International students praise UK’s higher education system

by Ray Clancy on January 2, 2014

International students have been explaining why they rate the UK as a top location for university education and telling about their experiences in the country’s higher education system.

UK London

QS World University Rankings found that UK graduates are among the most employable, with five UK universities ranking in the global top 10

The British Council, the organisation responsible for promoting educational opportunities and cultural relations, points out that employers are increasingly looking for multilingual graduates with multicultural experience and UK universities offer the chance to meet people from all over the world and provides graduates with an excellent introduction to global business environments.

Indeed, the QS World University Rankings found that UK graduates are among the most employable, with employers ranking five UK universities in the global top 10.

Now students have been revealing via the British Council why they decided to study in the UK. According to Mariana Fulgueiras, from Peru who has an MSc in Urban Development Planning from University College London (UCL,) being in the UK means being exposed to an endless variety of experiences and points of view.

‘For me, that has a unique value. On average, my classes had students from more than 20 countries with a myriad of academic and professional backgrounds. Discussions, group work and case analysis took on a different dimension thanks to the diversity of ideas and perspectives of my classmates,’ she said.

‘A constant feature during my time in London was sharp critical thinking. There seems to be a trend of not taking things for granted. Suddenly it was not just thinking outside the box, but also up, down and to the side of it, and even to consider exactly which box we were talking about. The discussions and debates that are generated from unconventional questions and comments were an integral part of my learning process,’ she explained.

Vishali Shyam from India who is studying international business, finance and economics at the University of Manchester, explained that settling in can be a challenge but the multi-cultural and cosmopolitan nature of the city helped.

‘I have had chances to celebrate, meet, socialise and bond with people from various countries, and to learn new customs and cultures. Overall, it is an exhilarating and fun-filled experience,’ she explained.

She found the learning experience completely different from the Indian one. ‘There were many essays of about 1,500 plus words to be handed in, in the first year. We were tested in the form of unseen examinations at the end of semester, and preparing for both examinations and essays kept us occupied throughout our studies,’ she added.

Theodosios Kottas, from Greece studying law at the School of Business, Economics and Law at Swansea University in Wales, said his experience has prepared him to enter the competitive job market and at the same time provide a diverse social life.

‘Being a student in the UK is an awesome experience. At the start of my day I enjoy a wonderful English breakfast in my comfortable room at the University’s halls of residence, and afterwards I attend educational and interesting law lectures and seminars in a modern campus. In the afternoon I’m having lunch at the Uni’ s restaurants and studying for the next day at a fully equipped library, and waiting for the evening when I can hit Wind Street, the most well-known area for student entertainment,’ he pointed out.

‘What I love most about UK student life is that I can combine attractive and well-structured studies, helpful and friendly University staff and a glamorous social life. I admire the mix of multiculturalism and glorious history, along with efficient technology and the multiple opportunities given to the young generation,’ he added.

According to Laura Gorlero from Italy who is studying for a degree in combined modern languages at the University of Portsmouth, being a student in the UK means having the best time of your life. She loves the lifestyle and activities available including sport, cultural visits and city life.

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