5 Reasons why London is the best place to study higher education

“There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.”

- Vivienne Westwood

London is the capital city of the UK and has built a reputation as a popular place for students. It's been ranked as the number one city in the world for the fifth year in a row in the QS Best Cities Ranking 2024. These rankings look at how good the universities are, how much it costs to live where they are based and how many job opportunities there are. They showcase different cities for studying and also find out what students think about living there.

London has lots to offer, from its busy city life to its famous higher education providers. It's also known for being one of the world’s most diverse and cosmopolitan cities. People speak more than 300 languages in London and there are loads of things to do, like going to concerts, visiting museums, watching plays and going to sports events.

If just being in one of the biggest and most famous cities in the world isn't enough to convince you to study there, we've put together a list of reasons why London is the best place to study and it could be one of the best choices you'll ever make. But before we get into that, let's learn a bit about its history.

History of London

London's history is endlessly fascinating and the city offers endless entertainment opportunities. It's packed with historical landmarks such as monuments, museums and royal palaces. If you haven't already explored London's rich history, from tales of queens and kings to iconic landmarks, what are you waiting for?

Situated on the banks of the River Thames, London was founded by the Romans in the third century and initially called Londinium when its population was just 50,000. In the 19th century, it endured numerous Viking attacks. In 1067, the newly crowned King of England established the city's existing rights, laws and privileges.

The UK's departure from the European Union on February 1st, 2020, marked a significant event in London's history. However, you can delve into the city's past by visiting landmarks like the Tower of London, Hampton Court, the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, Churchill War Rooms and many more. London's rich history itself can be a compelling answer to your question, “Why London is the best place to study higher education”.

Why London is the best place to study: 5 reasons


If you're still unsure about whether studying with higher education providers in London is the right choice for you, we've compiled a list of reasons why it could turn out to be one of your best decisions ever.

1. Centre of excellence for education

Studying with higher education providers in London means being in one of the best places for education. There are a lot of good higher education providers in London where you can benefit from high-quality learning and expert teaching. This gives you plenty of options to choose from. The facilities and academic standards in London are top-notch. Plus, there are many libraries and support networks that can help you decide what to study.

After finishing your studies, London is a great place to kickstart your dream career and improve your professional skills. London is known worldwide for its education system.

In 2023, London was named the top 'smart centre' in the world, beating cities like New York and San Francisco for the first time, according to the Smart Centres Index by the Z/Yen Group.

London has become one of the smartest cities globally by embracing data and new technologies. It's a hub for research and development in innovation, including 5G, artificial intelligence and clean technology.

This means you have lots of opportunities to begin your career right after finishing your higher education.

2. Placement, internship and networking opportunities

While studying with a higher education provider in London, it's crucial to network with people in your field. Studying in London gives you the chance to meet professionals in various industries, both within your course and beyond.

London offers many placement opportunities, providing valuable hands-on experience in your future career and making you more competitive in the job market.

3. London’s magnificent nightlife

London is the best place for students who love to socialise. As the capital city, it's famous for its vibrant nightlife that never seems to end. There are tons of fun things to do in London after dark. If you study here, you can enjoy evenings filled with comedy shows, theatre performances, live music, or just hanging out in the city.

Having a great night out in London doesn't have to break the bank. There are plenty of affordable options to choose from, including student nights, drum 'n' bass parties and classic indie discos. So, you can have a blast without worrying about spending too much money by the end of the semester.

4. Its multicultural society

Students from all around the world choose to study with higher education providers in London. It's a great opportunity to meet new people and discover different cultures and festivals. When you study in London, you'll have exciting new experiences. The campus of the educational institution becomes even more vibrant because of the diverse mix of people from all over the world. This gives you the chance to learn about different cultures, countries and languages.

Furthermore, the UK has one of the highest student satisfaction rates globally. So, there are plenty of good reasons to consider higher education providers in London.

5. It’s London!

London is one of the best cities in the world. People come from all over the world just to visit. Living in London is a real honour. Is there even a need for any further explanations?

An overview of the UK’s higher education system

As per the World Population Review, the UK's education system was ranked as the second-best in the world in 2021. The UK is known for its high-quality education, engaging teaching methods, prestigious higher education institutions and high student satisfaction. UK universities consistently score well in global rankings like the QS World Rankings, Times Higher Education Ranking and Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Moreover, degrees obtained from UK institutions are recognised worldwide and favoured by employers internationally. Now, let's take a closer look at the UK's education system.

How does the UK education system work?

In the UK, the responsibility for education is divided among four jurisdictions:

  1. England
  2. Northern Ireland
  3. Wales
  4. Scotland

Each of these regions has its own unique education systems, qualifications, laws and regulations. The main differences lie in primary and secondary education, leading to each region having its own credit frameworks and qualifications.

Qualifications framework

A qualification framework is a key national guideline that upholds academic standards in higher education within a country. In the UK, two parallel frameworks govern the qualifications awarded by degree-awarding institutions:

  • The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications of Degree Awarding Bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ).
  • The Framework for Qualifications of Higher Education Institutions in Scotland (FQHEIS).

Approximately 160 education institutions in the UK are authorised to grant degrees.

Quality assurance system

One unique aspect of the UK's education system is the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). This independent organisation evaluates and compares universities and colleges across the country through frequent audits and reviews. It identifies effective educational practices and offers feedback to help institutions improve. This ensures that students receive a high-quality education.

Higher education in the UK

In the UK, higher education mainly includes bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Obtaining a higher education qualification can result in higher earning potential, broader career opportunities and a more fulfilling professional life. Therefore, regardless of your situation, pursuing higher education in the UK could be the right decision for you.

Undergraduate courses

Undergraduate courses aim to introduce students to new experiences after school while providing a comprehensive understanding of their chosen subjects. In the UK, a wide range of courses are available in fields such as humanities, social sciences, arts, design, business, technology and science, among others!

Postgraduate studies

Postgraduate courses are more focused and require a higher level of study. Many master’s degrees in the UK last for one year, allowing you to re-enter the workforce sooner when compared to those pursuing master’s degrees in other countries.

Doctoral degree

A doctoral degree is the highest academic qualification available. According to HESA, during the academic year 2021-2022, over 104,000 students were enrolled in doctoral research programmes across various higher education institutions in the UK.

Typically, it takes about three to four years to complete the degree and earn a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD). The degree is designed to develop expertise in your chosen field of study. There are numerous courses available, including specialised ones highly valued in the industry.

Therefore, it's essential to explore the various courses offered by the UK higher education system to decide which course suits you best. This decision marks the initial step in selecting the right higher education institution.

Choosing higher education

Your career choice can greatly influence your decision to pursue higher education and the course you choose. Some careers, such as medicine, dentistry, engineering and architecture, require you to have a degree. For other professions like law or speech therapy, you need an additional postgraduate qualification along with your degree to practice.

You might also decide to study a subject that interests you or to expand your knowledge in a specific area. However, pursuing a higher education qualification can also help you develop skills and qualities that employers value, such as problem-solving and communication skills. It's beneficial to have a career path in mind before selecting a course to study.

Global Banking School (GBS): The best higher education provider in London for you


GBS is one of the most reputed higher education providers in London, Manchester, Birmingham and other major UK cities. The institution is dedicated to its mission of “changing lives through education”.

Through partnerships with renowned academic institutions, GBS offers a range of industry-relevant courses, ensuring students embark on a fulfilling and comprehensive learning journey. GBS provides a wide selection of specialised vocational, undergraduate and postgraduate courses across nine campuses in prominent UK cities, including London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. You can explore diverse subjects such as finance, accounting, business, healthcare and more, equipping you with valuable knowledge and skills for future career success.

GBS regularly hosts guest lectures, industry seminars and career fairs, providing students with insights from professionals and potential employment opportunities. Notably, GBS's commitment to industry relevance is reflected in its excellent National Survey Scores, surpassing sector average scores in all ten themes. This achievement confirms that the institution's holistic approach, from fostering industry connections to soliciting student feedback, cultivates a dynamic and career-focused learning environment.

Frequently asked questions about higher education providers in London

The current collective term for universities and other institutions offering higher education in England for students.

In the academic year 2021/22, there were 288 higher education institutions in the United Kingdom, a decrease from 295 institutions in the previous year.

Yes, UK higher education is highly regarded for its quality and standards.

London offers top-notch education, diverse cultural experiences and countless opportunities, making it the ideal place to study.

GBS is one of the best higher education providers in London, Manchester, Birmingham and other major UK cities. The institution offers industry-specific courses in fields such as business, finance, healthcare and more. Contact student support to learn more.

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