Study in Scotland
Considering studying overseas can be a daunting prospect especially with so many different options available. There are choices to make about which country, which institution and which course.
And there are lots of factors to take into consideration. Where will I get the best teaching? How easy is it to get a visa? Will the locals be friendly? Will I enjoy my spare time?
Will I be able to get work to help pay for my course? Are there any scholarships available? And, perhaps more importantly, how much will a pint of beer cost me?
If these are the issues which you are facing just now, I hope that this article may help.
I believe that a Scottish education offers you the chance to be the best you can be. I hope that you will consider coming to Scotland to study.
If you do, I know that you will be warmly welcomed and will have an excellent educational experience like the generations of international students before you. But wherever you decide to study, I wish you every success in the future.
Study in Scotland
Where is Scotland and what is it like?
Scotland is the northern part of the United Kingdom and has a population of around 5 million people. It can be reached by air from most European cities within 1.5 hours.
Scotland has its own legal system and education system. And since 1999, it has had its own Parliament again for the first time in nearly 300 years.
Each of our cities has a unique cultural identity and plenty of things to see and do. Our countryside is one of the last natural areas of unspoilt beauty in Europe.
Magnificent mountain scenery, historic castles, spectacular lochs (lakes) and glens (valleys) and wildlife abound in this breathtaking landscape.
Whether you are interested in sport or outdoor leisure pursuits or if you enjoy theatres, museums and galleries, Scotland has something to offer.
Scottish people are famous throughout the world for the warmth of their hospitality and friendliness. This is one reason why Scotland has so many long standing international links.
Scotland has always been and continues to be an outward-looking nation. Many of our institutions have links with institutions throughout the world.
During a recent visit to the United States, I was able to announce a £12m investment to help develop transatlantic research and economic development partnerships of the type recently agreed by Strathclyde University in Glasgow and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh
Scotland is a land of pioneers. A few of the best known Scottish inventions include the television, the steam engine, colour photographs, the telephone, the pregnancy scanner and the first 3D computer game.
And it was Scottish research which cloned Dolly the Sheep. Our economy is driven by global enterprises such as microelectronics, finance, oil and gas, engineering and biotechnology as well as more traditional industries such as fishing, agriculture, forestry, textiles and whisky.
To find out more about Scotland the country, visit the websites http://www.scotland.org and http://www.visitscotland.com.
Studying in Scotland
Scottish education enjoys a reputation for unsurpassed quality throughout the world. With its emphasis on pro-active independent thinking, it encourages skills that are relevant, marketable and much sought after by today’s top companies.
Choice and flexibility at every stage of the educational process is part of what makes Scotland such an ideal study destination. The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework integrates all qualifications within a single system and makes it easy for students to move between courses and institutions.
Further education colleges offer academic, vocational and professional qualifications in a huge range of subjects from foundation to degree level.
Undergraduate students in higher education have the opportunity to study a broad range of subjects in the first two years of their course and it is usually possible to change courses and specialist subjects up to the end of the second year.
Postgraduate degree courses are open to anyone with a good degree from a recognised university anywhere in the world. Options range from one-year intensive Masters programmes to three-year advanced Research Doctoral degrees.
There are many opportunities for becoming involved in research in Scottish universities. Per head of population, Scotland ranks third in the world in the number of scientific publications published.
Student life in Scotland is a supportive and social one. All Scottish universities and colleges go out of their way to make their international students feel at home.
Many guarantee them accommodation in halls of residence for their first year, close to all the campus facilities. And most organise welcoming meetings and social events throughout the year.
For more information and links to websites of Scottish education institutions, visit the Scottish Education + Training website: http://www.educationukscotland.org.
Visas, work and scholarships
Scotland is very much part of the UK-wide campaign to increase the number of international students in the UK. We have taken a number of steps in recent years to make studying in the UK more attractive and affordable.
International students no longer need to obtain permission to work, so they can earn money while studying here. A student can work part-time for up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during vacations.
And if the course runs for a year or more, the students’ dependants can now work here, even if they are here for less than a year.
We have introduced simplified entry procedures for UK visa holders and are making the visa service more user-friendly for students.
International students can now expect to have straight-forward visa applications dealt with within 24 hours, and non-straightforward applications within 10 days.
We are also expanding the number of Chevening scholarships available for international students. Most Chevening scholarships are for one-year Masters courses but some are for more specialised courses lasting up to six months.
British Embassies and High Commissions select candidates for the scholarships which are offered in more than 150 countries.