United Kingdom

Introduction to UK

The United Kingdom is made up of England , Wales , Scotland and Northern Ireland . It has a long history as a major player in international affairs and fulfils an important role in the EU, UN and Nato. The economy – one of the largest in the world – is no longer manufacturing but services-based, with e-commerce of growing significance. The City of London is a global financial centre. The United Kingdom is home to a multicultural population, partly as the legacy of empire. There are more Asian restaurants in many towns than there are burger bars and a former government minister has described a popular variety of curry as ” Britain ‘s true national dish”.

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Facts
  • Population: 59.6 million (National Statistics, 2003)
  • Capital: London
  • Area: 242,514 sq km (93,638 sq miles)
  • Major language: English
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Life expectancy: 76 years (men), 81 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 pound sterling = 100 pence
  • Main exports: Manufactured goods, chemicals, foodstuffs
  • GNI per capita: US $28,350 (World Bank, 2003)
  • Internet domain: .uk
  • International dialling code: +44

A high degree of sophistication, a matchless charm, and above all, educational quality that’s backed by centuries of tradition, the United Kingdom is just the right place to give your career that global edge. In addition to the hallowed Oxford and Cambridge , UK boasts a large number of other universities which rank among the best in the world and offer a wide range of courses.

Climate

Most people think that UK is a very cold country. On the contrary the climate in the UK is moderate: Summers generally tend to be fairly cool and winters are quite mild. And No – British weather is not all rain and fog! You can see the sunshine, rain, temperature and daylight, a lot depends on the area where you will be living.

Parts of Scotland often get snow in the winter, whereas you might live in London for long time without any snowfall at all. International students who are used to tropical and equatorial climates are often intrigued by the sheer variety of the weather in the UK . On an average the weather tends to be very changeable. Where else would be lucky enough to see rain, snow, thunder and lightning, hail and warm sunshine – all in one day! Daylight in the south of England lasts for about 16 hours in June and July, but only 8 hours in December and January. The difference between summer and winter daylight is even greater in Scotland because it’s further from the equator. To make the most of the long hours of daylight during the summer, the UK switches from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to British Summer Time (BST): all clocks are moved ahead one hour. BST applies from the end of March to the end of October. To avoid been taken by surprise, it is best to be prepared for these unannounced changes in the weather:

  • Always carry an umbrella
  • Choose strong and comfortable footwear, there is a culture of walking a lot in UK as all the facilities you will find are within walking distance, so good footwear is strongly advised. Wear sturdy, well-made shoes with rubber soles and a good tread – to stop you from slipping on wet roads
  • Gear up and stay warm. Always carry warm clothing and a weather proof jacket, which you can layer in and out of as the weather changes
Guide to studying and living in the UK

Visit http://www.educationuk.org/bc_img/body/articles/pdfs/stud_live_uk.pdf to download a guide about studying in the UK . This guide has been published by the British Council.

Working while you study

Contrary to popular belief, students are able to obtain part-time employment. A student can work for maximum 20 hours a week. Students are entitled to work full time during the holidays. There is no permission required for students to take part time and vacation work. Students can take up placements or internship placements, which are part of a ‘sandwich course’.

British Education System

A high degree of sophistication, a matchless charm, and above all, educational quality that’s backed by centuries of tradition, the United Kingdom is just the right place to give your career that global edge. In addition to the hallowed Oxford and Cambridge , UK boasts a large number of other universities which rank among the best in the world and offer a wide range of courses.

British Education has long attracted and welcomed students of different nationalities and backgrounds, and today builds on hundreds of years of experience in providing quality education to international students. To ensure that the quality is maintained, Britain has implemented unrivalled quality assurance and academic audit systems. The university departments are obliged to meet stringent standards by professional bodies.

British higher and further education provides value for money by offering shorter, more intensive courses than are available in many other countries, thereby reducing living expenses and time spent away from home. Closely supervised study in an intellectually and culturally stimulating environment, together with an emphasis on student welfare and close contact between staff and students also ensures that individual students get maximum support.

Britain has long been a popular destination for Pakistani students. With more than 200 institutes of higher education to choose from, all equipped with extensive facilities, Britain is able to offer a broad spectrum of subjects. Details about various Qualifications offered by UK Colleges and Universities:

  • First Degree Courses in Arts and Sciences (Bachelor’s degree) are normally of three or four years’ duration and are largely taught courses, sometimes including the preparation of a short written thesis
  • Sandwich Courses are where the coursework is accompanied by practical work. A student could either complete 2 years of college, then a year of commercial training before returning for a final year in college. Or, he/she could do a 4-year course with 3-6 months’ training interspersed each year. The main advantage is that the student gets real experience while in the learning mode. Most universities offer this type of education.
  • Higher National Diploma (HND) is awarded by Vocational and Technical Educational Councils. They offer a 2-year course in a vocational subject like scientific and technical business subjects. Great emphasis is placed on work experience. It is often seen as the first step towards a degree course as the credits can be transferred.
  • Vocational Courses offer an opportunity to enter the university system slowly. Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC), General Vocational Qualifications (GNVQ), General Scottish Vocational Qualifications (GSVQ) offer recognized courses in a range of disciplines. Most students opt to take 1-2 years of, for example, BTEC courses before being transferred to a degree programme. BTEC national certificates/diplomas are usually accepted as an alternative to A-Levels.
  • Postgraduate study may take the form of an independent piece of research under supervision or a taught course, and leads to a variety of degrees and awards. The taught courses normally last for one or sometimes two years. Completion of a doctorate normally takes a minimum of three years. Many post-experience courses are also available, either leading to a qualification or providing a refresher course for graduates wishing to update or extend their knowledge. Occasional students are admitted by some institutions in limited numbers. They attend courses or undertake research, possibly for a period of one or two years. These courses do not lead to any formal qualification or ‘credit’ although certificate of satisfactory attendance may be given.