Country Overview:

History
As the dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth’s surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK’s strength seriously depleted in two World Wars and the Irish republic withdraw from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy; it currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe. A member of the EU, it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union for the time being. Constitutional reform is also a significant issue in the UK. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1999, but the latter was suspended until May 2007 due to wrangling over the peace process.

Economy
The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is one of the quintets of trillion dollar economies of Western Europe. Over the past two decades, the government has greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil resources, but its oil and natural gas reserves are declining and the UK became a net importer of energy in 2005; energy industries now contribute about 4% to GDP. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance. Since emerging from recession in 1992, Britain’s economy enjoyed the longest period of expansion on record during which time growth outpaced most of Western Europe. The global economic slowdown, tight credit, and falling home prices, however, pushed Britain back into recession in the latter half of 2008 and prompted the BROWN government to implement a number of new measures to stimulate the economy and stabilize the financial markets; these include part-nationalizing the banking system, cutting taxes, suspending public sector borrowing rules, and bringing forward public spending on capital projects. The Bank of England periodically coordinates interest rate moves with the European Central Bank, but Britain remains outside the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and opinion polls show a majority of Britons oppose joining the euro.

Climate
Britain is an island country and the surrounding sea gives England a varied climate. We never know what the weather will be like from one day to the other. It can be sunny one day and rainy the next. It is difficult to predict the weather. In general UK experiences warm summers and cool winters. The summers are cooler than those on the continent, but the winters are milder. Overall, the climate is temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast.

Culture
There is a wide mix of cultures in the UK. In London there are foreign communities from most parts of the world. British people are usually tolerant to foreigners, and respect the freedom to have different opinions and beliefs. People usually feel free to express their own opinions and wear what they want. Don’t expect people to agree with you all of the time. British people have a strong sense of humour, but it can be hard for foreigners to understand when someone is joking. People often avoid talking to strangers until they have been introduced, partly to avoid any possible embarrassment. Individual ideas are encouraged. Arts and music are creative. British people are often not so good at working as a group. People are quite modest. They do not like to complain directly: life is peaceful, but when there is poor service it is not challenged and changed.

Food
There is in fact a very wide variety of food available (both traditional British` food and international cuisine), especially in the bigger cities. There are many fresh ingredients which are delicious when cooked well. However, many busy people don’t pay much attention to preparing food well and prefer instant meals. It is increasingly popular for British people get a takeaway or go to a restaurant instead of cooking at home, and often this is used as a chance to try different types of food. Most towns have an Indian restaurant, serving foods such as curry and chicken tikka masala. Chinese restaurants are also very common. Many people like Italian pizza and pasta dishes. Fast food restaurants often serve beef burgers or fried chicken. Fish and chip shops are still popular, especially in towns by the coast.

UK Education System

UK education is recognized and respected throughout the world. The student’s UK qualification will be a solid foundation for building the student’s future, boosting his/her career and prospects for a higher salary. UK universities, colleges and schools will provide a vibrant, creative and challenging environment in which to develop his/her potential. Quality standards for UK institutions are among the best in the world. Universities, colleges and schools continually have to prove that their courses meet strict criteria. Many other countries are now trying to follow the example of the UK.

Like all UK education; UK postgraduate qualifications are respected and valued all over the world. A master’s degree, PhD or MBA from a UK university will give students an edge over the competition. It will prove to employers that the students are capable of independent thought and self-discipline, used to conducting and analyzing.

The UK has two distinct education systems; one for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and one for Scotland. However, each is compatible with the other.

The education system in the UK is different to that in many other countries.

At the age of 16, British children take General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations.

Students then transfer to studying A-Levels which last for two years and qualify them for entry to university.

Students tend to specialise in these courses and often study for three or four A-Levels.

This means that degrees do not last as long in the UK as other countries.

The system is broadly classified into the following four main categories:

Primary Education

Children in UK start their education with primary education at the age of 5 years. It is for 6 years and students will be educated up to the age of 11 at this level. Primary education in UK is sometimes divided into 2 parts – Infant/Nursery schools (age level 5-7) and junior schools (age level 7-11). Secondary Education

Secondary Education

Secondary education encompasses the next level of education between the age group of 11-16 years, which is similar to ‘High school’ in India. Here, students will be pursuing a common set of courses and take the GCSE exam conducted at the end of secondary education.

Nevertheless, many pupils in UK pursue additional 2 years of Advanced level of education (GCE A level) equivalent qualifications as sixth form students. They can also pursue Advanced Supplementary Level (GCE AS level) examsafter secondary education. International students often enter the education system at this point, e.g. taking an A-level course in preparation for further or higher education in the UK.

Further Education
This level covers (or similar to) post-16 courses that are similar to GCE A-level exams, where course may be either full-time or part-time and for any subject. This is the post-secondary level of education in UK. Pupils seeking admission in colleges or universities have to complete their further education. Usually it includes education for the pupil over 16 years of age with the certification of GCSE or equivalent of it. This is generally taught in FE colleges and later in community learning institutions.

Higher Education
Most higher education begins at the age of 18 at colleges or universities. Most international students will enter directly into the UK higher education system, after completing their home country’s equivalent to the UK’s ‘further education’. It requires above the standard of GCE A-level. For pupil without A-level exam have to take additional 1-year program, especially international students undertake this course as training of university course in UK. Here credits will be awarded for them towards student’s degree.

Undergraduate
An undergraduate degree normally takes three years to complete but can take longer if they include an industrial placement, an additional subject or a year abroad. They are also specialised from Year One.

Types of undergraduate degree include:

  • BSc (Bachelor of Science) – a science degree
  • BA (Bachelor of Arts) – an arts degree
  • BEng (Bachelor of Engineering) – an engineering degree

Undergraduate Degree with or without Honours (e.g B.Sc Hons) – three-year undergraduate degree including extra subjects studied at a deeper level, or of four-year duration with an year in the Industry, for practical training.

Postgraduate
Students who receive good grades in their undergraduate degrees may choose to take a Masters degree, which takes a minimum of one year to complete.

Types of Masters degree include:

  • M Sc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • M Ed (Master of Education)
  • LLM (Master of Law)

MBA (Master of Business Administration)

Taught Masters degrees
Taught Masters usually involve six months of intensive tuition followed by six months of project work which ends with a dissertation.

Masters degrees by research (M Phil)
Research degrees involve at least one year, sometimes more, of full-time research resulting in an examined thesis.

PhD
If you would like to continue to study for a PhD, you will have to conduct a minimum of two years’ research after the award of your M Sc.

In some subject areas, a student may transfer from BSc/BA/BEng to PhD so that they follow a three year research programme for PhD without first obtaining a Masters degree.

Some courses are taught while others require research. Taught courses usually involve presentations, written course work such as marked essays, exams and dissertations. Classroom sessions are highly interactive, requiring student participation.

Notes to consider:

• 

 

Each level of education in the UK has diverse prerequisites that should be fulfilled for achieving next level entry

• 

 

For getting admission in universities of UK, international students need to have minimum score on TOEFL/IELTS. Many universities disregard the English requirement for the students who scored 65% and above in English in their 10th and 12th standards

Taught Masters degrees
Taught Masters usually involve six months of intensive tuition followed by six months of project work which ends with a dissertation.

Masters degrees by research (M Phil)
Research degrees involve at least one year, sometimes more, of full-time research resulting in an examined thesis.

PhD
If you would like to continue to study for a PhD, you will have to conduct a minimum of two years’ research after the award of your M Sc.

In some subject areas, a student may transfer from BSc/BA/BEng to PhD so that they follow a three year research programme for PhD without first obtaining a Masters degree.

Some courses are taught while others require research. Taught courses usually involve presentations, written course work such as marked essays, exams and dissertations. Classroom sessions are highly interactive, requiring student participation.

Notes to Consider:

• 

 

Each level of education in the UK has diverse prerequisites that should be fulfilled for achieving next level entry

• 

 

For getting admission in universities of UK, international students need to have minimum score on TOEFL/IELTS. Many universities disregard the English requirement for the students who scored 65% and above in English in their 10th and 12th standards