Study in Singapore or head overseas? This might be the biggest question on many students’ minds who are at the crossroads of their next education milestone after getting their A-levels results, International Baccalaureate diploma or polytechnic diploma.
Listed below are seven reasons to consider if you’re looking at studying in the UK.
1. Learning takes place beyond the classroom
There are advantages to studying on home ground, but an overseas university course proffers many benefits.
Studying overseas allows one to plug directly into life abroad and learn so much more outside of the classroom. Students can get exposed to different life perspectives and gain insights from their peers from diverse backgrounds.
The necessity of living independently also tends to grow young undergraduates in a way that staying close to your familiar support network does not.
This invaluable global experience prepares students for life beyond merely paper qualifications.
2. Save time and money
Although studying overseas costs more than going local, the cost of education across popular overseas study destinations is increasingly levelling off.
Also, UK undergraduate and postgraduate courses can be completed within shorter durations, which means that students can save on an additional year of tuition and accommodation fees. For example, an undergraduate course with direct honours can be completed in three years instead of four.
3. In-depth curriculum
Going to study in a UK university is great for students who are already decided about their future careers and know what they want to pursue in life. This is because the UK undergraduate curriculum emphasises depth. Undergraduates can take professional degrees such as a Bachelor of Medicine at the undergraduate level and graduate in a shorter time.
In other countries, such as Singapore or the United States, where universities follow the liberal arts and sciences model, students are encouraged to take a wide variety of subjects before specialising.
At US universities, professional degrees are commonly offered at Master’s or PhD levels only.
4. Degrees are well-recognised in Singapore and internationally
A degree should prepare its undergraduates for life in the workforce.
The UK education system has produced remarkable minds and is well regarded internationally. In Singapore, degrees from UK universities are well accepted by local authorities.
Let’s say you graduated with a law degree from any of these 11 UK universities, including University of Birmingham, University of Warwick and University of Durham . You would be eligible for admission to the Singapore bar.
And if you plan to be a doctor in Singapore, you would be pleased to know that the Singapore Medical Council recognises many UK medical schools, including University of Aberdeen and University of Glasgow.
5. Adapting to a different learning style
Do you prefer the individual discipline of academia or would you fare better working as a team? Some schools encourage traits such as independent learning, while others emphasise project-based work.
An institution that caters to your individual learning style plays a large part in determining your level of enjoyment of varsity life.
In the UK, students are encouraged to learn independently and do their own research outside of class. In this environment, studying is only one part of the overall student life. This experience will teach independent thought and responsible learning.
6. Rankings are a good place to start, but how important are they?
Many students look to university rankings first when choosing a university. However, they may not provide a complete picture.
Take a look at the listing in Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 or the QS World University Rankings to see where your preferred institutions are placed. The same UK universities may appear in both rankings, but are accorded different positions. This is because different ranking tables use different metrics.
Additionally, some ranking metrics are unrelated to teaching quality. For instance, the QS World University Rankings rely heavily on reputation surveys rather than course quality.
Importantly, read the numbers in the right context.
Course-specific rankings may look different from overall rankings. In The Complete University Guide League Tables, the University of Leeds and University of Strathclyde are ranked in the top two positions for accounting and finance, even though Oxford and Cambridge are often ranked top universities internationally.
7. Meeting the entry requirements
Entry requirements may differ across universities and respective courses.
Don’t despair if you do not meet the requirements for the course of your choice at one university, as you may be able to do so at another. Shortlist a few universities to make some comparisons.