We write mostly about highly selective university admissions in the United States. But what is the university admissions process like at, say, U.K. universities? International university admissions is a bit different than here in the United States and there’s an article in “Business Insider” that delineates some of the key differences. In the article, in which our Founder, Bev Taylor, is quoted, a higher education consultant in the U.K. is quoted as saying that it all comes down to academics. The student’s “academic motivation” is key. Extracurricular activities, on the other hand, have little value outside of demonstrating that an applicant may possess admirable qualities like being a team player.
Here in the U.S., as you probably know, extracurricular activities matter a great deal. College admissions counselors at highly selective U.S. universities wants students with great SAT or ACT scores as well as terrific grades in the most rigorous curriculum. But they also want students with a singular talent that will add to the diversity of their institution. That singular talent element just isn’t the case in the U.K. According to a Hong Kong-based educational consultant, U.K. university admissions is more similar to the graduate school admissions process in the United States. Applicants to U.K. universities should have extracurricular activities that reflect their intended area of study. And students must clearly demonstrate why it is they want to pursue a particular curriculum.
This just isn’t the case in highly selective U.S. university admissions, where undecided majors are perfectly acceptable and an applicant’s extracurricular activities need not mirror their in-classroom academic interests (though they certainly can). Does any of this surprise you? If it does, let us know why. We’re curious to hear your thoughts on the matter! And, while you’re here, read about university admission in China.