The British Council in Thailand has confirmed during a virtual press conference earlier today (February 16) that the United Kingdom still remains the world's best educational destination despite the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, and healthcare and COVID-19 treatments, including the vaccines, will be provided to all international students regardless of races and nationalities.
The virtual event was hosted by the British Embassy Bangkok's deputy ambassador Alexandra McKenzie and the British Council in Thailand's director Helga Stellmacher, both of whom have confirmed that the UK has planned to provide all prospective international students with health benefits, including COVID-19 inoculation, while standing firm in an online class as the main lecturing approach. Even though the crisis of COVID-19 is somehow still open-ended, it's good news for those aspiring to pursue an educational endeavor in the UK. Britain's educational and cultural organization promised that international students are still welcome with open arms to seek opportunities in the country in spite of the health difficulty.
First and foremost, the students will be provided with six measures to ensure their health safety, which includes
- student support during the coronavirus quarantine
- special financial relief program
- mental health and well-being support
- access to public health services
- access to COVID-19 testing, and
- access to COVID-19 vaccines on a similar basis as UK citizens.
Moreover, to further the students' confidence in choosing the UK as their target for higher education opportunities, the British government will be offering a new Graduate Route. The program allows undergrads or Master's students who look to work in the UK to apply for a two-year extended period of stay (international doctorates will receive up to three years) to maximize their chance to secure a career while the UK will benefit from cultural diversity and multicultural learning brought by the international students to the working environment.
When asked about the learning process amidst the pandemic time, the organization insisted that the UK faithfully insists on an independent study as its trademark strategy. Meanwhile, all universities are likely to have most classes compulsorily conducted online with some may be held in a face-to-face manner like seminars and laboratory sessions.
The British Council also joins forces in encouraging aspiring students by rolling out more numbers of scholarships this year. GREAT Scholarships will grant a minimum approximate award value of 10,000 GBP (roughly B412,000) each to those who wish to achieve a master's degree in the UK. Also, the organization will give the inaugural Women in STEM scholarships for Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand. The scholarship aims at supporting female scholars who look to pursue advanced studies in four related fields: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This new scheme covers tuition fees, monthly stipend, travel costs, visa, and health coverage fees. Women with dependents are also eligible to apply for the program, with an additional prize for scholars that might need a short pre-sessional English course.