Selecting the location of your son or daughter’s overseas education is an important decision. There are hundreds of destinations and universities to choose from, as well as considerations to make about safety and value for money.
To help you with this important decision process, we have highlighted some essential considerations when choosing the right university. You can find out more by clicking on each point below.
Quality of Education
The UK has a distinguished reputation worldwide for providing high-quality degrees. In fact, the UK is home to around 442,000* international students each year, who come to learn in one of the most respected education systems in the world. The UK government ensures that recognized universities pass strict tests for quality assurance; these measures ensure students receive the best teaching, support and resources available.
Fast-track to a degree
Students can obtain a Bachelor’s degree in three years and a Master’s degree in 12 months, and these durations are shorter than in many other study destinations.
By international standards, the UK is a safe country. In a recent survey† by the British Council, only a very small proportion of students had ever experienced a crime and the overwhelming majority felt that the UK is a very safe place to be.
Access to healthcare
The Student Route visa includes a health surcharge, which entitles students to access the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) at no additional cost, in the same way as a permanent UK resident. This access includes registration at a local doctor’s surgery and treatments at the hospital.
Home of the English language
The UK is multicultural and dynamic, however, it will also give your son or daughter the opportunity to develop their English language skills on a daily basis. English is the global language of business, so improving their English level whilst in the UK will undoubtedly help your son or daughter in their future career.
Local police protection
The police in the UK are friendly and helpful. They have a duty to protect everyone and can always be safely approached. Birmingham is covered by West Midlands Police; they can easily be contacted by telephone both in an emergency and non-emergency situation.
Lower cost of living
Birmingham is the second most cost-effective city for students in the UK††, with the cost of living around 36% lower than in London‡. In fact, more than 6,000 people left London for Birmingham in 2015, and this number continues to rise§.
Perfect city size
Whether your son or daughter is moving from a rural village or from a buzzing metropolis, Birmingham can accommodate a range of comfort zones: the city is the second-largest in the UK, but it is smaller and more self-contained than London.
The city of Birmingham has a lot to offer, but its central location and excellent transport links also enable students to explore the country and ensure they are getting maximum value from their course fee. Coming to study in the UK is an experience, not just a degree.
The city’s international airport connects to over 140 destinations worldwide – including Dubai, USA and most of Europe – and is just 30 minutes from BCUIC.
Religious buildings and communities
Birmingham offers a variety of religious buildings. As well as beautiful cathedrals and old churches, Birmingham is home to over 150 mosques and religious community centres.
Quality of food
There are over 800 restaurants and cafés in Birmingham covering over 25 different cuisines from around the world, plus a growing street food scene. The city also has its very own Chinatown, offering authentic menus from North Asia all the way to Malaysia.
Every campus building has a dedicated security desk and entry into the buildings is permitted only to badge-holders – namely University staff and students.
BCUIC has its own Student Services team, which ensures the welfare of each and every student. The team hosts Orientation and Enrolment at the beginning of every semester, as well as offering disability support and learning support where required. Every semester the team also organizes a range of social activities to help students settle in and make friends.
Your son or daughter will also have the benefit of accessing the University’s Ask Desk, which offers support and advice to students around financial matters, health and wellbeing, and visas and immigration. At both BCUIC and Birmingham City University, the student’s welfare is the priority.
The SiJ Programme
BCUIC has a special programme in place to ensure that students’ progress is monitored. If a student’s attendance falls below the required 85% or they have numerous consecutive absences, the Student Services team are alerted and the concern is addressed without hesitation.
Academic support is provided through a range of processes, including one-to-one meetings and Individual Learning Plans (ILPs), and the chances of success at university are further enhanced by BCUIC’s mandatory Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC) module. This module, embedded in every BCUIC pathway programme, focuses on all of the academic skills needed for success at a UK university – including time management, public speaking, researching and referencing correctly.
Birmingham City University is currently ranked #7 in the UK for employability, and 97% of students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating**.
The majority of degree courses include work placement opportunities, and the University also runs an employability scheme called Graduate+. This is an awards programme which records students’ extra-curricular activities and enables them to work towards Bronze, Silver and Gold level. This scheme is embedded in every degree from the beginning, so your son or daughter will be able to start developing their professional profile from day one of BCUIC.
Birmingham City University continues to deliver careers support for up to three years after students graduate. This includes consultations with careers advisors and access to an online e-guidance service.
Many of the University’s 1,700 academic staff are practising professionals and leading experts in their sector. Your son or daughter will receive first-hand, up-to-date knowledge directly from those in the know – whether they’re studying health science, computing, business, engineering or art.
This level of expertise is reflected in BCUIC’s team of tutors, who are equally qualified in their respective professions. BCUIC’s Law Foundation programme is delivered in part by Karen Parker, a practising barrister; our Art and Design programmes are delivered by Kathryn Marchbank, a jewellery designer who has previously lectured at the renowned School of Jewellery.
BCUIC was proud to receive a ‘Commendable’ report from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) in April 2018, and Birmingham City University was awarded ‘Silver’ status for its quality of teaching in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in June 2017.
If you have a question about your son or daughter’s application, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
* International and EU students in higher education in the UK FAQs, February 2018
† Creating confidence – International student safety survey 2016
†† UNiDAYS 2017
‡ www.expatistan.com, May 2019
§ Office for National Statistics
** DLHE Survey 2016-17