The United Kingdom (UK) government has announced a new points-based visa route to encourage international students to study and live in the UK. South African students interested in starting the application process need to ensure they meet the basic entry requirements; this includes securing an offer from their chosen university.
“Due to complicated and confusing visa processes, local students have often been discouraged from applying to international universities. The UK’s new student visa route opens up an opportunity for South Africans with dreams of studying overseas, provided they have applied to and been accepted at a UK university,” says Rebecca Pretorius, Country Manager at global mentorship company Crimson Education.
Prospective international students are required to achieve a total of 70 points to be granted a UK student visa. For 50 points, students must present proof of an unconditional offer from an approved educational institution, including a reference number from the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). The course must also lead to an approved qualification, at an appropriate level of study.
For a further 10 points, students must demonstrate that they can speak, read, write and understand English to the required standard for the level of course they intend to study. To secure the remaining 10 points, students must show that they are able to financially support themselves throughout their studies in the UK. Students can apply via the new student visa route from October 2020, at a cost of £348 (around R7 500, depending on the current exchange rate).
The most difficult part of the process for many hopeful students will be the process of applying to international universities. “Every country and university has its own requirements, including extracurriculars, essays, admissions tests and portfolios. Considering the complexity of the applications and competitiveness of top universities abroad, students should consider the services of an admissions company, who can assist in all areas of the candidacy building and application process,” says Pretorius.
Pretorius shares her top four tips for selecting an admissions service:
- Partnerships: Where companies have partnerships with specific universities, look carefully at the universities they partner with. These universities may have low barriers to entry, and have trouble attracting students.
- Expertise: Look out for companies that offer support from international tutors and mentors who have experience with the universities you’re applying to. If the company only offers local support, you may not have access to the relevant expertise needed for applications to top universities.
- Support: Take note of the service you receive during your initial research – this is a good indicator of how the company will treat you during your programme. If you haven’t experienced a good turnaround time, for example, you are unlikely to receive it during your programme.
- Results: Mentorship companies with positive results will share them on their website. Look out for companies that have a good track record, particularly with top universities.
With a presence in 30 cities, the Crimson launched in South Africa in 2018. Offering mentorship support to students applying to universities in the US, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and China, they also host regular webinars with experts, former Ivy League admissions officers, and Crimson alumni on a range of relevant admission topics. For more information, visit www.crimsoneducation.org.
Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications:
021 447 1082 / 072 693 9401
On behalf of:
Rebecca Pretorius, Country Manager for Crimson Education South Africa