The United Kingdom (UK) government has announced a new points-based visa route to encourage international students to study and live in the UK.
South African students interested in starting the application process need to ensure they meet the basic entry requirements, which includes securing an offer from their chosen university.
Rebecca Pretorius, Country Manager at global mentorship company Crimson Education, says that due to complicated and confusing visa processes, local students have often been discouraged from applying to international universities.
“The UK’s new student visa route opens up an opportunity for South Africans with dreams of studying overseas, provided they have applied to and been accepted at a UK university,” she said.
Pretorius said prospective international students are required to achieve a total of 70 points to be granted a UK student visa. For 50 points, students must present proof of an unconditional offer from an approved educational institution, including a reference number from the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). The course must also lead to an approved qualification, at an appropriate level of study.
For a further 10 points, students must demonstrate that they can speak, read, write and understand English to the required standard for the course they intend to study. To secure the remaining 10 points, students must show that they can financially support themselves throughout their studies in the UK. Students can apply via the new student visa route from October 2020. It costs £348 (about R7 400).
The most difficult part of the process for many hopeful students will be the process of applying to international universities. “Every country and university has its requirements, including extracurriculars, essays, admissions tests and portfolios. Considering the complexity of the applications and competitiveness of top universities abroad, students should consider the services of an admissions company, who can assist in all areas of the candidacy building and application process,” said Pretorius.