Top 10 Universities in United Kingdom for International Students

The United Kingdom is one of the foremost destinations in search of an international degree. With its high-ranking universities, UK education is considered a premium location by thousands of students. With the many scholarships available, the UK continues to attract the brightest of applicants from all around the globe. In this article, we will be going over the best universities in the United Kingdom for international students.

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Do international students find it satisfying to study in the UK?

Yes. According to Universities UK, Great Britain is the ‘most recommended’ country to study in for international students – at all levels. The overall satisfaction rate of the surveyed students is a whopping 92%.

What do foreign students take up in UK universities?

Most international students take up Economics, Arts & Design, and Computer Science courses in the UK.

How many international students are enrolled in UK universities?

There are currently 485,645 foreigners studying in UK universities.

What is the best UK university for foreigners?

The University of Oxford is considered the best in the UK (and the world) for foreign students.

Best Universities in the United Kingdom for International Students

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is the UK’s premier institution for higher education. It was established in 1096, and as such is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is the second-oldest in continuous operation, trailing Italy’s University of Bologna by only eight years.

Based in Oxfordshire, the university has four academic departments, six permanent private halls, and 39-semi autonomous constituent colleges. Its undergraduate courses follow the unique “Oxbridge” system, where students converge in weekly-taught small groups. This is in contrast with postgraduate education, which is taught centrally.

Oxford offers the prestigious Rhodes scholarship, which is offered to excellent postgraduate students. This is one of the many bursaries offered to foreign students, which make up 41% of the university’s total population. As a result of the financial aid offered to international students as well as its academic excellence, the University of Oxford is the best university in the United Kingdom for international students.

2. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is a collegiate research institution based in Cambridgeshire, England. Founded in 1209, the institution was made possible by King Henry III’s royal charter. Its founding makes Cambridge the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, and the fourth-oldest on the entire planet.

It has 31 semi-autonomous colleges and 150 departments organized into six schools. These colleges have their unique traits, with Lucy Cavendish, Newham, and Murray Edwards admitting only women. Darwin and Clare Hall, on the other hand, are limited to graduate students. As for specializations, St. Catharine has a ‘balanced’ intake, compared to Churchill’s leanings toward science and engineering.

Cambridge offers a variety of scholarships, including the Gates Scholarship for foreign graduate applicants.

3. Imperial College London

Imperial College London is a public research university founded in 1902. It was borne out of Prince Albert’s desire to create a place of ‘culture’. By 1907, the college – following a merger of 3 institutions – was formed via a Royal Charter. A former of the University of London system since 1908, the college finally became independent a century after its founding.

Imperial has campuses in Kensington, White City, and Silwood. Academic-wise, it is leaned towards the studies of medicine, science, technology, and business. This is seen in its four Faculties of Engineering, Natural Sciences, Medicine, and Business.

As one of the top universities in the United Kingdom for international students, the Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, as it is formally known, has a sprawling international student body – which is more than half of the total enrollment population.

4. University College London

The University College London, which has been known as UCL since 2005, is one of the more illustrious research universities based in the English capital. It was founded in 1826 as London University, being the first one to admit students regardless of their religion.

A member institution of the University of London system, its main campus is located in Bloomsbury, Camden. This houses the departments of Engineering, History, Languages, Geography, Economics, Chemistry, Biology, Management, Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy.

It also has a UCL East campus, which is located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Its other institutes, on the other hand, are situated in Clerkenwell, Fitzrovia, and Stanmore.

UCL offers a University Preparatory Certificate for foreign students. These are offered to those whose home countries don’t possess the qualifications needed for direct admission.

5. London School of Economics and Political Science

The London School of Economics and Political Science, which is commonly known as LSE, is a public research institution. Founded in 1895 by the Fabian Society, it is one of the members of the University of London system.

The Westminster-based university operates 27 institutes specializing in various disciplines, including Economics, Social Policy, Sociology, Health Policy, International Development, Government, Gender Studies, and Philosophy, to name a few.

LSE has the highest number of foreign students in the UK, with 72% of its student coming from all corners of the globe, which is the reason why LSE is one of the top UK universities for international students.

6. University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is Scotland’s academic pride. Founded in 1582, it is one of the region’s oldest institutions – and the sixth-oldest in the English-speaking world. It has five campuses in Edinburgh, in the areas of Old Town (Central), King’s Buildings, Bioquarter, Easter Bush, and Western General.

The university has 3 colleges, with Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences being the largest one. It is home to 11 schools specializing in Business, Arts, Economics, Divinity, and Law, to name a few. The other 2 colleges are that of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine and Science & Engineering.

Due to the cap set by the Scottish government, foreign students are said to have better chances of receiving an admission offer in the university.

7. King’s College London

King’s College London (KCL), a founding member of the federal University London, was established in the year 1829. It is one of London’s oldest universities, having been founded by King George IV and Duke Arthur Wellesley.

KCL has five campuses in the capital. The historic Strand campus is home to the Faculties of Business, Arts & Humanities, Law, Social Science, and Natural Sciences.

The Faculty of Life & Medical Sciences and the Dental Institute are headquartered in Guy’s Campus, while the Waterloo campus has two schools and an educational center. St. Thomas houses some divisions of Medicine and Dentistry, with Denmark Hill having two hospitals and an institute.

8. University of Manchester

Next in our list of best universities in the United Kingdom for international students is the University of Manchester, which started in 1824 as the Manchester Mechanics’ Institute. After several name and status changes, the merger of two institutions has made it an official university in 2004.

The campus, which has North and South branches, is home to three Faculties. These are Biology, Medicine & Health, Science & Engineering, and Humanities.

With almost 37,000 students – almost half of these foreign – the University is regarded as the second-largest in the UK terms of enrollment.

9. University of Warwick

The University of Warwick, colloquially known as Warw, is a public university base din Warwickshire, England. Founded in 1965, the university is home to three academic faculties.

The Faculty of Arts houses the departments of History, Modern Languages, Theatre Studies, Literary Studies, and Film/TV studies. The Faculty of Science, Engineering & Medicine is home to the studies of Life Sciences, Medicine, Chemistry, and Psychology, to name a few. As for the Faculty of Social Sciences, it oversees the areas of Economics, Education, Law, Philosophy, and Business, among many others.

Warwick students may spend a semester in several international universities, including that of Columbia (US), McGill (Canada), and Sciences Po Paris (France).

10. University of Bristol

The final university in our list of top UK universities for international students is the University of Bristol, a red brick (civil) research institution based in Bristol, England. It traces its roots back to 1595 as the Merchant Venturers’ School, although it was only formally established via royal charter in 1909.

The university is home to 6 faculties. The Faculty of Arts is home to Arts, Humanities, and Modern Languages, while Engineering has Computer Science and Civil, Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering. The Faculty of Life Sciences has Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Medicine, Physiology, and Psychology. The Science Faculty, on the other hand, has Chemistry, Earth Science, Geography, Physics, and Math.

The Health Sciences Faculty oversees Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary, and Health Sciences programs. As for the Faculty of Social Science & Law, it confers degrees in Education, Policy, Economics, Sociology, and Law.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the UK Scholarships Page.