Every year, thousands of hopeful aspirants apply to various universities in the UK. Apart from considering the university rankings, availability of the specialized field of study you wish to pursue, and the academic framework implemented, it is also important to decide which place in the UK you would like to spend one of the most transformative phases of your academic life.
With over 160 universities spread across the length and breadth of the country, many students find it hard to decide whether to apply for colleges in London or regional cities in the UK.
London is the most preferred academic destination for international students. International students comprise of 41% of the total number of students attending London’s higher education institutions and attracts 29 percent of the total international students in the UK. Regional cities like Birmingham, Coventry, Sussex, Bath, Manchester, Portsmouth etc. are also equally popular amongst the student communities.
Certain factors must be carefully considered before students zero in on a university. Location is one of them.
Students must note that universities in London cost more than that in regional cities, even if it is for the same course or level of study. For e.g. the yearly fees for international students applying for undergraduate courses in London starts from around £13,000 and can go up to £38,000. For universities located outside London, the fees are approximately £9,000 - £11,000 yearly. There is also a huge cost variance in postgraduate and research degrees offered, with London universities usually being on the more expensive side.
Cost of Living
Historically touted as one of the oldest and greatest cities in the world, London is also in the top 0.4% of the most expensive cities in the world. the cost of living in London is comparatively higher than that of regional cities like Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester, York, Bath etc. The average cost of living for a single person (excluding university fees) in London varies anywhere between £ 1500 - £ 2000 per month (approximately) compared to just £845 (approximately) in the city of Coventry in west Midlands or £650 in Portsmouth city.
Within the city of London, based on the location, the cost of living varies. Cost of living includes utilities, rent, travel, food etc. Regional cities offer much affordable options in terms of accommodation and travel. Whether you are on an educational loan, on a scholarship or self-funding, it is important to make the necessary financial calculations even before you start your university application process.
London is the world’s financial capital and offers unique employment and internship opportunities. With almost every global multinational operating from London, it provides a unique opportunity, especially for international students, to gain global work exposure in terms of internship/work-experience or full-time employment.
Many big companies also operate from cities outside of London. However, they are few and far between or are mostly branch offices. Students studying in regional cities have a slightly limited scope and exposure to accelerate their career through internships/work opportunities, apprenticeships.
Bustling City or Quiet Countryside
A multiethnic metropolis, London is home to people from diverse geographical, racial, and ethnic origins. A bustling city that never sleeps, London is indeed every city-lover’s dream. From being a traveler’s paradise to a fashionista’s dream shopping destination to a food lover’s delight – London has something to offer for everyone. The city also offers a great night life and a wide variety of entertainment choices to pick from. Comparatively, regional towns are much quieter, although they too have their share of places of interest to visit, reputed food outlets and nightlife.
If you are a city person who would love to experience the vibrant and busy city life, then London would be your best bet. But if you are someone who hates the mad rush and would rather prefer to spend your time in a quieter environment, then it is recommended you choose a city outside London. Regional cities also offer a variety of choices in terms of food, entertainment, and leisure, but are comparatively less busy, and much quieter. They are a nature lover’s paradise as most of them are filled with lush greeneries and well-manicured parks.