Should I defer my UK university course until 2021?

Whilst many students are keen not to let Covid-19 delay their study plans other students feel there is far too much uncertainty over the next few months to contemplate starting their UK university course this September. A recent Guardian news story stated that one in five students were planning to defer their studies by a year.

As an international student there are many factors to consider and it is, of course, a personal decision whether to defer your course. However, we've drawn up a list of pros and cons which may help you weigh things up:

Pros of deferring your studies until 2021

  • There will be much more clarity on how your course will be delivered in 2021 (whereas we are still waiting to find out the details of many courses starting this year)
  • There is a high likelihood that courses will be delivered face-to-face by September 2021 and you will therefore get the 'full UK university experience'
  • Even if courses are still delivered online in September 2021, universities will have had the experience of a full year delivering online and 'ironed out' any problems
  • If you are beginning a one year course (e.g. a master's) this September you may not get to experience the UK (as the entire year may be delivered online).

Cons of deferring your studies until 2021

  • There may be a lot more competition for places next year (due to significant numbers of people deferring)
  • There may be fewer incentives such as bursaries and scholarships next year
  • You will miss out on the benefits of online study i.e. you will need to get a tier 4 study visa, travel to the UK and pay for accommodation
  • You will be putting your future plans on hold for a year which means delaying your career and missing out on being the first cohort to benefit from the 2 year post-study work visa.

In short there are no right or wrong answers; it all depends on your own circumstances. For example, if you are studying for a foundation course you may decide it is more cost effective to take the course this year (even if it is from your home country) and then begin your full degree in the UK next year. Check out Kaplan's Apply with Confidence programme for a risk-free option where you can get a full refund if you are not happy with the online delivery.

You can already start your university applications for next September through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) and you have plenty of time to consider your best university options and prepare a strong application. 

Whatever your circumstances you can get in touch with our team and we'd be happy to talk you through your options.

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Rachel Burgon
Co-Founder & CEO
Published on 11 June 2020
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