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Considering International (non-UK) higher education

Since the rise in UK tuition fees in recent years there has been more interest from UK applicants in opportunities to study at universities abroad.

We advise those considering this option to ask the same questions which they should ask of any UK university, eg:

  • Am I likely to be interested in the course content and the course structure, including methods of assessment, possible integrated work placements, areas of possible specialisation?
  • What is the contact time? How frequent are tutorials/classes/seminars, where I can talk about the course with an academic member of staff? How many students are there in such groups?
  • What is the provision for accommodation and extra-curricular activities?

In addition, it is important to consider other issues, such as:

  • What is the match between the level I will have reached in A Level/IB subjects and the entry level required/desirable at the university abroad? Is there a good match, or will I be over- or under-stretched?
  • How much will I need to pay in tuition and living costs? Will I need to pay tuition fees at the start of each year? Will this represent value for money, when compared with an equivalent course at a UK university?
  • What recognition will be given to this degree in the UK? This is particularly important, if the degree is part of a professional qualification.
  • What evidence is there of career paths of the UK students from this degree programme?
  • What support network would be in place, if I had a medical or other emergency?
  • Is this university one which particularly attracts local students and therefore largely clears at weekends?
  • Are there cultural or climatic issues which I need to consider?

Posted by Philip Rogerson on Thu, 2 Feb 2017

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Philip Rogerson read Classics at Oxford. He has taught in a wide range of institutions: from UN (refugee camps in Jordan) to university (Oxford). Philip has been an HMC/ISI inspector of schools and has was Director of Higher Education and Careers at Sherborne School from 1997 to 2017.

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