Well since you are an Anglo-friend, UK is far easier than other countries (visa-wise), plus as a European you have what would be termed as an "A class" passport which should take of that problem for you (meaning, you get into school = you get visa pretty quick), but keep in mind that even for Americans R3 is not that easy. And in general you will have better chances (and better chances at scholarship) in R1. However if you have a distinct advantage for applying R3, by all means, go for it.
I would also add that if you are considering International MBAs like INSEAD, IMD, etc. you will have many options as you will have good deadlines in Feb/March
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