The UK has long been a preferred study destination for students all over Africa. From Nigeria to Ghana to South Africa, students troop to the UK every year to attend some of the best schools in the world.
A lot of students who travel to the UK do so to study undergraduate courses. However, a large percentage also travel to study postgraduate courses. This begs the question, is the UK Master’s still worth it for African students?
After finishing their undergraduate courses in the UK, some African students prefer to return to their home country to get a postgraduate degree. Nevertheless, having your Masters in the UK can be helpful in different ways. We will look at those in this article.
Why Choose the UK for Postgraduate Study?
A UK study visa is a dream come true for many African students. It’s easy to understand why many choose the UK for study, whether postgraduate or undergraduate. Our focus here, however, is on postgraduate study.
One of the reasons why African students choose the UK for postgraduate study is the many available options. You can study for a master’s degree, but there’s more. You can also undertake postgraduate research, a postgraduate diploma, a postgraduate certificate, and postgraduate professional development.
Furthermore, it’s not news that the UK has some of the best universities in the world. In the western European country, you can have your master’s in renowned institutions like the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University College London, Imperial College London, and The University of Edinburgh, to name a few.
The university you attend will have a major influence on whether your master’s in the UK is worth it or not. In particular, it’ll play a key role when you start applying for jobs post-graduation.
The reason is simple. The higher-ranked universities have more equipped learning facilities and experienced instructors. Typically, you’ll expect such universities to be expensive, which is true.
Furthermore, choosing the UK for postgraduate studies gives you the chance to explore the historical country. You get to explore historic cities like London, Oxford, York, and Manchester, among others.
UK postgraduate studies last for one year, which is more than enough time to explore. In addition, you can bring your family along as dependents on your graduate visa.
Are African Students Eligible To Work in the UK After Completing Their Masters?
After you graduate with your Master’s degree, you can stay in the UK for a while to look for work. This option is open to African students as well as other international students.
If you studied for a master’s degree, you can apply to stay in the UK for two years. However, if you studied for a PhD, you can apply to stay in the country for up to three years.
During this time, you can search for jobs and work. If you successfully get a job, you can apply for a skilled worker visa once the two or three-year period elapses. With this, you’ve started your journey towards becoming a UK permanent resident or even a citizen.
It’s another reason why many African students opt to study for their master’s in the UK instead of other countries. The UK skilled worker visa is valid for three to five years, depending on your industry.
You can apply and extend your UK Skilled Worker Visa as many times as you want. The UK Home Office will approve your extension so long as you still have your employment.
However, you can easily apply for indefinite leave to remain after staying in the UK for five years rather than extending your visa. Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) makes you a UK permanent resident, and you can work without restrictions forever.
What Are Job Opportunities After Studying in the UK?
The UK is a hub for a plethora of jobs. The country boasts of London, which acted as the economic centre of the EU, when the UK was still a part of the union. As a result, irrespective of your discipline, you should find job opportunities in the UK after graduation.
However, most of the current job opportunities you’ll find in the UK are tech jobs. The country is striving to become a global leader in digital technological advancement. This is evident with the introduction of the Global Talent Visa, among others.
Furthermore, according to data from Glassdoor, some of the top employers of master’s graduates in the UK are tech companies. This includes companies like Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, Accenture, and PwC.
Jobs in the United Kingdom tend to pay much above average because the country clearly values highly educated people. In the United Kingdom, getting a master’s degree is not only commendable; it can also lead to well-paying jobs.
Postgraduates earn 18% more on average than their graduate-level peers, and they are also more likely to work in their field of study. A minimum starting salary of £21,000 can be expected in the United Kingdom for those with a Master of Science degree.
Bottom Line – Should Africans Still Go to the UK for a Master’s Degree?
To conclude, the UK is undoubtedly still one of the best overseas countries for African students to take their masters. The country boasts top universities, quality learning facilities, cultural cities, and most importantly, job opportunities after graduating.
Furthermore, if you plan to migrate to the UK permanently, travelling to study your master’s in the country will set you on the right path. You can easily apply for a work visa after graduating. Afterwards, you can apply to become a permanent resident.