Why you should study in the UK right now!

Oct 09 20

Studying in the UK is popular amongst international students worldwide! Over 10% of the world’s international students attend British institutions, where they make up 20% of the UK student population. But apart from world-class universities and a rich international community, what are some other reasons why the UK is the best place to study right now?

The UK borders are open!

Illustration of aeroplane in the sky
You can fly to the UK whenever you like

Studying abroad may seem like just a dream when borders for many English-speaking  countries are shut. But this is not the case everywhere…

The UK borders remain open! Though students of certain nationalities are required to quarantine on arrival to the country, the UK is continually adjusting its quarantine measures rather than imposing a total ban on foreign arrivals.

What’s more, the UK has been processing student visa applications for months, and the majority of UK visa centres are open. This allows international students to make stable plans and continue their education. If students cannot enter the UK because their own country’s borders are closed, the UK Visas and Immigration department of the Home Office permits international students to take their courses remotely.

Student Route and Graduate Route

Illustration of a girl in graduation gown with diploma
This could be you!

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit, the government is keen to ensure that the UK remains a global leader in higher education, research and innovation. And so, as international students contribute so much to the UK, this means creating new and flexible immigration policies to make the UK an even more attractive destination!

>>So, what are these new immigration policies?

Student Route to study in the UK

The Student Route is an improvement on the Tier 4 study visa. According to the UK government, it is a simplified and streamlined application process whereby applicants are evaluated on a points-based immigration system.

With the Student Route, you can apply for a visa 6 months before travelling and will usually receive a decision in 3 weeks. There will be no cap on the number of international students who can enter the UK!

The Student Route has opened early, on 5th October 2020 instead of in January 2021, to accommodate international students who have chosen to defer their entry until spring semester 2021. According to the UK Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, “launching the Student Route early sends a clear message to the world – we want the best and brightest to come to the UK to study at our globally renowned education institutions.Will you be one of them?

Which courses can you study on the Student Route?

  • A Levels
  • Higher National Certificate
  • Higher National Diploma
  • Foundation year
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Master’s degree or other postgraduate course
  • Doctorate

How long can you stay in the UK on the Student Route?

  • If you’re 18+ and your course is at degree level (bachelor’s and above) you can usually stay for up to 5 years.
  • If it’s below degree level (foundation year or below) you can usually stay for up to 2 years.

What do you need to apply?

Students require 70 points to be granted a UK study visa, rather than 40 points for the old Tier 4 study visa. You receive points for:

  • English-language proficiency (10 points)
    • B1 level for a course below degree level, or B2 level for a course at degree level or above.
    • Acceptable certificates include IELTS or TOEFL.
  • Proof of sufficient funds (10 points)
    • Funds for one academic year of your course (or the entire course if it lasts less than one year).
    • £1,015 for each month of your course (up to a maximum of 9 months) if you’re studying outside of London.
    • Or £1,265 for each month of the course (up to a maximum of 9 months) if you’re studying in London.
    • Funds can include official sponsorship, a student loan from government or recognised company, and certain scholarships.
    • You don’t need to show financial evidence if you are a citizen of one of these countries.
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (50 points)
    • An offer from a licenced student sponsor, such as a university, school or college, to study on an approved course.

Can you bring your family?

International students applying with the Student Route can bring their family with them, if they are:

  • A full-time student on a postgraduate course lasting 9 months or longer.
  • A new government-sponsored student on a course lasting 6 months or longer.
  • A Doctorate Extension Scheme student.

For each dependent you must have £845 a month (for up to 9 months) if you’re living in London, or £680 a month (for up to 9 months) outside London.

How much does it cost to apply for the Student Route?

  • £348 to apply from outside the UK.
  • £475 from inside the UK.

Can you work on the new Student Route study visa?


  • If you’re studying full-time at degree level or above, you can work for 20 hours per week in term time, and work full-time during holidays.
  • If you’re studying full-time at below degree level, you can work for 10 hours per week in term time, and full-time during the holidays.

>>And that’s not all!

Graduate Route to work in the UK

Post-study work is one of the most important considerations for international students. When the UK government abolished post-study work rights in 2012, this led to a drop in student numbers coming to the UK. But this is no more! From summer 2021, international students who have successfully completed a degree can stay and work in the UK for at least two years!

Who is eligible for the Graduate Route?

  • Those studying courses at degree level or above who successfully graduate from summer 2021 onwards.
  • Those who have a valid Tier 4 study visa at the time the scheme is introduced.
  • Those who began their studies in the 2020/21 academic year, even if they are studying remotely.
    • If your Tier 4 study leave expires before the Graduate Route is introduced, you will not be eligible. 
    • Applying for the Graduate Route requires a separate visa application, which must be submitted whilst your study visa is still valid. 

How long can you stay in the UK on the Graduate Route?

  • Graduates from a bachelor’s or master’s programme can stay for 2 years.
  • PhD graduates can stay for 3 years!

Where can you work?

Anywhere you want! Unlike the post-study work requirements in other countries, international graduates in the UK can look for work in any field, at any skill level, at any salary. Once you’ve found your dream job, you can extend your stay with a skilled worker visa, which provides a route to settlement in the UK.

So, how can you apply to study in the UK?

At Aplic.io, we are committed to helping students from around the world study higher education in the UK!

We offer access to over 7,300 programmes from Foundation to Doctorate level at nearly 100 UK institutions, including many Russell Group universities. Three of our partner institutions, the University of Manchester, University of Edinburgh, and University of Glasgow, are in the list of top-5 most international universities in the UK! What’s more, at Aplic.io we also provide access to 180 UK scholarships.

If you need more reasons why the UK is a great place to study, read our blog post. Otherwise – visit Aplic.io and discover your future today!

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