Studying in UK: Pros and Cons of London vs Regional Cities

London is a fantastic place in more ways than one, be it in terms of study or to live. Many students choose capital cities for their universities and education. But look beyond the city of London as regional cities have top universities that are excellent in their teaching, pocket friendly and safe for students. 

Studying in London pros and cons

1.Living in London

London has always been an educational hub for international students and is the home to some of the best universities. It has been ranked as the best student city in the world by QS Best student cities in 2018.

Pros: One of the pros is living in London. The city throngs with people from different nationalities and for students coming from different countries it can be life-changing as you get to experience the nightlife, food, theatre and galleries and get to visit some lovely tourist attractions.

Cons: studying in London and living in London is expensive for international students. If you have plans of studying in London, then have a budget in mind. Travelling is quite costly even though there is public transport available.  This also depends on where you are studying in London as the universities in London are spread across various campuses. As students, you need to get familiar with the city transport and be prepared it can be busy during rush hours. 

King’s College London has around 5 campuses across London from Denmark Hill to Waterloo. Imperial College London has a number of campuses in London and the South East of London. London Metropolitan University has campuses located in Holloway and Aldgate.

2.Academic reputation

International students prefer studying in London for its teaching and world-class universities.

Pros: London has over 45 colleges and universities and a variety of courses to choose from. Five London based universities are members of the Russell Group – King’s University, University College London, London School of Economics, Imperial and Queen Mary. The universities in London also head the charts in terms of employability.

Cons: Getting admission at a London university is quite challenging because of its prestige and reputation. Most of the universities in London don’t conduct interviews but accept or reject you based on your academic performances or your Statement of Purpose. Most of the top universities in London like the LSE don’t ask for grades that are less than A++ or A

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3.Opportunities for professional growth

Studying in London helps you build opportunities for professional development as there are many opportunities for students.

Pros: London is an economic hub and is a great place to build your networking skills. During your course of study, you gain experience for 1 year or go on a study programme which will help you in your career.

Cons: Though London is an economic hub, it does not cater to students but professionals. To make professional connections or to gain professional growth, students need to rely on their classmates or peers and student organisation.

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Advantages of studying in regional cities

The North of England has big cities like Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York. The South of England has cities like Bristol, Bath, Exeter and Plymouth. All these cities have famous universities that are much sought after.

 Here are a few reasons why international students choose to study in Manchester, Edinburgh and other cities.

1.Academic reputation

Universities like Loughborough University (Leicestershire), Lancaster University (Lancashire), Oxford Brookes University( Oxfordshire), and Leeds Beckett University (West Yorkshire) are ranked among the top 20 universities and offer a variety of courses. 

Many Regional universities like   University of Nottingham (Nottinghamshire) Staffordshire University(Staffordshire city) have been awarded gold for their Teaching Excellence Framework while universities like Birmingham City University ( Birmingham city in West Midlands), and  Manchester Metropolitan University (Greater Manchester) have been awarded a Silver for their excellence teaching. Students also go in for further studies or get a placement within 6 months after their graduation.

2.Lower Cost of living than in London

As international students, you are capable of looking out for independent housing. Living in regional cities will help you save on your budget, which means you can even afford a car. Regional cities have both modern and urban lifestyles.

3. Travelling is made easier

Unlike in London, travelling within smaller cities is easier. Living within a regional city helps you to walk to your campus and arrive at the city centre within a short span of time. Time spent on travel across cities is not much. It takes just 25 minutes to commute from Nottingham to Leicester by train, and from Loughborough to Nottingham, it takes around 27 minutes. London is never too far away, If you travel from Birmingham city to London it takes around two hours.

4.Regional cities- home to different cultures

If you think that London is the only city that has a diverse population, then you are wrong. Regional cities too are home to different cultures and nationalities. As students, you will get a chance to mix with students from different cultures.

It is really important to make sure you consider all factors before you choose the right university in the right UK location. Speak to our student advisors to know more.