The UK, formally known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is one of the oldest monarchies in Europe. Great Britain comprises of England, Scotland, Wales, and St George’s Channel, and the Irish Sea between UK and Ireland. Though a tiny island nation, Britain has been a world power for hundreds of years in recent history. It is from her shore, people set out for journeys establishing the modern-day United States, New Zealand, Australia, etc. Further, she conquered a major chunk of the globe especially in Asia and Africa. Even though the colonial rule ended post World War II, the British Queen is still the head of many Commonwealth countries.
Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy i.e. the sovereign is the head of the state while the actual power is vested in the elected parliament. Parliament consists of two houses namely the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Britain is one of the world’s leading industrial nations leading both in innovation and the service sector. Northern Ireland, situated in the north east of Ireland comprises the other part of the UK. It has its capital in Belfast and is a European leader in agricultural produce.
Life and Culture in the UK
With a fascinating history and a fervent cultural milieu, UK offers one of the most interesting environments for international students. It is a country bursting with cultural energy and wonderful heritage of centuries. Its colonial relation in almost every corner of the world has made UK’s culture very pluralistic in nature, giving international students opportunities to explore the whole world culturally while studying in a relatively tiny island! Birthplace of Newton, Darwin, Shakespeare, Bertrand Russell, J K Rowling, Charles Babbage and the Beatles, the UK has something for everyone to explore, culturally and intellectually. As a country that is home to one of the world’s largest financial capitals, the world’s richest soccer club-Manchester United, hundreds of musical bands and theaters, the UK offers an incredible array of experiences to live and share. The UK has beautiful landscapes and scenic countryside as well as bustling cities offering a mix of both urban and rural experiences. The British people tend to be sporty and adventurous and the multicultural environment in the cities makes immigrants and international students feel at home. Students can enjoy diverse cuisines from all over the world, attend concerts, participate in popular sport, attend different festivals and explore different folklore’s throughout their student life.
Education in the UK and the British Edge
The education system of the UK is a result of hundreds of years of evolution, passing through series of rigorous quality checks and improvements. The government has made education compulsory for its citizens aged between five and sixteen, making UK one of the most educated nations in the world. Primary and secondary education is provided both by state funded and private schools. However, it is the higher education sector that draws attention of the world. Hundreds of thousands of international students join British universities for higher education. Thousands of students also go to colleges and universities in the UK for a semester or a term under Student exchange or study abroad programs.
With over 150 universities, the UK virtually offers any type of course of study available in the world. From the famous PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) at Oxford to Global Innovation Management at University of Strathclyde, UK has it what you need to succeed in your dream career. Some popular courses among Indian students studying in the UK are Accountancy, Business Management, Art and Architecture, Design, Tourism and Hotel Management, Engineering, Medicine and Biotechnology. Critical thinking and student-centered learning opportunities are the hallmarks of British education. A unique feature of studying in the UK is the availability of opportunity to pursue relatively shorter and intense degrees compared to many other destination countries for studying overseas. The intense course work not only reduces total cost of education but also prepares graduates to take work pressure which in turn helps them deal with challenging professional times in future. While the universities maintain a higher quality of education through well-established system of external examiners and professional inspecting bodies, students still get personal mentoring from academic advisers, tutors and learning resource centers. The career offices in most of the campuses keep students updated on employ ability trends and job-oriented skills through seminars, career fairs and industrial dialogues. International students get special attention through various support schemes which address issues related to language skills and adapting to new culture and environment.
Popular study areas in United Kingdom
Business is the most popular area of study in UK and also the most job oriented. The percentage of business graduates who have secured jobs after their graduation in the discipline is quite impressive. It is not very surprising as UK houses some of the most well-known business schools in the world. The quality of teaching and education imparted to the students is par excellence. Both undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the field are in demand with most students willing to go for Masters to enhance their professional worth.
Engineering and Technology
Engineering and Technology is another field which is favored by international students moving to United Kingdom for their higher studies. The field consists of various sub disciplines such as software, chemical, electrical and electronics each with its own worth in the job market. Students usually prefer an undergraduate degree in engineering; however, many continue to pursue postgraduate studies in the field too.
Healthcare and Medicine
Healthcare and medicine is a traditional favorite among students. United Kingdom is one of the many favored destination for higher education in the field of healthcare and medicines. One can pursue short time diplomas or full time degrees depending upon one’s preference or career requirements. The sub fields within the discipline are healthcare management, nursing and MBBS.
Law is one of the most popular area of study in United Kingdom with gems such as London School of Economics and Oxford providing courses in the field of law. Armed with some of the star faculty members, a law degree from UK is definitely going to give your career an edge. One has the option of studying law at different levels- be it undergraduate, postgraduate or professional. The colleges and universities of UK also provide CPD (Continuing Professional Development) courses for working professionals to help them overcome saturation point in their professions and give their career a new boost.
London is known as the media capital of the world and, therefore, it’s quite natural that the journalism courses provided in the city are nothing but the best. The course is carefully designed to provide students with tested skills and principles of the field and equip them with on the job skills through timely internships and training sessions. The course molds students to fit well into traditional and emerging journalist roles.