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UK – Choice of study destination for 2020 and 2021

With extensive international student support, announcement of the GIR, provisions around English language requirements and documentation, it is the best time to study in the UK


Studies in the UK have consistently held a significant value within the hearts and minds of the Indian study aspirants. Encompassing a legacy in the likes of prominent industrialists, entrepreneurs, journalists, economists, government officials, and more, these academically excellent universities have nurtured both talent and aspirations of overseas students. With over 140 higher education institutions in the UK, and many of them being among the world’s best, the UK has multiple options for each student seeking overseas study opportunity.

The announcement of the Graduate Immigration Route and more recently, the Points-based Skilled Immigration system has brought a ray of hope for many students. The significance in the intentions of the UK government to create a high wage, high skilled, and high productivity economy is further enhanced in the wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic and its enduring impact on the global economy. Additionally, with Brexit being perceived to further boost the work opportunities for international students, the time to study in the UK could not be better.

Reasons to study in the UK in 2020 and 2021

The universities understand the student limitations in the current pandemic and are extending both academic and administrative flexibilities. Additionally, the admissions process has been streamlined to provide submission extensions and accept near miss grades where feasible. While international travel has been permitted under air bubble arrangements, the students are also being offered with the option of starting their course online and proceeding to the campus when feasible, without any repercussion on their post study work (GIR) as long as they arrive into the UK prior to the 06th of April 2021. While a few universities have introduced a January 2021 intake option, a few others are offering financial support through specific scholarships.

IDP students Natasha Tatiwar and Paramjeet Singh Dang talk about their experience at the University of Bristol 

Future prospects for international students in the UK

For a student deciding to venture internationally during the uncertain times, a big question in their minds is of the economic viability of their eventual degree. Will jobs be available in the UK considering the global economic slowdown? With the imminent rollout of Brexit in January next year, EU students will also be classed as international and thereby the scales shall be balanced towards all students seeking work after their education. 

Additionally, recent announcements by the UK government state an infusion of £30 billion for the revival of the economy with £2.5 million towards the creation of jobs for the younger demographic. The results are already visible and can be seen through the recent report by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) illustrating the posting of 106,000 new job adverts just in the week of the 06th to 12th July for IT professionals with the demand for web designers and developers skyrocketing by 15.5%.  

The University of Bristol

Work visa cap per year lifted 

Another perceived barrier towards a career in the UK was the government’s cap of 20,700 work visas per year for skilled immigration. The new regulations have removed the limit implying that a shortage of work visas shall no longer be a deterrent for the Indian students to successfully integrate into the UK workforce. The Career Services department in universities are geared towards the coordination’s of career fairs, industry talks, CV and interview skills enhancement sessions, work visa guidance, etc. to support the needs of a student seeking a work opportunity.

Internship and employment opportunities

Additionally, the COVID-19 situation and its resultant lockdown has prompted universities to create innovative solutions towards their students work aspirations. An example of this is the COVID-19 SME Internship Fund launched by the University of Bristol where a £100,000 is being given to the local businesses to fund 100 internships for its students. This comprises a smart solution where the business entities including charities, social enterprises and start-ups dealing with the challenges brought about by the pandemic are supported with cash inflow, while the students gain a valuable and meaningful work experience in a difficult economic climate. A win-win situation for both. Similarly, other universities have also launched comparable pandemic assistance innovative models to benefit their students.         

A graduation ceremony in progress at the University of Bristol 

In conclusion, every catastrophe provides an opportunity and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different. With flexibilities abound towards admissions and travel, extensive career support and the welcoming visa policies as well as the strengthening of the rupee against the pound are all enabling an extremely lucrative situation for a higher education in the UK in 2020. 

Updated on October 20, 2020


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Devesh Anand

(Country Manager - University of Bristol)

Devesh Anand is an experienced corporate communications expert with a demonstrated history of working in the international business sector.

Having completed his Executive MBA from IIM Calcutta and a post-graduation in International Business Management from the University of Westminster (UK), he now represents the University of Bristol as their Country Manager for the India sub-continent. Devesh manages a portfolio comprising student recruitment and partnership exploration, research collaboration development, marketing communication as well as strategic management.     


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