The UK has become one of the top destinations to study around the world. With traditions of excellence dating back hundreds of years, high class institutions in every corner and much more flexibility than many other countries, the United Kingdom has much to offer international students. International students have always been an important presence in the UK, and their numbers have been growing steadily over the years. In fact, the UK is now the second most popular destination for international students, behind the US. Degrees and qualifications from UK higher education institutions are known around the world as high quality and world class. This standard of excellence is set by some of the older universities with recognizable names, such as Oxford and Cambridge, but the tradition carries through to many of the universities and colleges throughout the UK.