degree at a UK-based university, you will be making a good decision for your future career and prospects. Degrees from higher education institutions within the UK are world-renowned and highly sought after. A degree from a UK university will strengthen your CV, and regardless of the subject you plan to study, it will increase your chances of securing employment. British universities are well known for pushing the boundaries of creativity, and for their high standards of research and critical thinking. Many UK-based universities are ranked very highly in university league tables, offering students access to and the opportunity to be taught by some of the most highly regarded experts in their fields. The UK is also a diverse place to study and a multicultural country that many international students call home during their studies. On campus, you will find many different cultures, and can mix with all kinds of people from around the world, expanding your network while having a life-changing learning experience. Here are some more reasons why studying at a UK university is a great decision for international students.
1.UK institutions use innovative teaching methods to enhance students’ experiences
When you study at any UK university, such as Bangor University, you'll have access to a variety of engaging teaching methods such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and work placements to practice your skills and enhance your learning experience.
Some courses at Bangor University will involve fieldwork, locally, in the Snowdonia National Parkor on the shores of the Menai Straits, but also potentially anywhere in the world, while others may require more time in the library or laboratory. Whatever the course, it is important for you to have access to excellent facilities and inspiring teachers, and you will at all times. This is because Bangor University is ranked in the top 40 in the UK for research (REF 2014). This world-leading research informs and inspires much of the teaching at the university, so your course content will always be contemporary and inspiring.
To boost your employability, you can also choose to do a placement as part of almost all undergraduate degrees, adding an experiential element to your learning so you can practice what you have learned in the classroom. Bangor University also has modern lecture theatres, state-of-the-art labs and libraries with social learning spaces, so you'll have the facilities you need to take your learning to the next level. The School of Natural Sciences boasts cutting-edge laboratories and analysis equipment, a botanical garden, research farm, animal care facilities, aquariums, growth rooms and greenhouses, and even a fully stocked natural history museum. All of this is used frequently by students and research teams, and you will be encouraged to use it, too.
In the School of Ocean Sciences, undergraduate students will have the opportunity to go out on the university ship, understanding the equipment and safety protocols. Similarly, undergraduates from the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science will have the opportunity to use the “clean room”. These are important practical experiences, which will be viewed positively by potential employers.
Bangor University has one of the oldest and largest psychology departments in the UK, with a dedicated tutor to support international students. The department is part of the School of Human and Behavioural Sciences, facilities within the school include an MRI scanner, ECG facilities, two physiology laboratories, a dual energy x–ray absorptionmetry room, underwater weighing room and a climatic chamber. Its world-class researchers and lecturers have also applied their knowledge to devise innovative and creative learning experiences. Students have the opportunity to attend human brain dissections, run marathons and face a zombie apocalypse, all in the name of science.
In addition to your regular timetable, you can also attend academic lectures by guest speakers. For example, well-known TV presenter and explorer, Steve Backshall, teaches students about conservation, zoology and the wildlife filming industry. Combining all of these learning opportunities and practical experiences is key to inspiring students to engage and thrive while they study at Bangor University.
2.From the first week of campus life, UK institutions offer students personal tutors to support them academically and personally
Personal tutoring is a distinctive feature of higher education in the UK, with many institutions giving students both campus life and learning support during their degree placements. At Edge Hill University, for example, every student is provided with a personal tutor, who takes an interest in them as an individual and who offers guidance on their overall academic progress and personal and professional development.
International students at Edge Hill University are allocated their own personal tutor with two distinct and equally important aspects to their role. Firstly, they give academic guidance to enable students to make the most of their time at Edge Hill University and fully develop their personal capital. A student’s time at university is a very important part of their personal development. It influences and changes the way they think about their subject and the world in general. As an Edge Hill student, you will gain new skills and knowledge, and develop abilities, questioning your own attitudes, and those of others. Sometimes, students can get preoccupied with details of academic work in modules, but it is very important to see the wider picture of your development and actively plan to take advantage of everything your university offers.
Secondly, personal tutors offer pastoral guidance and referral for students to ensure appropriate and rapid resolution of problems and smooth transitions. Each personal tutor will help you to understand the support that is available through student, careers and learning services, and will act as an advocate to help you navigate any complexities of the university system. It is beneficial for you to have an informal talk with your personal tutor so that you will be able to build trust and a good relationship with them. In this way, if any issues do arise, you will feel more comfortable talking to them.
To encourage students to reflect on their development and record their achievements, Edge Hill University has developed personal development planning and a range of activities that are designed to assist students in growing employability skills in readiness for their future careers. Personal tutors will discuss these with students so that they can take charge of their career progression.
3.UK institutions provide international students with ongoing language and academic support for better study experiences
As an international student, you'll be coming to the UK from another country, and English may not be your first language. Thankfully, UK universities offer language and academic support to international students during their degrees.
International students heading to Keele University for example are supported throughout the entire duration of their studies. We know that academic English language skills are different from general English skills, and the university's goal is to help you engage successfully with your degree programme whilst at the same time helping you to develop key communication skills for life outside the classroom, as well as in the workplace. Academic English skills include writing academic essays, reports, dissertations or lab reports, giving different types of academic presentations, taking part in academic discussions, understanding academic conventions such as referencing, and enhancing your independent study skills.
If you don’t yet have the right level of English language to attend Keele University, you can enrol on one of its pre-sessional academic English programmes. This will allow you to develop the initial skills you need. You will also find a full range of credit-bearing academic English modules that are available to you throughout your entire programme at Keele. These modules are tailored to the subject you are studying, and there are modules for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as modules aimed specifically at research students. When you arrive, you will be required to take a short diagnostic assessment so that the university can identify the best type of support for you.
All international students at Keele are also dedicated to bookable, online 1-1 tutorials. You can book a 30-minute appointment (or longer if necessary) to discuss any language-related issues. Because these are online, it means you can communicate from anywhere in the world, and receive help with aspects such as referencing, summarising, practising for a presentation, working on pronunciation and so on. That said, you won't be able to get someone to proofread your work. Keele has developed a range of online self-study guided learning tutorials, and these can be accessed at any time from anywhere – helping you to understand key skills such as essay writing, avoiding plagiarism and giving presentations.
If you are an international student thinking of coming to the UK to study for a degree, you may be wondering what makes Britain such a special place to study. UK institutions give international students life-changing study experiences thanks to the UK's diverse culture, world-renowned academic support, ongoing language support, innovative teaching methods and world-class facilities. Regardless of the subject, you have chosen to study, you will be well-supported both academically and personally at a UK university, so that you can reach your full potential.
For more information, you can visit the Bangor University, Edge Hill University and Keele University websites.
Bangor University: https://www.bangor.ac.uk/
Edge Hill University: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/
Keele University: https://www.keele.ac.uk/