Online forum paves the way to study in the UK
  • | | March 09, 2012 03:45 PM

Today Dan Tri/DTiNews held an online forum called “Making the Best Choice of Institution for Your Future Career”, in which a panel of experts helped to steer hopeful Vietnamese students in the right direction in their choices for overseas study.


The live online forum provide career direction for students who study in the UK

The panel consisted of four members. Julie Brooks, Director of Postgraduate Programmes, Univeristy of St Andrews has been working continuously since 2005 to improve the experience of students taking master’s courses. Prior to working at the university she held a senior position in the local government in Scotland. She also has wide experience working in the private and public sectors, as well as for NGOs.

Tanja Lederer, International Officer, University of Westminster is responsible for marketing and student recruitment in Southeast Asia. She’s worked in Vietnam for ten years and has gained a reputation among students as being extremely helpful and a popular choice for facilitating their studies. Tanja has a backgrond in publishing and media, including a stint at the Independent.

Carl Owen, Country Manager, ISC-UKEAS would like to provide the best and professional advisory service to each and every need of the Vietnamese students. He said “placing a significant investment in studying abroad is a very important decision so we want to provide students with accurate information to help them choose the most suitable institution and courses that bring them potential career opportunities”.

Dao Duy Linh, University of Birmingham alumni just come back to Vietnam after more than a year studying Master degree in the UK. He majored in Investments at the University of Birmingham.

Below are a few of the questions asked by students along with the answers from the panelists:

Julie Brooks

Q: I’m a second-year student at the University of Economics in HCM City. I want to start my master's degree in the UK. Can you tell me the requirements for a full scholarship? Do I need to have a GPA of 8.0? What else do I need?

A: The minimum IELTs score you would need is a 6.5. If you are an excellent student you can be eligible to apply for a Chevening scholarship offered by the Bristish Council. If you any more questions please feel free to meet at the Rex Hotel in HCM for more detailed information on scholarship opportunities.


Julie Brooks (first from left), Director of Postgraduate Programmes, Univeristy of St Andrews

Q: I’d like to apply for MSc in bank management. Can you tell me more about the requirements, including tuition fees and living costs?

A: Our MSc programmes are for students who do not have a background in business studies. If you've already studied business I would recommend that you go for a master's in international business. There is a difference between the two programmes. Whichever one you choose, you can apply online. Tuition is usually around 15,000 pounds, and you'll need about 25,000 pounds for living expenses in order to get a visa.

Q: Can you tell me about your deadlines for applying for master's programmes at UK universities?

A: Usually we have rolling deadlines, but this year there are number of applications is quite high. I would say that by May all the slots will be filled.

Q:  I want to apply for master degree in the UK. My current IELTS is 4.5. Is there any chance that I can get in, and would I be able to take English courses in the UK to get my degree?

A: You need a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 to qualify for the pre-sessional course. If your score is lower than that you could apply for a one-year pre-master's. However with your current IETLS score, I suggest that you to retake the exam before applying.

Q: I would like to apply to a finance programme in the UK. Currently I have a level 1 CFA and an IELTS score of 7.0. What requirements would make it me a preferential candidate?

A: You sound like a good candidate and I encourage you to apply for a master in finance and management. If you apply now we could process your application quickly.

Tanja Lederer

Q: Hi, I am a third year student on a BTEC programme and this April I will receive a HND certificate in financial business. I want to study at a higher level in the UK, particularly in London. I want to know about subsistence expenses in London for a year and whether there are any policies to support students?

A: Because he didn’t mention what subject he wanted to study, I suggest he should find a course first. I mean what subject does he want to do? He should then find universities that offer that subject. Many schools won’t accept a BTEC, so he should check the requirement of the universities he intends to apply for.


Tanja Lederer (first from right), International Officer, University of Westminster

Q: And about scholarships?

A: Depending on his subject now, a HND, business and finance courses have tuition fees of 11,000 pounds and rough living costs in London probably are about10,000 pounds.

Q: Can you suggest some websites, so they investigate applying for scholarships?

A: Oh, the only website I can offer here, you know, it is the website of Westminster’s website, we have scholarships for postgraduate and undergraduate students.

Q: I have a daughter, and this summer I want to send her to study in the UK, but I’m worried about her security, safety, will anyone be responsible for her?

A: No, she’ll have to be responsible for her own behaviour.

Q: Any suggestions about how to make this parent feel more secure about her daughter’s safety there?

A: In fact, nobody can protect her, when she’s out on the streets, you know, maybe she’ll be hit by a car, you never know. However, I think the UK is quite a safe place to study and live. However, there won’t be anybody that is responsible for her daughter’s safety. She should be careful, be sensible and she shouldn’t go to the places she doesn’t know. It depends where she studies. London is a big city, so their may be more danger there, than in a small village. It depends where she is.

Q: This student wants to study in the UK after having graduated, but his degree isn’t very high, so do you have any suggestion for him about how he can be accepted by universities in the UK?

A: It depends what courses he wants to apply for. We don’t know exactly what his score is. But accepted scores should be over 7, or preferably over 8; but if it’s below 7, he should take a pre-master's class for postgraduate students, the course may last for 6 or 8 months. But there may also be concerns about how he prepares for the master degree, with a low grade in his bachelors degree, he’ll be low on the list of students to be considered for a master degree.

Q: Do you have any suggest for him at master degree?

A: Yeah, at Westminster we work with Kaplan International Colleges so they teach a pre-maste'sr programme, and after studying there they can study with us as postgraduate students. I suggest they study with Kaplan then they can be approved by us. After they’ve passed this class, they can then take a master's course.

Q:  If I pass a TOIEC exam, have I met the requirement to study abroad?

A: Yes, at Westminster and other schools we accept your TOIEC degree, but I think, if you want to have visa to go UK, you’ll also need to have IELTS or TOEFL, but I don’t know for sure, you should check these particular, specific details. I recommend an IELT, it is usually accepted.

Q: So he should visit the UK to improve his English?

A: Well, he could do that in Vietnam, so take courses to study English in Vietnam, but he can also come to the UK to study.

Q: She’s studying at grade 11 in Vietnam and she wants to go abroad to study. How can she get a scholarship there to study?

A: If it’s just to graduate from high school, she should take a basic foundation course first, because she can’t apply for a degree. It means she should finish high school in Vietnam and then after she has finished, a foundation year in UK and then she can continue to apply for a bachelor degree.

Q: I’m considering studying in the UK, and I want to do architecture. I want to know about the fees, and whether I can study part-time?

For undergraduate student, the course will last for 3 years with tuition fees of maybe 11,000 pounds per year. Students can’t work part-time over 20 hours per week, and annual living costs are about 10,000 pounds.

Q: A student already has a bachelor’s degree in electronics in VN with a score of 8/10, and he is working for the Institute of Science and Technology. Have you got any suggestions for him in terms of accessing scholarships in the UK?

A: Possibly. I mean we offer a master’s degree in Electronic Engineering. In terms of a scholarship, if he wants one, first, he needs to apply for the course, after he has been accepted, then he can apply for the scholarship. It will be very competitive. But we have policies that give scholarship to Vietnamese students, only Vietnamese students have this priority at our university. So he can apply for. And our deadline for scholarships is the end of May, if he wants to start this September.

Q: A student is currently in her fourth year at university and she wants to study a master’s degree at Westminster, but her English isn’t very good. So how can she apply for master’s course at Westminster? Is it possible or not? Can she study English at Westminster before joining a master’s course? Does your university have any English language requirements before applying?

A: We ask for an IELTS score of 6.5 for masters in law. It maybe possible, but it also depends on their language skills; they should take an IELTS, because if they haven’t, it will be very difficult for us to know if they’re capable. We also suggest some classes for students before taking classes at master degree. If she accepts to these class, then we could accept an IELTS score of 5.5. She should take these classes. Because an IELTS score of under 5.5 will make it difficult to be accepted by any university. Normally, the minimum requirement is 5.5. So she should take classes here in Vietnam first, to prepare for the IELTS tests. Pre-study English courses are run before the start of the master’s course, but normally the minimum marks to be accepted for these classes is also 5.5. It is a basic requirement.

Q: How much money does a student need before coming to the UK to study a master’s degree?

Carl Owen

Q: What are the basic requirements for a second-year student to study in the UK?

A: Generally you need a GPA of around 7.0, you would also need to have enough money to pay a tuition fee, averaging around 12,000 pounds, and then 17,200 pounds of living costs, as well as an IELTS score of 6.0 or higher. It depends on the university you’re applying for. If you have lower IELTS marks, you can take part in short-term courses at ISC-UKEAS


Carl Owen - Country Manager, ISC-UKEAS

Q: Would we have to prove that we have enough finances to support ourselves for a year in order to get a visa?

A: You would have to prove that you have enough money for the tuition fees and living expenses for nine months.

Q: If a student, studying at a private college, wanted to join a bachelors programme at a university in the UK, would they have to take a pre-bachelor course?

A: If they complete one year of college education or university education in Vietnam, they can go directly to a bachelor degree at a UK university. They wouldn't need any further preparation course. However, it depends on the university and institution the student went to in Vietnam. Your GPA could also make a difference depending on the university you are applying to.

Q: Does a student need further courses to be accepted to a UK university?

Yes, and the reason is that in Vietnam students study for 12 years before university, while students in the UK study for 13 years. So Vietnamese students will have to take one more year foundation study. If they study in a college or university in Vietnam then he or she would not have to take the extra year of foundation study in the UK, but would still need to pass the IELTS with a score of 6.0 or 6.5.

Q: I have a child in the 8th grade and I want to send her to study in the UK. Is it possible, and what are the requirements?

A: Yeah, it’s possible. You would have to send your child to a private school in the UK for at least one year before she starts. It will generally cost around 20,000 pounds a year for tuition fees and accommodation. The student would also have to take an English test at the school, as well as tests for maths and science. It is possible to take these tests in Vietnam at our representative offices.

Q: I'm a second-year bachelor in Vietnam and want to continue my studies in the UK. What are the requirements?

A; Generally you can transfer directly to the first year study with average GPA 7.0, and IELTS 6.0 to 6.5.

Q: I have no English background but I really want to study in the UK. What are my options?

A: If you want to the study in the UK, knowledge of English is important. The best way for a student to improve their English is to study by reading everyday. You can start with every low-level books. Improving your English is vital for you to gradually get used to life and study in the UK. If you have enough money you can take one-year English course overseas which would greatly help improve your English.

In addition to IELTS, there are also the English PEARSON test, TOEFL or TOIC. You can find out the standards for English testing in the UK at the website:

Q: Tuition fees and living expenses are very high in the UK. What type of support is provided by the student union and other student services for those who finance themselves?

A: Each student union has types of support and services available for international students, such as help finding part-time jobs on campus and affordable accommodations. But it depends on what services a student is looking for. You can save money by sending applications early via our centre. This way you are eligible for early payment discounts and can be provided with support to find low-cost accommodation as well as have access to budget airlines.

Leave your comment on this story