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Top 10 Obstacle on the Way to Attaining Higher Education Among UK Students

Universities in the UK are some of the best Universities in the world, namely the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and University College London, among various others. They are leaders in terms of innovation, faculty, curriculum, and facilities. Despite developments in the higher education system in the UK, students face various challenges while pursuing their postgraduate degrees. Below, we’ve outlined the top 10 obstacles on the way to attaining higher education among UK students:

1. Rising study costs and shifting of funds

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Despite the growth in expectations of students and the degree of competition in more top education institutes in the UK, the volume of investments in infrastructure development of institutes has remained mediocre. However, the allocation of funds into teaching and support for careers to attract students has increased rapidly.

Notably, with potential transformation in the institutes, there has been a significant risk for universities as expenditure will start to surpass income. This burden will be further reflected in the fee structure of Universities, which is already a considerable concern for UK students.

2. The element called BREXIT

Brexit currently dominates the daily lives of people in the UK. The uncertainty encompassing the scenario of Brexit and its impact on different sectors (including the education sector) is enormous. For various Universities in the UK, multiple concerns indirectly affect the students as well. For instance, the rule of free movement in the EU has promoted programs such as ERASMUS, among others. However, there is no clarity for UK students to engage in the exchange programs while the UK’s relationship with the EU is still unclear. 

Besides, there might be certain restrictions for students from other EU nations, which may result in fewer admissions into higher education in the UK. 

3. Differentiated Fee structure

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Despite the announcement of changes to the fee structure of University courses in the UK, the overall higher education sector took it negatively. It is argued that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses will become highly expensive compared to other classes. That will likely discourage students, especially those who are more disadvantaged in society, from pursuing these courses in the UK.

4. Declining welfare 

Though adverse welfare effects are indirect obstacles for students, the impact on the performance of a student is enormous. UK Universities have reported various cases of high rates of harassment, mental illness, among others, which put severe pressure on students. Though Universities have established various resources to tackle such cases, both in and out of the classroom, the issues are still prevalent. Due to the limitations of investing in such departments, the wellbeing of students is at risk. That has put a lot of indirect pressure on students’ mindset, which can later result in poor performance in exams and coursework.

5. Difficult to generate funding for your research

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The competition in specific research fields has grown exponentially since 2011, due to which the ability to make funding for research has become extremely difficult. The availability of funds has been spread across different departments very thinly, which has created a tough situation for students pursuing higher education, including Ph.D.’s, in the UK.

Students in the UK have to look for funding outside of University and Government resources into private partner sources and firms. This shift has become a significant obstacle for students, particularly Ph.D. and research students.

6. Housing Issues

It is challenging to find suitable accommodation at reasonable prices in the UK – especially for students. It can be very stressful for students to find appropriate University accommodation that is also affordable, considering various elements such as rent, facilities, and distance, among others. 

7. Management of Time

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Managing time is a significant hurdle for most students. From studying, revising and living alone, to working a part-time job to cover expenses, to enjoying a social life. Effective time management is complicated to achieve for students. Moreover, ineffective time management can lead to poor performance in studies, ultimately harming their final marks.

8. Language barriers

While this is not so much an issue for native UK students, language barriers are a common cause of anxiety in international students. Clear explanations must counter this barrier, assessment methods, prospective support, and guidance they will receive, among others. This move will tremendously assist international students in the UK, as they pursue their higher education in a new environment.  

9. Unparalleled stress of studies

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The majority of students in the UK know that the expenditure involved in going to University is exceptionally high, and thus, they have to perform well in exams and coursework. Even if fees are paid through scholarships and other aid, there is usually pressure felt from society and family members to succeed in studies. 

10. Getting a Part-time job

As previously mentioned, the cost of studying at any University is high. Not only for course fees, but for books, rent, transport, any kind of social life, and living away from home. Often, students will consider working part-time (or sometimes even full-time) to support their financial burdens. However, getting an excellent part-time job alongside studying and writing essays is very difficult in the UK. 

More information on managing your time and responsibilities as a student in the UK can be found at

About Suzan Vega