As many of you are probably aware, i’ve been living in Singapore for almost 30 years. My eldest boy has now completed his National Service (2yrs from 18yrs old) and is getting ready to go off to University this year, planning to do Biological Sciences.
He has a place at the National University of Singapore, which according to the various international league tables is rated as one of the best in the world. He has also applied to the UK universities via UCAS and as he already has his results, has been offered places at all 5 choices.
We had always assumed that he would go to the UK and based on my experience in the world of work, those in Singapore who have been overseas tend to do better (more independent etc etc).
However (and maybe this maybe just slight trepidation as it gets close to decision time), he has recently started to question whether it is worth going to the UK to get a degree or whether he should just do his degree in Singapore and then do post graduate in the UK later. Part of this is due to reading about unhappiness amongst students in the UK, lecturers planning on going on strike and questioning on the value of a UK University education (he reads The Guardian).
I always used to have the impression that UK universities were still highly regarded, but having been here for so long, I’m probably out of touch.
So is a UK University education worth it (remember we will pay overseas fees, so even more expensive)? Would the benefits of independence etc outweigh the going to the local University that is higher ranked in the world? Any other thoughts / advice / comments?
For the record he is looking at Sheffield, Manchester, St Andrew’s, Durham and Warwick (which were all highly rated for his course in the Times guide). I went to Manchester and am from Sheffield, so can advise on those two, but I have no knowledge of the others, so again any insights appreciated.