Why the UK
Globalisation – where do you fit in?
The experience of living overseas is in itself an education, preparing you for life.
Britain is the ‘Gateway to Europe’, the largest economic grouping in the modern world.
Studying in Britain gives valuable overseas living experience and offers:
- an education system that matches well with the Malaysian system
- specialised degrees of guaranteed quality with international professional recognition
- degree programmes which could include appropriate supervised, salaried, work experience
- an opportunity to work part time during the course of your studies and to remain in the UK for a period, after graduation
- the opportunity of meeting, studying and networking with people from all over the world
- the security of a free medical service and a caring supportive society
- guaranteed university accommodation for at least the first year, for most international students who apply by the relevant deadlines
This page will give you more details on each of these factors which altogether make a British first degree very good value for money and the preferred source of graduates for 70% of Malaysian employers. (AC Nielsen Survey 1999).
Degrees can be at either ‘ordinary ‘or ‘honours’ level. Universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland confer ‘honours’ degrees at the end of a three year course, compared to Australian universities where three years will only lead to an ‘ordinary’ level degree.
There is, thus, greater value for money by studying in Britain.
There are some exceptions to this of course, as some disciplines require a longer period of study than three years in order to achieve professional recognition, e.g. Chartered Status Engineers, Medicine, Veterinary Science, etc.
Scottish school pupils follow a different system, more like the Australian one, which means they apply to universities after only one year of sixth form studies.
Scottish degree courses, therefore, take 4 years to ‘Honours’.
However, advanced standing (credit transfer) to second or even third year can be offered to overseas students of sufficient calibre, particularly to science and engineering degree programmes, again providing value for money.
For postgraduate students, it is significant to note that the majority of Masters courses in the UK, last one year, as against two years in some other countries.
This significantly reduces the cost of specialised study, while still giving the added dimension of the overseas experience.
The high standards set by the various British professional bodies are well known, recognised internationally, and widely accepted in Malaysia.
Thus, students interested in the most competitive professions – such as Medicine, Law, Engineering – know that their qualifications will be recognised and valued, when they return to Malaysia to practice.
MABECS provides up-to-date information on all locally recognised degrees and the qualifying requirements of all professional bodies within Malaysia.
The British Government and the universities invest a lot of time and money in ensuring that the quality of British education is maintained across the board.
The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) has responsibility for assessing the universities, their departments and their teaching methods to establish parity of provision and good practice across the sector.
This continuous assessment ensures that the qualifications and experiences that you gain in the UK will help prepare you for a bright and prosperous future.
British universities have pioneered the educational combination of an academic course and work experience. Such programmes, which include what is usually known as a Sandwich Year, are available in a wide range of subjects, from Accounting to Law, Engineering, Computing and many others.
The work programmes in industry or commerce, are agreed between the employer and the university and supervised by the university to ensure their relevance and value to the student.
This experience gives an added insight into their subject of study, as well as earning a good salary and enhancing employability.
As a student pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate course at a UK university, you will are allowed to work 20 hours a week part-time. This is a useful way of earning some pocket money. You should however remember that the focus of your stay in the UK is your studies and should not undertake too much part-time work, that may detract you from your studies.
British universities have been welcoming overseas students, for well over a hundred years.
Thus, they have great experience in helping students to settle in and begin to understand and experience, the culture and surroundings of their new home. The International Offices of the various universities, play an important role in facilitating this.
There are plenty of clubs and societies involved in all sorts of activities, including thriving Malaysian Societies, that offer great opportunities for meeting old friends and making new ones.
Their large international intake from all around the world, makes UK universities almost a mini United Nations!
This brings many advantages including giving you the opportunity to build bridges across different cultures.
You are also in an enviable position of being able to gain an insight into different backgrounds, values and attitudes.
All of these experiences are valuable in terms of your own education, while some contacts and friendships may grow into lifelong links.
You do not need to take out medical insurance when you go to study in the UK.
As long as you are studying for a full-time course lasting more than 6 months, medical and hospital treatment is free under the National Health Service (NHS).
You will probably have to pay a standard charge for drugs prescribed for you by a doctor, but otherwise you, as well as your spouse and children if they are with you, are covered by the system.
Most universities have a medical clinic on campus, specifically for students, and there is a wide range of other support services run by the International Office and by the Students’ Union to help you, in the unlikely event of anything going wrong.
International students to the UK are given preference with regard university accommodation. As long as you apply by the relevant accommodation deadline, for the university in question, you are likely be given university accommodation, for at least the first year of your studies.
And then there is the weather!
The British are said to talk all the time about The Weather.
Being in the Northern Temperate Zone and strongly influenced by the Atlantic and the Gulf Stream the weather is rather variable and wet but never very hot or very cold compared to Australia, North America or continental Europe.
Most Malaysians, once they get used to it, find the climate in the UK to be like all over air-conditioning!
In other words, excellent for study and for living a busy and active life.