Our guide to UK education: Higher Education

At StudyWorld, you can meet the best of the world-leading UK education sector. Whether your needs are simple or complex, you’ll discover all the right contacts all under one roof.

Every part of our education sector will be represented at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in September, including universities, further education colleges, English language centres, boarding schools, exam boards, publishers, software suppliers and support services.

To help you meet the right people, we’ve created some short guides to our different sectors, explaining what they are, and what they can do for you.

This week: Higher Education (universities)

What is it? Higher Education courses – at degree level or above – can be studied in universities, higher education institutes and colleges in the UK. Around 160 universities and colleges in the UK have the power to award degrees, and around 700 more colleges and specialist centres can teach courses leading to recognised UK degrees.

What does it offer? Courses at foundation, degree or postgraduate level, with qualifications from a recognised UK body in a wide variety of academic, vocational and technical subjects. Some institutions will offer pathway courses or have English language teaching centres to support international students in the UK’s education system. The UK has many world-renowned universities, as well as specialist providers which can meet the needs of both students and industry.

How do you find a quality provider? Ensure that the institution you are interested in has met the strict standards set by the UK government, either by having degree-awarding powers or by being a listed body.

Case history: The University of the Arts, London

The University of the Arts London offers an extensive range of courses in art, design, fashion, communication and performing arts in six world-class colleges. It has been named as a one of the world’s top five universities for art and design, and graduates go on to work in creative industries in many countries. UAL offers a pre-sessional Academic English Programme for international students, as well as “in-sessional” courses and tutorials once their courses begin. The Language Centre’s popular year-round English Plus courses combine general or academic English with a practical short course, which are a great introduction to studying at the University.

Industry professional Hannah Alexander-Wright, who was instrumental in commercially growing and developing the Language Centre at UAL from 2008 to February this year in her capacity as marketing and business development manager says StudyWorld’s focus on the whole of the UK education sector will help everyone to find new and different working partnerships. “We’ve always found StudyWorld very useful because the quality of agents is so very high, and I think it’s going to benefit everyone for the event to focus on the UK. To have everyone under one roof and see how we connect, will make sense for agents and buyers. They will have this holistic view of UK education, from language learning to degrees and so on.

“I think agents and buyers are looking for different things. They are not just looking for general English at UAL – for instance we have short courses in art, design, fashion and communication, and agents are starting to take a serious interest in these. Language schools are also expanding their offer in different ways.

“It’s time for HE providers to look beyond their circle and talk to different people from different parts of the industry, and I think the new StudyWorld will give us all the impetus to do that. We can all learn from each other.”

Siobhan Baccas

Siobhán runs StudyWorld London, our world-famous annual student recruitment event.