While the USA and UK are among the top study abroad destinations for international students, they offer entirely different experiences. In many ways, the education systems of the US and the UK differ, including the cost of studying, living, job opportunities, and immigration policies. However, it is not that one is better than another. Nonetheless, you must evaluate which one offers you the best facilities according to your field of study, budget, and long-term career objectives.
Higher Education Systems In UK & USA
The comparison of the US and UK education systems is essential for an accurate understanding of these differences. Here are key differences between US institutions and UK institutions.
- Public And Private Universities: These are generally managed by the British government and private enterprises.
- Autonomous Institutions: Established with public funds and operated by either a government or a private organization.
- Group of Institutions: Some small colleges and universities combine and form groups, often referred to as missions groups.
- Degree Awarding Institutions: These institutions have the authority to award research, associate, and teaching degrees.
- Public Universities: These institutions of higher education are funded by taxes and are regulated by the government of the United States.
- Private Universities: The US government does not support such institutions, and these are primarily funded by alumni donations and faculty research grants.
- Liberal Arts College: Such higher education institutions specialize in specific undergraduate courses within the social sciences, sciences, and humanities disciplines.
- Community Colleges: Unlike universities, community colleges offer two-year associate degrees at a relatively low cost.
- Technical Schools: These schools offer engineering, science, and degree programs.
Top Universities In UK & USA
A survey compiled by the Times Higher Education revealed that more than half of the world's top 200 universities are located in the United States or the United Kingdom. According to the QS World University Rankings 2022, which was recently released, the United Kingdom has 90 universities, of which four are ranked in the top 10. It is only surpassed by the United States, which has 177 entries.
Top 5 Universities in UK
Here are the top five universities in the UK with their QS World Rankings in 2022:
|Institutions||QS World University Rankings 2022|
|University of Oxford||2|
|University of Cambridge||3|
|Imperial College London||7|
|University of Edinburgh||16|
Top 5 Universities in USA
Here are the top five universities in the USA with their QS World Rankings in 2022:
|Institutions||QS World University Rankings 2022|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)||1|
|California Institute of Technology||6|
|University of Chicago||10|
Popular Courses To Study In UK & USA
The UK and the USA both offer an array of programs to international students. Here are the top courses to study in the UK and the USA:
|Popular Courses in UK||Popular Courses in USA|
|Business & Management Studies||Engineering|
|Art & Design||IT & Allied Fields|
Cost Of Studying In UK & USA
Here is the average cost of studying in the UK and USA:
|Study Programs||Tuition Fees In The UK Yearly (GBP)||Tuition Fees In The USA Yearly (USD)|
|Bachelor’s Degree||8,000 GBP to 15,000 GBP||20,000 USD to 40,000 USD|
|Graduate Degree||10,000 GBP to 15,000 GBP||20,000 USD to 50,000 USD|
|Doctoral Degree||10,000 GBP to 25,000 GBP||25,000 USD to 55,000 USD|
Cost Of Living In UK & USA
Tuition fees are not the only expense that should be considered when calculating the cost of studying abroad. It is also necessary to set aside funds for accommodation, food, transportation, WiFi, and traveling.
|Expenses||Cost Of Living Per Year (GBP)||Cost Of Living Per Year (USD)|
|On-Campus Accommodation||3,600 GBP to 4,000 GBP||3,000 USD to 4,500 USD|
|Off-Campus Accommodation||4,000 GBP to 6,000 GBP||4,000 USD to 7,000 USD|
|Household Bills||200 GBP to 400 GBP||1,000 USD to 2,000 USD|
|Public Transportation||1,500 GBP to 1,800 GBP||2,000 USD to 3,000 USD|
|Internet||100 GBP to 150 GBP||100 USD to 200 USD|
|Miscellaneous||500 GBP to 1,000 GBP||1,000 USD to 2,000 USD|
Scholarships Offered In UK & USA
Listed below are some of the most significant scholarships awarded each year to students who wish to study in the UK or the USA:
|UK Scholarships||USA Scholarships|
|British Council GREAT scholarships||Fulbright Scholarships|
|The Commonwealth Scholarships||Onsi Sawiris Scholarship|
|Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships||Asian Women in Business Scholarship Fund|
|The Royal Society Grants||ACI Foundation Scholarship|
|The Chevening Scholarships||Asian Cultural Council Individual Grants|
Student Visa Requirements In UK & USA
Here is the detailed information on student visa requirements for both the UK and USA.
Student Visa for UK
- Tier-4 is the full-time student visa offered by the United Kingdom. Tier-4 UK visas typically cost approximately 350 GBP.
- Additionally, if a dependent travels with you, they must also apply for a visa. A surcharge of 705 GBP is also required for international travel.
- An interview may or may not be scheduled with the visa officer.
- A valid passport
- The reference number of Confirmation of Acceptance For Studies (CAS)
- Passport-size photographs
- Assessment documentation
- ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance report
- A tuberculosis screening report may be requested.
- Documentation regarding the student loan (if you have borrowed a student loan from a bank).
Student Visa for USA
There are three different types of student visas available in the USA:
- F1 student visas are required for programs requiring 18 hours of study weekly, such as MBA and MS
- The J1 Exchange Visitor Visa is issued to students and lecturers pursuing exchange programs in the United States.
- Students wishing to attend technical and vocational schools are required to obtain an M1 visa. For both M1 and F1 visas, the application process is the same.
- A valid passport
- A printed copy of the DS-160 application form
- SEVIS fee receipt (visa fee receipt)
- An original and a copy of the interview appointment letter.
- You will need to submit an original and a copy of the Form I-20 sent by the university/college in which you are enrolled.
- A copy of your previous qualifications.
- Visa fee payment confirmation receipt.
- Results from your chosen English language proficiency test.
- Evidence of sufficient funds to reside in the USA.
Job Opportunities In UK & USA
There are many reasons why the UK and the USA are among top choices for international students looking for higher education abroad, including the world-class education and the wide range of employment opportunities these countries offer.
|Popular Jobs In UK||Average Annual Salary (GBP)|
|Corporate Managers||56,403 GBP|
|Aircraft Pilots||103,525 GBP|
|Mechanical Engineers||35,810 GBP|
|Cyber Security Specialists||60,000 GBP|
|Popular Jobs In USA||Average Annual Salary (USD)|
|Medical Director||271,525 USD to 325,673 USD|
|Chief Marketing Officer||253,000 USD|
|Investment Banker||80,540 USD|
|Software Engineer||93,817 USD|
PR In UK & USA
Due to recent changes in government and legal policies, immigrants to the UK are experiencing increased difficulty. The UK government has undertaken a number of measures to limit non-EU migration and remove bogus colleges from the list. In most cases, if you are holding a UK student or work visa, you will need to depart the country.
The option of permanent residency is available, but it has a very long and lengthy process. As a result of its complexity, the person applying for it must reside in the United States for a period of at least five years in order to qualify for it. After this, you will be granted a “Green Card,” but the entire process may take several years.
Hopefully, the comparison between the UK and USA higher education system and other aspects will help you make an informed decision for your career.