It is not just the exotic locales and a rich history that attract international students to Wales. The country’s low cost of education as compared to the UK makes it a popular destination for international students, including Indians. Its research-focused universities, strong focus on graduate employability and high-quality education are other advantages.
Being part of the UK higher education system, universities in Wales offer qualifications that are globally-recognised with industry partnerships and supportive learning that enhance the overall student experience.
In A Nutshell
- Four of eight Welsh universities featured in the top 500 of the Times Higher Education World University rankings in 2022.
- Students across 135 countries opt for undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
- Since 2013, the number of students studying in Wales has grown considerably with now over 2,000 students from India.
Welcoming International Students
About 130,000 students are enrolled in universities across Wales. Students across 135 countries opt for its eight universities for its undergraduate and postgraduate programs including the popular ones such as Architectural and Stained Glass at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Biosciences at Cardiff University and Ocean Sciences at Bangor.
Around 22,000 international students study in Wales. Welsh universities perform well in global rankings with four of its eight universities featuring in the top 500 of the Times Higher Education World University rankings in 2022.
The country gives a lot of importance to international students and activities and set up Global Wales, a collaboration between Universities Wales and the Welsh Government, British Council Wales and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, for this purpose.
This initiative is meant to raise awareness about Wales, strengthen international tie-ups with universities and promote Welsh universities in key overseas markets.
Indian Students In Wales
According to Harish Lokhun, Market Development Manager, India, at Global Wales, “We’ve found that students from India are particularly fond of studying and living in Wales, due to the fantastic variety of courses on offer and the accessibility of industry professionals in our country. Since 2013, the number of students in Wales has grown considerably with now over 2,000 students from India currently studying across our eight universities. There has been an overall increase of 200% in students studying in Wales, since 2016.”
The popularity of Wales and desire to study in Wales from the Indian student community is demonstrated by their interest in the varied academic teaching style, student support, cultural offerings and welcoming community.
The current cohort of the Global Wales Postgraduate Scholars from India have highlighted what they like about Wales. Some believe the way of teaching and learning is more practical; for others it’s the influential culture, language and beautiful views which are the biggest attractions. Others say the ranking of their university, student-friendly environment, affordable and easy commute are the key drivers.
“Over 90% of our graduates are in work within 6 months of leaving their studies. We offer great value… Whether it’s paying for rental accommodation, socialising or shopping, Wales has some of the lowest living costs in the UK. The capital city of Cardiff is almost three times cheaper than London,” Lokhun tells Yocket.
International students, including those from India, may be eligible for financial support through scholarships, grants or bursaries to help them study abroad – including a Global Wales Postgraduate Scholarship worth £10,000. Applications are open until May 31, 2022 and more information can be found here.
International fees range from around £12,000-£22,000 per year for undergraduate study but students are advised to check with the university they are applying to, for details.
Most undergraduate degrees take three years to complete and most master’s degrees are of one-year duration. Postgraduate tuition fees can again range from between £12,500 and £28,000 per year.
Wales is home to the following universities: Aberystwyth University; Bangor University; Cardiff University; Cardiff Met University; Swansea University; University of South Wales; University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Wrexham Glyndŵr University.
Boosting Reach Post Pandemic
Students from India who were studying in Wales during the pandemic were given support and reassurance from their respective universities.
On the plans for getting more Indian students to university campuses in Wales, Lokhun says, “Under the Study in Wales initiative, we have produced successful marketing campaigns across targeted geographical areas in India. Some of our universities offer free accommodation to international students. The introduction of the Graduate Immigration Route from the UK government, in 2019, has facilitated the increase in Indian students seeking to study in Wales.” The Global Wales Postgraduate Scholarships is another step in the direction.