Why Study in Scotland
7 Reasons to Make Scotland Your First Choice for Study
1. World-Class Education System
Economics, Electromagnetism, Geology, Penicillin, Aspirin, Insulin, Telephone, Television, Steam Engine, ATM, Banking, Thermodynamics, Radar, Dolly the Sheep …..
It is truly amazing that a country of only five million inhabitants should have introduced so many inventions to the world. It is unfortunate, however, that whilst most Thai students are familiar with their innovations, very few know about Scotland and the Scottish people.
The distinctive contribution of Scotland may be attributed to the nation’s significant investment in education. Education has been a fundamental part of Scottish culture for almost 500 years – it was the first country in the world to have a public system with education available to all free of charge.
Students have travelled from across Europe since the Middle Ages to attend the four ancient universities which were widely recognised for the quality of their teaching. The Scottish education system was used as a model when other nations such as France and the USA were setting up their own education systems.
Today, the number of higher education institutions providing degree-level education has increased to 21. Whilst contributing less than 10% of the British population, Scotland has a much higher profile in terms of its contribution to influential philosophical and scientific theories. Ranked third in terms of overall research potential, Scotland leads the world in research in biological sciences, engineering, genetics and astrophysics. Glasgow, for example, has a higher percentage of graduates than any other city in Europe and only Japan produces more engineering and IT graduates per head than Scotland.
2. Flexibility and Choice
Rather than simply attend lectures to receive information from their teachers, the Scottish education environment encourages students to read, research and question what they have learnt. This proactive and independent style of thinking encourages students to develop skills that are relevant, marketable and much sought-after by today’s top companies (source: British Council Scotland).
Thai students can enter Scottish universities by means of a variety of paths; for example:
1) You can take a 1-year university foundation course and then enter a 4-year university Bachelor’s degree programme (5 years in total). This is comparable to the English system that needs 2-year A-Level and 3-year Bachelor’s. In some cases it may be possible to enter direct to the second year of the undergraduate degree programme reducing the period of study by a year.
2) After taking a 1-year university foundation, you can also go to a college which offers a practical course such as an HNC or HND. After graduating, you can choose to work or to go to the second/ third year of university.
The first year of an undergraduate Bachelors degree in Scottish universities is characterised by flexibility and choice. Most students will have the opportunity to take a range of optional courses in addition to the core subjects of their degree programme but this is particularly the case in arts, humanities and social sciences. This flexibility enables students to experience subjects at university level before committing to their final choice of degree programme, usually at the start of their third year. As a result students tend in general to be well suited to their choice of study and the non-completion rate in Scotland is significantly lower than in most other countries.
At postgraduate level, Scottish universities offer a one-year master programme like other UK universities, while PhD’s usually take an average of three years to complete. Scottish qualifications are highly valued internationally, especially in Europe.
3. An International & native English language environment
Scots are native English language speakers. You can learn English by either attending a course in a school or college or by living in and travelling around Scotland and meeting local people as a tourist. With a relatively small number of Thai students in each of the cities of Scotland compared to those in Australia, London, New Zealand and USA, you can be sure that you will be exposed to a fully international environment helping you to improve your English more efficiently.
4. Very few Thai students still
Because Scotland is still a well-kept secret in Thailand there are still very few Thai students here! This gives you a chance to study and live in a fully international environment. Scotland offers a great opportunity to students to gain excellent education as well as to develop their English and experience.
5. A Developed and Expanding Economy
Scotland has made an important contribution to the British economy for centuries. Edinburgh is currently one of the top financial centers in Europe, closely followed by Glasgow. Edinburgh and Glasgow are also the second most visited cities after London. Aberdeen, the 3rd largest Scottish city, plays a vital role in the British economy as the Oil Capital of Europe. While most of the traditional heavy manufacturing industries have declined and moved elsewhere in the world, these have been replaced by hi-tech, specialist and service roles. The success of this sector is due largely to the strong partnerships between universities and industry/business which has led to the ongoing development of intellectual property and a growing number of spin-off companies. Yet again Scotland is leading the world in terms of ideas and innovation!
6. A Wonderful Place to Live
Apart from the outstanding teaching and research, Scotland is quite simply a wonderful place to live. Scottish people are well-known for their friendliness, humour and warmth. Scotland offers a variety of lovely cities ranging from the classical beauty of Edinburgh to the Victorian splendor of Glasgow; from the peace and tranquility of St Andrews to the history and tradition of Stirling; and also offers the stunning landscapes and natural beauty of our northern cities of Aberdeen and Inverness.
7. A Moderate cost of living
Tuition fees and living expenses in Scotland vary depending on the courses, universities and cities. However, according to the British Council Scotland, the cost of living in Scotland is generally slightly lower than that in the rest of the UK.