Interview with David Campbell

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Photo courtesy of the British High Commission

What is the international value of a UK degree?
UK universities are world-renowned and offer excellent teaching facilities with highly dedicated and respected academic staff who are often experts in their field. Employers recognise the high standards of teaching and the UK’s strong reputation for research, innovation and creativity. So a UK qualification can get your career off to a great start, equipping you with the necessary skills, qualifications and connections to excel. Surveys such as the QS World Rankings show UK university graduates to be amongst the most employable, often achieving markedly higher salaries compared to those graduating from home institutions.

Tell us about some of the courses available in the UK that people may not necessarily be aware of.
UK institutions offer a wide range of courses from the more generalised fields of study such as Chemistry and Economics to highly specialised subjects like Robotics, Crime Scene Studies and Film Making. With tens of thousands of courses on offer in the UK, you’re sure to find one that caters to your interests and abilities.

How does the UK cater to Muslim students?
Most UK cities have halal butchers and restaurants or cafes that serve halal food. Supermarkets have a wide range of food – you can even find Brunei Halal ready meals! There are mosques established in most cities and most academic institutions have a multi faith prayer room. Within the university there will be an Islamic society where you can meet other Muslim students from different parts of the world. People in the UK are highly tolerant and respectful of those with different religious backgrounds.

What sort of budget would an international student need for living expenses and tuition fees per year?
The UK offers a great value education. In terms of living costs and course fees, the UK compares very favourably with other countries. Most UK degree courses are not as long as those in other countries, so you’ll be committing less time and money. It normally takes three years to complete an honours degree in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, or four years in Scotland. For international students, tuition fees may vary from £3,500 to £18,000 (BND6,220 to BND31,985) per year depending on your course, institution and level of study. Scientific, medical and postgraduate courses tend to have higher fees. Living expenses in the UK are quoted to be £13,521 (BND24,025) for London and £12,160 (BND21,610) for outside of London but with smart budgeting, students can definitely lower their monthly expenses. One of the great things about being a student in the UK is the many discounts available. The students’ union at the university normally organise social events and trips that cost very little or nothing at all.

What are the options available for students wanting to apply for scholarships in the UK?
Many higher education institutions offer a variety of scholarships and awards to help international students come to the UK to study. Bursaries and scholarships are usually awarded on the basis of academic achievement or according to financial need.

Each scholarship has its own set of requirements, so it is worth visiting the university’s respective websites for more detailed information. Alternatively, search the scholarship database available in the Education UK website http://www.educationuk.org to find out whether you might be eligible for any awards.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers Chevening Scholarships for early to mid career professionals who wish to study a one-year Master’s degree at any UK university. More details about the annual competition can be found at http://www.gov.uk/world/brunei

This article was published in the Oct-Dec 2016 issue of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!