How to Get Admission into UK Universities– For International Students
Since 2002, the number of Nigerian students choosing to study in the UK has increased by 75 per cent. In 2004/2005 alone, this market increased by 37 per cent. Currently, there are over 8,000 Nigerian students in the UK and Nigeria is considered the sixth largest source of international students to the UK.
In the UK, the application process to university education is more standardized than in the United States; all schools admission process begins with one basic application form that can be completed once and sent to up to five different schools. All applications for full-time higher education courses, for undergraduate and postgraduate studies, are made using the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admission Service) online application system which is available 24 hours a day.
You fill in the application online when it suits you and it doesn’t need to be completed all at once. This process requires that you know exactly which schools you wish to enter, so it is crucial that before starting the process you research which universities in the U.K. offer the programs you desire.
Step 1: Get in contact with the UK university’s international admission office via email or phone. Even if the school’s website lists information for international students, many admissions offices encourage you to contact them, as they have counsellors who can advise you on any additional information needed specifically as a foreigner, such as standard exams, visas, interview procedures, financial aid, housing, international costs and specific resources to help you with the process.
Step 2: Access the website of the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) at www.ucas.ca.uk to start your application to any university or higher education course in the U.K. The majority of institutions in the U.K. require that you apply through the UCAS rather than directly. The UCAS application is one single online application form that can be sent to up to five universities in the U.K. at a time.
UCAS was designed to make initial application to U.K. universities easier, more standardized, and better organized, but it goes with a processing fee.
Step 3: Register and complete the application form.
You must know what five universities and courses you are applying to before you submit the application, therefore researching for the universities that will work best for you should come before applying. The application form requires your personal information, education, work history, qualifications and certifications, and a personal statement. You will need to obtain a reference and enter it into the ‘reference’ section of the application. Once you have completed the application, you send it to UCAS online.
How much will it cost?
If you choose to apply to more than one course, university or college you need to pay £19 GBP when you apply. If you only apply to one course at one university or college, you pay £9 GBP. If you are applying through a school, college or other centres, it will let you know how to pay. It will be either by credit or debit card online, or by paying your centre which will then pay to UCAS (be sure to confirm the eligibility of any centre). The card need not be in your own name, but you will require the consent of the cardholder. Accepted payment options are; UK and international Visa, Visa Debit, Delta, MasterCard, Maestro, Solo and Electron credit or debit cards. If you have trouble paying with a credit or debit card, you should contact The British Council in Nigeria who may be able to provide alternatives. In addition, you can pay by: Cheque, Postal order, Direct payment to the UCAS bank account.
Step 4: Wait for UCAS to print and send your applications to each of your listed universities. The universities will contact you via mail with their decision based on the primary application. If the school approves your application, you may be asked to send additional documents such as writing samples or completed questionnaires. The policies of each school vary.
Visit the ‘When to apply’ page on UCAS website to check the dates and deadlines by which your completed application should be recieved. You can defer your admission through UCAS for a maximum of one year, when you have a genuine reason, like NYSC.
About Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS)
UCAS is the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK. The organisation processes more than two million applications for full-time undergraduate courses every year, and can help you to find the right course. You will find a number of tools on the website which you can use to help you research and apply for courses in the UK.
Testing your English language proficiency
The universities and colleges that you choose will tell you what standard of English, both written and spoken, you need in order to take part in lectures, tutorials and seminars. Most universities and colleges will want you to have a qualification in English or to take a specified test in English. This will show the university or college that you will be able to cope with the course and your studies. To find out which English language proficiency test is acceptable; you should contact the admissions office or international office for each university or college. The following may be acceptable as evidence of proficiency in English. Although their are more of such tests, the ones you can easily take in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya etc includes;
International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
University of Cambridge ESOL examinations
CLICK HERE for more details.
Before you decide which university or college to attend, you need to be certain that you can pay the full cost of: your tuition fees (the amount is set by universities and colleges, so contact them through their websites for more information) the everyday living expenses, including accommodation, food, heat, light, clothes and travel, books and equipment for your course, travel to and from your country; except you’ve already been awarded a scholarship. You must include everything when you work out how much it will cost. You can get information to help you work this out accurately from the international offices at universities and colleges, UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) and the British Council. Universities and colleges will put information about their own scholarships on their websites.
Financial help for non-EU students
You will need to contact the universities and colleges that you are considering, for precise information on course fees and financial help available for you. Most universities and colleges will also display this information on their websites.Additionally UKCISA and the British Council will be able to assist you in your enquiry.
Legal documents you will need
Everyone who travels to study in the UK needs a valid passport. If you do not have one, you should apply for one as soon as p
ossible. To obtain a visa, the institution you intend to study at must be on the UKBA Register of Sponsors. When you arrive in the UK, you must show certain documents to declare your intentions to study as a student to the immigration officers.
You will need: a valid passport, a visa, evidence from the institution that confirms you have been accepted unconditionally for a full-time course, evidence that you have enough money to pay for your course.
Identity cards for foreign nationals
The following information has been provided by the UK Border Agency- UKBA:
Since 25 November 2008, UKBA has been issuing identity cards to non-EEA foreign nationals who are granted further leave to remain in the UK within certain categories (student and married/civil partnerships/unmarried couples). The card is being rolled out by immigration application type, and is currently issued to a wide range of migrants and their dependants when they apply to extend their stay in the UK. Under current roll-out plans, by April 2011 any migrant extending their stay in the UK or going there for more than six months will need to apply for an identity card for foreign nationals as part of their immigration application. As well as showing the holder’s photo, name, date of birth, nationality and immigration status, the credit-card sized document has a secure electronic chip for biometric details. Using fingerprint technology and digital facial images, the immigration Agency can lock an individual to a single identity, to help strengthen border control, prevent identity fraud and illegal working or immigration. The card will help to confirm a person’s immigration status and eligibility to entitlements in the UK. It will also help employers, educational establishments and other public service providers to understand a migrant’s immigration status via a single document.