This question is specifically aiming at the UK PhD admission system.
Having spent roughly 6 years in the UK - 2 years A-Level and 4 years undergraduate, I am now moving forward into applying for PhD programs. To my surprise, I discovered that I would have to face a lot of difficulties regarding my eligibility for funding.
Most of the funding I applied for were strictly 'UK/EU citizens only', and it is rare to have full funding for international students. I have applied to a lot of places, and received a lot of responses in the form of "... you are a good match, but I don't have funding for overseas students...".
Having chosen the UK to study with the belief that 'as long as I am competent I should be qualified for the job', the reality has really slapped back at me.
Why such discriminations are allowed in a developed country like the UK? I made this claim knowing little to nothing about the US or other countries' systems, but lots of my friends having applied to EU PhDs received their offers without being asked whether they are 'caucasians' or not.