Every year, over half a million foreign students decide to study in the UK. It’s easy to see why: the universities in the UK are some of the best in the world; collectively, they offer a superior academic experience and excellent international student accommodation—among other advantages. If you have done any research about applying and studying in the UK, you probably are aware that you will need a Student Visa to do so. However, even if you have researched how to get a UK Student Visa, you may be surprised to learn that applying to a UK university (and being accepted) is one of the main UK Student Visa requirements. What this means is you will need to be accepted at a British university before you apply for your Student Visa. However, there are so many great schools to choose from, how do you know which university is best for international students in UK countries? After providing a brief overview of how to get a Student Visa for the UK in 2021 this blog will examine the best UK universities for Student Visa applicants. 

How to get a Student Visa for the UK in 2021

  • Many foreigners looking to study in the UK are wondering how to get a UK Student Visa during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced most UK universities to operate remotely for much of 2021. 
  • However, the process for applying and studying in the UK in 2021 is ultimately the same as it has been historically in terms of the basic steps you must follow: prospective applicants must meet the UK Student Visa requirements, which include the submission of multiple basic required documents, payment of the application fee, biometric data submission, and—perhaps most critically—applying to a UK university.
  • As mentioned above, in order to study in the UK on a Student Visa, you will need to apply and be accepted to a university in the country. Once you have received your acceptance, you can pursue the other requirements, outlined here.
  • Please note that applying for a UK Student Visa and applying to universities in the UK are both online processes. Applicants to UK universities will apply on “UCAS” (Universities and Colleges Admissions Services).  
  • For help applying to university in the UK (including information about how to apply on UCAS) and to apply for a UK Student Visa, contact us here

What are the best UK universities for Student Visa applicants?

  • As a would-be international student, you will need to receive an offer of admission from one of the hundreds of universities in the UK in order to be eligible for a Student Visa.
  • Which university is best for international students in UK? This is one of the most asked questions prospective foreign students have when they begin their application process. However, it doesn’t have a simple answer. There is no single university that is best for Student Visa applicants. Student Visa holders come to the UK from every country in the world, to study a wide array of subjects at a variety of levels (degree seeking—bachelor’s, master’s, PhD—non-degree seeking, etc.). Foreign students are therefore a large and diverse group with diverse needs and preferences. Different schools will meet different needs. If you already have a strong idea of what subjects you want to study, you should look into schools that offer quality instruction in those specific areas (research courses and degrees on offer, professors, etc.). 
  • In addition to the quality of education, as an applicant you will likely want to consider what UK country you would like to live in (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) and what kind of environment you would prefer (for example, if you are looking for an urban experience, you may want to attend school in a big city like London, whereas if you prefer a more rural environment, you might prefer a smaller and less developed suburb of the capital (or even a smaller country). 
  • That being said, some UK universities are known for being more welcoming to foreign students than others. These institutions have highly international student bodies and faculties and a history of providing superior international student accommodation, resources, and guidance to foreign scholars. In addition, they tend to be some of the highest-ranked universities in the country (and even the world) in terms of academics. 

UK universities

  • Some of the best, most global international UK universities are outlined below. Most are in England, then Scotland. For those interested in studying in either Wales or Northern Ireland, two of the top schools for international students are included on the list: 
    • University of Birmingham (England) 
    • University of Cambridge (England) 
    • University of Oxford (England) 
    • University College London (England) 
    • Imperial College London (England) 
    • University of Manchester (England) 
    • London School of Economics and Political Science (England)
    • Ulster University (Northern Ireland) 
    • University of St. Andrews (Scotland) 
    • University of Edinburgh (Scotland)
    • Cardiff University (Wales)
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