There are many factors that you’ll want to consider when choosing what and where to study in the UK. Things such as the cost of the tuition fees and living expenses, the city where the university is located, the course curriculum and the university ranking are the most likely to influence a decision. There are a number of different university rankings.
The UK government has recently introduced the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) which gives a ranking of Gold, Silver or Bronze for teaching quality to all institutions which offer degrees.
The QS World University Rankings website provides a good starting point in assessing prospective universities through a variety of filters such as country, subject, reputation, faculty and others. These are particularly useful as there are cases when, even if a university has a high overall ranking, its performance ranking for the course of interest might be lower than that.
You may also find the Times Higher Education useful. Each year they provide a ranking of 'most international universities in the world' and publish it on their website.
Other useful sources to check include the UCAS website, which includes useful advice and tips on choosing a course.
For more general information on further education including how to find a course or to read more about how it is like studying in Britain, have a look at the Association of Colleges’ website.
UK immigration permission (a student visa) is granted only for study at colleges and universities which are listed on the Register of Tier 4 Sponsors.
Check the college or university website to find out what their policy is on refunding deposits and fees to you in the following circumstances:
- your immigration application is refused
- the college closes
- the college loses its Tier 4 Sponsor Licence
- your course doesn't run
You should also check on the website that they have a policy for handling complaints. Do not pay any money until you are clear what their policies are on refunds, and handling complaints.Print the policies out in case you need to refer to them later. You should ask the college or university to send you written copies if you cannot find the policies on their website.