Study Abroad Insights UK Series Episode 1 | Everything you want to know about studying in the UK

Study Abroad Insights UK Series Episode 1 | Everything you want to know about studying in the UK

October 19, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


Hello and welcome to study abroad insights UK series. I’m your host Amit Chaturvedi, today we
have got experts who will talk about UK as a destination and their experiences What makes UK as a favourite destination for students to study abroad? UK has been recognized academically very-very strong What are the kinds of typical internships which students have? Very good internships are available So stay tuned for more information, thank you Hello and welcome to study abroad insights UK series. I’m your host Amit Chaturvedi and today we
have Devesh Anand with us who is from University of Bristol. Devesh is the country advisor for university
based out of Delhi in India and it’s pleasure
to have you Devesh with us. Thank you for having me Amit. Today’s conversation of course we’ll try
and highlight the concerns which students have and of course seek answers from Devesh
from his experience he has been an alumni of a University in UK and of course he has
a lot of experience of meeting, talking to students and counselling students and guiding
them to make good choices to study in UK as destination, so we’ll take some questions
which we have from students and from what we thought will be good inputs for our students
and we’ll start with the question number one. Sure. Right, so if you can just tell us a little
more before we start about yourself your role in India and kind of interactions you come
across with students. Sure, so I’m based in Delhi like you mentioned
and I look after the University of Bristol, my key responsibilities areas include interacting
with students and also developing our network within the country, we also look at fostering
relationship with institutions in terms of research collaborations I do travel quite
a lot so I meet wonderful students and I think the key thing that I really enjoy about my
job is that finding out all the new things that are happening in the UK which leads research
intensive and then coming and sharing that with students that we end up meeting and then
also to see their aspirations come to life. What do you think why students want to study
abroad? There are quite a few motivating factors for
students I feel one of them is of course the competition that is in India colleges like
LSR and others from Delhi University have a cut-off of 98 percent so it’s quite fierce
the competition students are getting a good quality of education abroad and I think that
is something that they aspire to so that is one factor second is also in the recent years
it has become affordable for them many universities are giving scholarships and also banks and
institutions here have opened up a lot of education loans plus the spending power of
the people have gone up in the economy as well so something that was aspiration earlier
is quite achievable now I think a lot of students go out they’re also looking at the opportunities
that they get abroad in terms of the network they build and also the kind of industry integration
they get. We of course understand that there are many
choices for students so what makes UK as a favourite destination for students to study
abroad? I think UK has been recognised as academically
very very strong so quite a few of the UK universities are amongst the world’s best
also what UK specifies specially the top league universities is research orientation so they
are forward thinkers they will go ahead and integrate very well with the industries and
students benefit from that as well. Do you think UK as a destination is more affordable
compared to the other choices students have? In initial glance it may look expensive when
you look at the fees of the universities but then when you look in the long run the UK
education is three years except for Scotland which is four years but in majority if you’re
finishing your bachelor’s in three years and a master’s in one year you’re saving up one
year of your fees plus your living expense so in the longer and it works out much more
affordable the second aspect is also universities give a lot of scholarships and also the UK
government so they promote scholarships quite extensively for the students. So which are the most popular courses especially
in this part of the world where students opt to study in UK. So from India traditionally engineering, management,
law and medicine have been the key programs that students like to study abroad for but
within the last few years we’ve seen a very big growth in diversification so they have
programs like film and television that have picked up journalism has picked up, biomedical
sciences where students at the undergraduate level also going for stem cell regeneration
and cancer research and then there’re also English literature and programs like liberal
arts and they’re picking up quite extensively. And any program which you think may come up
in next couple of years? So Data Sciences I think is the key and buzzword
so that is something that a lot of Indian students are getting into also looking into
programs like accounting and finance and specializations within Management as well like program management
and operations management and also programs like marketing so those are coming up quite
extensively. So considering that student who is interested
to study abroad and wishes to kind of understand more and comes in talks to you what does that
you look at in terms of while screening a student? I think UK primarily goes about academics
as a major requirement so we would look at the academics of a student to gauge the eligibility
for an institution but we also give a holistic approach to it so their personal statement
becomes very important we want to see that they have work experiences done as part of
their course if they have worked in the area that they are studying in that adds value
to them apart from that also what kind of activities they have been engaged in because
universities in the UK do want the student to be successful. You mean extracurricular or? Extracurricular yes definitely, more importantly
we also see apart from the activities itself what skills have the picked up as part of
those activities and how those skills will help them get success in the University. So before we move further if we can understand
little more in terms of your institution, your University if you can talk a little more
about your University. Yeah sure so I represent the University of
Bristol now it is a very highly ranked University, it is currently ranked as number 49 in the
world so it’s a world or 50 University it has a very strong legacy as well because it
was opened up in 1846 it’s also within the UK ranked amongst the top three for engineering
and on five for the School of Economics what we also benefit from is the city of Bristol
because the city of Bristol itself is a business hub and also a manufacturing hub because we
are a research led University, we do engage extensively with these companies and the students
benefit from that as well. Great anyone who is coming in primary to study
at the University or otherwise UK as a destination which are the primary intakes for students
to come in and study in UK? So for UK the main intake will be September
which is the largest intake for all universities some universities will also offer intake in
January as well as in May but it’s always recommended to students to look up the universities
because not all programs will be available on those intakes so they’re planning ahead
we generally got them to plan one year in advance to start looking at the universities
that they want to apply to and also look at the key intakes and the availability of the
programs. So you mean to say about 80 percent or more
students look at September intake Yes. And balance about 20% would go in the other
intake of January or month of May. For postgraduate students it is quite open
because that’s run on a rolling year basis. Right. What’s the typical duration of undergraduate
program in UK? So undergraduate and UK typically will be
a 3-year program if it is in UK itself but in Scotland it would be four years some programs
may also have a sandwich year option which is a placement year or a study abroad so that
becomes a four year or could come up to five years as well depending on the requirements
of a student. So five year is for a specific program or
it is? So it will include integrated masters so students
can complete a master’s in five years plus get one year of work experience as well. And a typical postgraduate program? Postgraduate vary between one to two years
so if they’re going in for a regular postgraduate it will be a one year program if they go in
for a MBA it could be a two year program some universities also offer one plus one which
is a year of study as a year of work experience as well. And off let we have been coming across lot
of programs which have built in internships for students
who are interested to study abroad Yes. So what are these internships? So generally at the undergraduate level these
would be internships that are built into the summer year as well which could be the last
three months of their course every year also they could have a year in industry which could
be the paid internship or also experience in internship with the cost to post graduates
generally they would have a one-year internship built into the program in some universities
but that could not be a guaranteed internship as well so that’s always good for the student
to check for the university to see whether it’s a guaranteed or a internship that they
have to locate themselves. Of course for a student who is planning to
study abroad will invest decent amount of money in the education and the accreditations
play a role so what are the common key accreditations which UK universities have and if you can
just throw some more light on them? Certainly so the accreditation for the students
become very important now these are accreditation that could be global as well which could be
similar to AI or the ICAW which are for accounting and finance they could also be UK specific
like the BPS which is for psychology and also certain accounting and finance specialists
for the UK itself but also they need to be aware of how their program is recognized in
India as well for students who want to come back to India they need to have accreditation
from MCI as well as the Bar Council of India if they want to practice law here. Since as you earlier said business programs
and the engineering programs are very popular any accreditation to do with the business
programs? Yes, so embassy accreditation for the MBA so
that could be a global accreditation as well. And you spoke about the financial programs
as well. Yes accounting and finance. Right and another key aspect is of course
the tuition fee Yeah. So what’s an average tuition fee for undergraduate
and a postgraduate program in UK? So the good thing in the UK is that there
are a range of universities available so they are of course the Russell Group universities
and then the modern universities. The fees could range between the universities so they
could start off as low as about seven thousand pounds per year which is about seven lakhs
per year and could go up to about 22 to 25 Lakhs per year as well it would also depend
on the kind of program a student is studying so that could range from non lab based programs
which could be management or accounting or arts based subjects and then engineering or
medicine programs they could be the most expensive so medicine itself would be about 45 to 50
lakhs per year. Okay that’s expensive. That is but the quality of education is quite
good as well. And for a three year program or a four year
program as you mentioned the sandwich programs are there so a student is supposed to pay
for the fourth year as well for the sandwich program or it is? Also, when they do the sandwich year the third
year becomes the sandwich year now during that year they don’t have to pay any fees
they only pay 10% of the fees as part of the handing charges but they do get the option
of going in for a paid placement as well where they could earn like a full-time employee.
It’s also a very good option for them because they’re spending a year in the industry and
the industry gets to see how they are performing and in most cases those students get absorbed
by that industry once you complete that course. One more thing which is very critical for
students who want to study abroad are scholarships so of course the university would offer scholarships
there’s scholarships which possibly are offered by other bodies government bodies and some
private organizations so if you can just talk more about these scholarships? So the good thing about the scholarships in
the UK is that most universities have a very generous portfolio. Also there website
is the best resource to go on to because that’s the most updated resource. Scholarships are
available as part of the university scholarship funds and they could be program specific or
they could be for extracurricular or also in generic. They could also be scholarships
that our industry partners for the universities like for example Bristol has a partner with
Tata in India and Tata last year supported three of Indian students with 50% tuition
fee waivers. There are also organizations like the British Council that give a lot of scholarships.
This year they had a stem scholarship for the girls from India where in 70 girls are
getting selected to give 100% scholarships as well and then of course their Chevening,
Commonwealth that are run throughout the year so very good scholarship portfolio but again
the key there is to apply early and not miss any deadlines. And is there any financial assistance offered
by the university to students? So university for international students would
give financial assistance through scholarships and that would be a gender portfolio but with
regards to students they have very good opportunities within India itself they can get government
scholarships as well the Indian government supports a lot of students. There are also
some scholarships which are loan based scholarships but they’re interest-free loans so they can
avail of that as well. We spoke earlier about the internships and
internships are of course one of the most sought-after interested area for students
to explore more because they get a chance to experience. So what are they kind of typical internships which students have or the universities are kind of helping them
to get these internships? So universities have very good associations
with the industry. It’s definitely important for the student to go ahead and see what kind
of associations are there and choose the university accordingly. Students have had wonderful experiences
in the UK as well like for example there was a student who studied economics and he wanted
to get into policymaking based on that he got extent experiences with United Nations
with the World Bank with MSF and Oxfam as part of his course and then once he finished
his course he got picked up by KPMG as a consultant So very good internships are available if
the student is studying law they could get internships with lawyers itself just be the
underwriters for them they could also do moot court experiences with other universities. They could
also go in and work for charities and a lot of options are there the good thing about
the UK is that you’re also not restricted to work only in the campus. While the campus
has options like student ambassador and ambassador for your labs and the library but you could
also explore internships outside of the university. And these internships are paid by the organisations? Mostly they would be paid but some could also
be experiential like if you’re getting an internship with the United Nations of the
World Bank they could be purely for an experience. The typical duration of these internships
as you said attempts 3 months or it could be a year? So 3 months would be as part of their summer
vacation mostly students who are international stay back during the summer time every year
and do their three-months summer internship which are paid placements as well. Otherwise
there could be a year which is built into their program. Good so that was more in terms of talking
about the intakes and their scholarships let’s talk about the other aspects which are more
practical for the students in terms of where they live and where they kind of eat and how
they travel and all. So how convenient it is for students who travel all the way from any
part of the world to UK to be staying within the campus or outside campus and if you can
throw more light about these experiences or these challenges? So we’ve had wonderful experiences as well.
We’ve met students who have been so pampered that they’ve not had a glass of water by themselves
but here we’ve had students within the six months that they’ve been in the UK they’ve
gone back home and made a four course meal for their parents as well so that’s the kind
of growth we’ve seen. A good thing is that every university will
have university accommodation and generally for international students it’s also guaranteed
accommodation as long as they’re following the deadlines for applications, if they do
want to look for private accommodations then we assist them in helping with that as well.
One piece of advice we give to students who are looking for private accommodations is
to take a consolidated view of the accommodation that all the bills should be included. They
should not have a scope of surprise that when they get the bill then they are charged separately
for utilities and others. So these are things that they have to factor in. Generally the
accommodation in the university will be quite close to the campus as well so it could be
a two-two or ten minutes walk from the campus and in the first year it is advisable to go
for a university accommodation because they also tend to meet with a lot of students not
necessarily from their own course so this way they can network and build up friends
as well. You spoke about international students being
guaranteed accommodation, so what are the timelines for them to ensure that they have
a guaranteed accommodation? So generally it would be June of the
year that they’re going to be starting in so May to June are the key months that they
have to watch out for. Every university when they apply and they get the offer from them
they will be given a notification let’s start booking your accommodation. Accommodations
usually open up at a certain time of the year and they have to be the first applicants and
follow the deadlines so that you’re given the first priority as well. So the places they stay are like shared accommodation
or they have the kitchens and all around or how does it work? So that’s the benefit for the students because
every University will offer them different options and accordingly the charge for it
will vary. If they go in for a shared accommodation which has no meals included in it that would
be at the lowest band of the charge and then it could go up to a studio apartment where
they have a kitchen and a bathroom in their room itself which could be the highest fare
for that stay. So depending on the choice of the student they have all the options available. You mentioned about students preferring to
stay near the campus and kind of saving on the travel time but generally what is the
cost of travel from say if they are in the city centre to the university campus or somewhere
else within the city as such? So if they’re living in the city of London
that’s very good can commute there as well through the London underground. Also the living
in cities outside of London like Bristol, Leeds, Nottingham and the others the city centre
is quite close to the university so they’ll have very good options of connectivity. The
other benefit is the students get a very good discount as well so they have a student card
that they get and almost the travel goes to half the cost of what is charge of the regular
people. We do encourage a lot of students to walk and take cycles as well so that is a
good activity for them to do too. Generally I mean as we spoke about students
living or sharing accommodation, do they find groceries easily available or they have to
struggle to find their choice of groceries around? Very easily available, in fact I have a joke
with my students that in Bristol we also have Aggarwal sweets and a grocery shop and some
dhabas there as well. So there’s a large Indian community within the UK in every city and
it’s spread out quite extensively so it’s very easy to source groceries, spices. the Indian
cooked food as well. The other factor is that also a lot of UK people are getting into the
vegan trend and most of them are converting into veganism so a lot of vegetarian options
are available for students. Once a student comes into the campus and they
want to make them comfortable what are the activities which University would support
in terms of either a cultural activity or otherwise to make them feel at home? Right so I think every University in the UK
will start activities from the start itself wherein students when they become confirmed
offer holders they will try to include them into groups where they can interact with each
other and start making friends even before they come into the university. Universities
will also have a meet and greet at the airport and certain welcome weeks so that those who
are travelling for the first time to the country are not left stranded. There’s somebody there
to meet them at the airport and then guide them to the University. During the welcome
week which is usually the first week of the course start date, there’ll be a lot of activities.
So they’ll have culture clubs where they can sign up for different clubs which could be
sports clubs or dance societies or debating societies. They’ll also have a lot of freshers
parties that they can attend for instance in Bristol we have the mayor of Bristol who
throws a ball for the freshers and all students are invited to attend that and make friends
there. Also a lot of tours that are organized for students to show them around the locality
and they are also buddied up with students from the senior sections so that and generally
nationalities are matched so that they get very good acquaintance of the city as well,
where to do the shopping from, where to do their washing from and also what kind of temples,
gurudwaras and others are there, that they can visit. You spoke about meet-and-greet service so
a student has to kind of pre book it or it’s like someone is there at the airport and is
arriving? Right so it would always be at a certain time
of the year and the meet and greet by the university is advised to the students that
it is only happening during this time of the year. They will have to pre book so it’s always
good to pre book it because then they are aware that you’re arriving and they can look
out for you. Otherwise if you are not booking it and you’re walking in they will still be
there to meet you but then it will be up to you to find who there is where as if they
have pre-booked it then the person will look out for them. The other element of this entire facet is
like students who land into a new country they start their education but at the same
time they also plan to work either a part-time or something to get experience you’re in terms
of working in an international destination So what kind of part-time work is available
for students who come into UK and study? So the current visa regulations for the students
is that they can work 20 hours per week during the term time and during the holidays they can work up to 40 hours per week. It
is good for the students to start working within a month of joining generally we advise
especially the postgraduate students to do that to take a month to settle out into their
campus and get used to the routine and after that start looking for a opportunity. Now part-time
work can be arranged by the university as well. Every university has a career centre
and they can help the students get that. Some of the opportunities will be available within
the university itself where they can become accommodation managers, they can become managers
within cafes and restaurants they can also become part of the student union societies
and run their own clubs. Apart from that we guide them to go ahead and look at working
with employers that is always encouraged especially for the undergraduate students and also for
the post graduates. The good resource for them would be the faculty. Now many of the recognized
universities have very good research links with industries so students always guided
to use those links and get industry insights Also aluminis are a very good resource of
a university and these are aluminized who are very well placed in organisations. Students
are encouraged to interact with them and if they have a specific goal in mind they can
then look to see who’s working in that industry and then get connected to them. Of course you’ve given a lot of options for
students to kind of find jobs but is it really easy to find part-time job? It depends on the city that they’re in as
well. Also it becomes a key factor for them when they’re selecting a university. Each time
they select a University they also have to see how integrated that University is with
the city and what kind of opportunities are there. If you’re in remote part of the country
which does not have any industry it will be very hard for you to get a good internship
but at the same time if you’re in a city which has a lot of industries, it is quite easy for
you to get an option. Also many students feel that if they go to London specifically it’ll
be a wonderful world of opportunities for them but they also have to keep in mind that
they will be facing a lot of competition. So these are things that a student has to
keep in mind before selecting a destination. So you mean to say if they’re in a relatively
smaller city in London, they may have more opportunities for a part-time work? Because the competition will be less so definitely.
It’s always good for them to also connect with current students who are there at the
University to find out what kind of opportunities they’re doing and see how you know gauge that
what will be the opportunity for them through that. So in the course of their program when they
are in the UK as destination, what are the timings when they can work full-time. Is it
the vacations or otherwise and generally do they find work in their interest area or it
is like somewhat compromised for students? So with regards to working full-time they
could do it during December which is the Christmas vacation to get for about two to three weeks
and also during Easter where they get a break for about two weeks and then also during the
dissertation submission which is from June till August so they’ll be allowed to work
full-time at that time and of course the post study stay back so when they’re there. They
have to start planning early, ideally the good thing for them to do is start looking out
for companies that they want to work with and start working part-time with them, so that
when it comes to the full-time work they can switch over to the full-time work as well.
The other thing that I do advise my students to do is that look at the companies that have
a light to sponsor international students. If you do want to stay back in the UK what
happens is once you complete your course you need a sponsorship letter from the company
that can sponsor your legal stay in the country and also get a salary that pays you at least
twenty-one thousand pounds. Now these are the two factors to convert to a work visa. Students
who start planning early can start looking at these companies from the beginning itself.
So they already have a short list of key companies that they want to target it becomes easier
for them to approach them and also use the university to approach them. I’ve also heard about the concept of job shops
at the campuses so if you can share some more insights around it. So universities do offer a lot of services
they would offer career affairs within the universities itself for example Bristol be
the second most targeted UK university in the country. So every year we have two career
fairs that are happening in November and May which will have at least 100 to 200 employees
that will come to meet the students. Similarly other universities will have similar things
as well. There are also job fairs that are program specific so there could be a job fair
for law, for biomedical sciences but only those companies come in so students have to be proactive
in this. Many universities also offer apps now for students and every time there’s something
happening activity they will get a notification that this is the career fair that’s going
to happen soon register for it, so they have to be proactive in doing those. So generally out of your experience if you
can say what is the percentage of students who are finally able to find good part-time
and full-time work when they’re in UK? So there’s a recent report that has come out
from the UK government and they have shown that in conversion to the work visa, Indian
students have been the highest. They’re ranked as number one and within the last
year they’ve had 56,000 people getting the work visa. So that’s a very big chunk they’ve
also seen a growth in that numbers. When we do look at placements and getting full-time
opportunities, STEM subjects do very well so students doing engineering and specific skills
in data sciences or actual sciences and also in specific areas like corporate law have
good opportunities. Students doing management generally as a university when I look at Bristol
we have about 80 to 85 percent of undergraduate students who do get employed in the UK but
generally this would be a generic skill. We would recommend students to go in for specific
skills especially at the postgraduate looking at project management or operations management
or even marketing wherein better opportunities are there. What is that you suggest or advice to students
who want to work, should they work on the CV’s or should they work closely with student
unions or something else, so any tips you want to give to prospective students who have to
come into UK to study at the same time would like to work? So I would say that have a look at the city
and see what kind of opportunities are there Make a target list of the companies that you
want to work with from the beginning itself so that when you come into the university,
utilize the university services. Every university has very good research links, they also have
direct corporate links and they also have the aluminis that are working for these
companies. So it’s a multiple ways that the student can be connected to them but it’s
only how proactive the student is. We’ve had wonderful students who’ve been very very active
and they’ve gone on to do very good opportunities There have been other students who have not
been active at all and at the end of the year they come and say you know how can I do now
by then it’s a bit too late. You have to start early because if a company has to sponsor
a student they also have to take a guarantee of that student. So they need to know that
they’ve seen the student working and they are able to trust that student and that can
only happen once they’ve been working with them for a duration of time. That’s why specifically
for the postgraduate students who come in for one year, we tell them at least get about
eight to nine months of work experience with the company because that way the company can
then be sure to sponsor you. I’ve heard a lot in terms of the engagement
of students at the students union, so what’s the kind of support the students union offer
to students? Now many student unions have student clubs
as well and they are the ones responsible for inviting industry people to come in as
well. Like for example at Bristol, we have an insight session that happens every Wednesday
or alternate Wednesday where in the industry person comes in & takes a session with the
students. This is a very good network opportunity for the students as well to be involved in
meet up with the industry person and see what kind of opportunities they have within their
domains. Also the student union societies organize job shops like you mentioned wherein you can
have inside sessions in two industries get some work opportunity or even internships
which may not be paid but you will have experience of working in those companies. So tell me Devesh why is that Indian students
want to study in UK? I think the major motivation for the Indian
students is because of the academic strength of the universities in the UK. Many of the
universities in the UK are amongst the world’s best so I think a lot of students aspire to
study in them. Also the kind of networks they build are quite immense, universities are very
diverse so they’ll have students as well as faculty from all over the world and these
are things that students look forward to, to build networks that they will help them
throughout their life as well. I would also say the spending power of the
Indian economy is going up so what was first aspirational has now come quite achievable
as well. So a lot of students, things that were distant to them have now become achievable
and those who are working very hard and scoring good grades do aspire to study in world leading
universities. So I have got some frequently asked questions
which I know students would like to have short and quick answers. Kind of rapid fire so my first question is
when should a student start planning to apply at UK University? I would say UK works one year in advance so
if you’re planning to start off in a year start planning one year in advance of that
chiefly because a lot of scholarships also available with the universities and those
have deadlines to follow. Which are the top two three four critical
documents they have to keep in mind when they make an application? So definitely when we look at a student we
look at the tenth mark sheet. We do look at the twelfth grades and also if they plan for
a postgraduate we look at the undergraduate marks. Since they’re applying one year in advance
they would need all the grades that they have till then so based on that they should make
an application. Because rankings are critical so where is
that a student can find the right rankings for UK universities? So many rankings are available in the market,
so there is the Times ranking, there’s the Guardian as well as the QS each ranking is
based on the requirements of a student so definitely look up those. I would say go in
for a QS ranking which is the most reliable because it also looks into the research capability
of a institution and wherever institution is highly ranked in terms of research they
will have very good collaborations both with the industry as well as the government which
opens up a lot of avenues for students. And how critical is in SOP or in LOR for a
student? Very very important the statement of purpose
helps us in gauging the student few things that they have to be careful about one is
that they should not look at a general SOP or copy SOP from anywhere, every University
has systems that look at plagiarism and if we get to know a student has copied the SOP
it automatically gets rejected. Second is also when we look at the SOP we are not only looking
at it from the admission point of view but we’re also gauging to see if we can give the
student a scholarship. So the more impressive they are with their SOP the better they can
get. Also we see a lot of SOPs they start with very simple statements like Gandhi Ji quoted
this, we’ve read a thousand of those so we don’t want to see that again. We want to see
as a person what motivates you so the more personalized it can become the better it is
for the student. Unique SOP? Very unique, but customise to the student. How about the letter of recommendations? Do they play a role? Yes they are very important as well at the
undergraduate we need one letter of recommendation at the postgraduate generally two are required.
One has to be from the academic definitely the other one can be if they have any work
experience they can get one from them as well. You mentioned about the students applying
a year before so what do you think student should be doing or should do after they’ve
made the application? Now once they’ve made the application one
of the key things to do is start looking up scholarships. Once they receive the conditional
offer from the University they’ll be eligible to start applying for those. Many of the Indian
government funding do close early so they will close as early as December and January for a September start program, so that’s why they have to look at those. Also they can start
preparing for the course they can see what are the kind of additional things that can
be helpful for them when they come into the UK. Start also looking at what kind of companies
are there that are in the destination they’re going to so that they can start seeing how
they can create a plan for themselves. What are the broad two three four key challenges
which student should be prepared for before they land into UK? One of the key things would be a culture shock
so though the students have travelled to the UK or they’ve been exposed to the UK culture
through television and movies but again living it themselves could be one of the shocks. So
be prepared for that, be very open-minded you are there to get an experience of international
destination so do interact with a lot of people don’t become shy and stick to your circle.
Also go ahead and talk to your faculty, go and travel around because travelling also
opens up a lot of avenues for students. They get to learn quite a lot and also be very
open to getting experiences so even if you’re getting a part-time work which is not paid
do it for the sake of experience because the skills you develop from part of it will be
very valued in the UK. Okay last before we close, any tip on the weather
in UK? The weather, so weather is very diverse in
the UK as well starting from the South of England, in south and southwest which is London
and Bristol specifically, would be quite rainy so do cater for that do carry an umbrella
or raincoat. As you travel up North, it starts getting colder as well during specific times
of the year the sunset is also quite early in the day so at 3 o’ clock you could have
the sunset and you could have dark shadows so be prepared for that. Some students also
have requirements, specific requirements like they are allergic to you know certain things like
pollen grains or to sunlight and they have to factor that in as well when they’re selecting
a destination to choose. Devesh tell me something about especially
for the parents because they’re always concerned about the safety of their kids, so how safe
it is for boys and girls who come into UK to study and live in? So as the destination UK’s very safe. There
could be different universities that have different options available for the students.
Generally the university accommodations will have a warden and deputy warden stationed
there 24 hours a day, so they will be the first point of contacts. University is also do patrol
service so in case the student is travelling out in the night and they get stuck somewhere
they can also call up university numbers that are given and they can be brought back to
the campus so many universities offer this service. Generally health and well-being is
taken very seriously also like I can talk with example from Bristol, every student is
appointed a personal tutor who looks after the academic strength and the progression
of the student but every student is also given free counselling service. Any time when they’re
living it could be a time when they first time move out of the house and they’ve not
lived previously without their parents so sometimes they could feel the need to talk
to someone or be associated with someone and for that we have counselling support given
to them as well. I heard there’s some home stay options as
well. Yes so many universities do offer that as
well where students are paired up with families who are ready welcome to students into their
homes. Since you represent the University of Bristol
any success story of Indian student you want to share with us? We’ve had many successful students and the
one that I can immediately think of is also student from IDP. She was Kalyani who came
to us last year in fact she graduated in September and very very wonderful student because she
was very proactive in engaging with their faculties and also with research. When she
graduated in September she had two job offers in hand already she came to study electronic
systems engineering at a masters level and while she was deciding which offer to take
she got a third offer from the university to do fully funded PhD and she’s gone in for
that option. So again that showed us that how engaged the student can be because she was
a very active student, she engaged not just with the faculty and also the industry insights
that were coming in but also in terms of student union society, she was a president of a student
club as well. So the ones who are more visible are the ones who get very good opportunities. Earlier we spoke about the co-curricular initiatives
for students and of course took it as a common connect, so do you or other universities have
the clubs or the students are encouraged to kind of engage with lot of sports and what? A lot, so every university will have very good
sporting societies that they can be a part of ranging from cricket, football to basketball,
cricket of course like you mentioned is a very good connect between India and UK with
regards to the World Cup that happened recently as well. That’s in fact one of the key reasons
why UK is such a favourite destination as well because a lot of people travel there
as well. The UK report that I was mentioning earlier also mentioned last year itself, half
a million people from India travel to the UK on a visitor visa so that’s the kind of
inflow that happens. Specifically with the cost of sports at Bristol we have something
called as performance squad. It’s a set of trainers that are there and if a student is
specifically talented they can then show their talent to that team and if they feel that
the talent that could be further developed a tier training calendar will be made for
them and they will be trained on a regular basis and then put forward for competitions
where they will compete within the university matches and also go on to play four leagues
as well as get picked up by clubs. We’ve also had students get picked up and participate
in the Olympics and they won two golds & silver there as well, so that’s the intensity of training
given. Also when we see that there is a talent in a student, we don’t want it to be a financial
burden on them as well. So training as well as all the equipment and competition entry
fees all get sponsored by the alumni team so in that way the student can focus on their
studies and also on their sports and rest everything mostly the universities will take
care of. Devesh my next question is to understand a little more in terms of what are the teaching methodologies which are adopted by academics
and UK universities? Is it more practical classroom or how is it,
what is the mix? So in the UK there’ll be a mix of lectures
as well as seminars when the students go in for a lecture it could be all students from
different classes coming together for that subject so there could be a classes of about
100 to 175 students as well and then they’re broken up into seminar groups which will be
about 10 to 12 students per faculty. I’ve studied in India as well as in the UK
and in my personal experience, what I found was in the UK it works really well because when
you’re studying a lecture in the lecture seminar you’re introduced to a concept. In the seminar
group you are asked to challenge that concept you agree with it or do you disagree with
it and in case you say that I do not agree with the concept and you give a valid reason
for it, they’re very open to changing that concept as well. It’s also complemented by
projects for every module which could be industry projects as well. Like for example in Bristol
we do industry based projects which are relevant to the industry so student whatever they’re
learning in the classroom also get to know how to apply that in the industry and it’s
the thing that they learn for their life so something that they’ve done practically they’ll
not forget that. I also want to understand from your students
who make an application and who have a gap year, how are these applicants considered
at the University? What we gauge is what have they done within
that gap year so many students who take a gap year go on for travel or they can also
be preparing for competitive exams. As long as they’re doing that that’s counted positive
if they’re able to show us the skills they picked up as part of it. If they do not mention
anything they’ve done in the gap year then we take it as negative because we see nothing
related to the studies. Ideally I would guide the students who are taking a gap year to
see what program they’re applying for and what are the skills required for that program
and during that year if they’ve done any internships or they have done any projects or even if
they’ve competed or prepared for competitive exams they would have picked up research skills
they would have picked up time management skills they would have picked up their communication
and team working skills and all these can be very relevant to the subject they’re going
to be studying. So as long as they highlight that it will be valid for us. Tell us something about the medical cover
for the international students or the national health services which are prevalent in UK,
how does it work for the international students? So as part of the visa regulations the student
have to pay a IHS fees which is for the insurance now once that is paid and they come into the
UK they get registered with the GP so when they’re joining a university every University
has association with the hospital and they will be asked to go and register with the
GP which is the general practitioner. Any time a student has any medical condition they can
take an appointment with the GP and generally it would be a free of cost service because
they’ve already paid the insurance and any medication dispensed to them which is over-the-counter
will be free of cost. If they are prescribed a medicine then they may have to purchase that but that
is available all throughout. What we do guide our students is those who wear specs or have
certain medical conditions and they need medications do carry that with you because at times medicine
or spectacles or even contact lenses can be a little bit more expensive in the UK so carry
extra pairs with you. If they are bringing some medication into the UK they also have
to carry a prescription with them otherwise they could be stopped at the customs and those
could be taken off of them. But generally medical conditions are treated very quickly in the
UK. Perfect so that was fantastic to know a lot
more in terms of what a student can look forward to when they are choosing UK as a destination
to study, so thank you very much for your insights. My pleasure. And really helpful. Thank you so much. And I hope our audience find it’s as useful. My pleasure as well thank you so much and
also it’s a wonderful initiative so congratulations on getting all this information out for your
students. So that was it audience from our side today
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thank you.