Cookie Consent by

Why study business in the UK?

121,675 international students came to the UK to study business related degrees in the 2016/17 academic year. We have a look at why the UK is so popular for business students.

Top 3 reasons why international students study business in the UK

In our last blog one of the things we spokeabout was the huge numbers of international students studying in the UK. The 2016/17 year saw 442,375 students from outside the UK grace our shores to undertake their university education – that’s almost 20% of the entire make-up of students in UK higher education.

We can take this data one step further and look specifically at the subject areas international students are wanting to studying in the UK. Here are the top 3 for 2016/17:


Top 3 Subjects for international students

We can see a clear winner here – Business and Administrative studies outnumber the nearest runner-up by a margin of 69,130! Looking at these statistics, it’s clear that business degrees get a lot of interest from international students, but we’re asking: why should that be so?

Graduate prospects

Word Cloud Uk

In spite of taking a knock in the last decade thanks to the financial crisis, the UK economy is continuing to grow, standing strong as thefifth largest economy in the world and the third largest in Europe. 

Among our industry strengths are agriculture, construction, hospitality, manufacturing, mining, financial services, the services industry, oiland gas production and tourism - a whole host of opportunities for graduates. 

It’s well worth noting that the UKs largest sector, making up 79% of total GDP, is the services industry, an entire sector which exists to support business and includes banking, insurance, and other business services. Although business graduates can work in practically any sector, the strength of our services industry means there is special need for graduates with business knowledge and skills.

Entrepreneurship and the start-up trend show no signs of diminishing whatsoever in the UK, with an ever growing stream of new businesses coming into existence. According to Start-up Britain, 2016 saw a massive 657,790 new British businesses form, up from 618,110 in the previous year.


Business Infor Vat Growth


Another measure of UK business growth is the increase of VAT and PAYE registered business – a growth of 114,300 between 2016 and 2017, the largest growth in the last 5 years.

The UK and London in particular is a centre of global economy and finance. The 2018 KOF Index of Globalisation ranks the UK as the 8th most globalised country in the world, above even Germany and the United States.  Globalisation is defined in this instance as the process of creating connections across nations in terms of people, information and ideas, capital and goods.

In short, the UK’s economy and business infrastructure is tied to the global marketplace. With European and worldwide headquarters of multinational companies, a burgeoning export/import trade, and a supportive environment to new business, the UK is an excellent place for internationals to live, work and further their careers.

English as the business lingua franca

It’s simple really: business can’t be done when people can’t communicate. When companies are negotiating deals across countries, meetings are taking place with individuals of ifferent nationalities and customers are internationally diverse, there must be a common mode of communication. In the 21st century this common mode is the English language.

Aside from the fact that 20% of the world’s population already speaks English, global corporations such as Nokia, Samsung, Rakuten and many more have officially adopted English as their business language. There is a widely recognised need for good English speakers in international business.

By the end of your studies you will be able to communicate clearly and effectively, and have an excellent gras of idiomatic business language. To secure employment after university, you want to been seen as a potentially valuable member of the company - a good knowledge of English will certainly help you on your way.

Academic excellence and choice

We spoke about this in our last blog too; in the UK we have an outstanding academic reputation. 4 UK universities are placed in the top 10 QS World University Rankings for 2018, and in terms of business, there are more than 100 business schools to choose from – 4 of which once again feature in the QS top 10 for business and management studies.

Business is a subject with a wide variety of specialisms and UK universities match this with broad selections of modules and courses available so that students can tailor their studies to their own interests. Specialisms might include accounting, business administration, human resources and marketing, amongst many more!

Often at degree level, business can be studied as part of a joint honours degree, alongside another subject. The academic strength of UK universities can therefore be doubly as important, as joint honours students will be looking for academic quality in both their subject areas.

If you want access to high quality English speaking universities then the UK could well be the best place for your unergraduate studies.  

Summing up…

So there we have it. 3 reasons why the UK is a hotspot for business-minded students from abroad.

Considering the choice of industries for graduates to move into after their studies, and the academic strengths of UK institutions, and the advantages of learning English - it’s easy to see what makes the UK so popular among international students. Of course, the large number of international students in the UK is evidence of a student culture and academic landscape which is supportive of overseas students.

... One last thing…

If you’re interested in studying business at degree level in the UK, you’re probably aware of some university entry requirements. You’ll need a certain standard of English, usually measured by an IELTS qualification, and proven academic knowledge.

If you’ve finished high-school or you’re wanting to return to university to study business but you don’t have the right level of English or academic background, don’t feel left out! There are courses out there to help you move into higher education.

A foundation year in business will give students an academic knowledge while helping them get their English up to the standard required for degree-level studies. Often foundation years involve direct progression into university.

There are some good options available so you should definitely shop around. However, at Twin we’ve just launched our own Foundation in Business programme, a yearlong course with progression into one of our partner universities. Unlike many foundation courses, ours gives students the opportunity to earn a qualification recognised by 95% of UK universities. A sure way to open the doors to many UK universities.

Why don’t you have a closer look at our course here