Welcome to the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (UK) made up of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and many smaller islands. Referred to collectively as Great Britain, this Union is more than 300 years old. The ‘Great’ in Great Britain is to distinguish it (the island) from the other, smaller “Britain” (Brittany) which is a region of north-western France. However, is also refers to the single largest island (made up of Scotland, England and Wales)


The UK is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, (the Republic of Ireland). It neighbours several countries by sea, including France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands and Iceland.

The United Kingdom’s 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.


UK reflects native and immigrant cultures, possessing a fascinating history and dynamic modern culture, both of which remain hugely influential in the wider world.


The United Kingdom’s four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have the following capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers. But such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution.



The flag of the United Kingdom is popularly known as the Union Jack or, more properly, Union Flag. It comprises the flags of St. George of England, St. Andrew of Scotland and the St. Patrick’s Cross of Ireland superimposed on each other.


The Crown

Queen Elizabeth II is Head of the Commonwealth and head of state of 16 Commonwealth countries. She has reigned since 1952, making her the world’s longest-serving current head of state. While her role in governing the country is vastly described as “Neutral”, The Crown is the source of executive power vested in the government.

The Crown is also vested with powers known as the Royal Prerogative, through which the monarch can undertake a range of actions such as the issue or withdrawal of passports, or even declarations of war. Most of these powers are delegated to various ministers in government, who may use them without Parliamentary consent.



The United Kingdom is has a bicameral parliament: The lower house, known as the House of Commons, is elected by the people and is responsible for proposing new laws. The upper house, known as the House of Lords, primarily scrutinises and amends bills proposed by the lower house. The House of Lords is not elected and consists of Hereditary Peers, whose membership is guaranteed by birth right, Life Peers, who are appointed to it by the Queen, and the Lords Spiritual, who are bishops of the Church of England. The Head of Government is the Prime Minister, who is usually the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons.


United Kingdom Education System

The UK’ educational system is divided into four main parts, primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education. Children in the UK have to legally attend primary and secondary education which runs from about 5 years old until the student is 16 years old.

UK universities draw overseas students with their world-leading reputations. According to the, in “the 2017-18 academic year, there were 2.3 million students in UK higher education. University enrolments have risen steadily since 2015, when the government lifted the cap on student recruitment to increase competition.


No university in the UK is completely publicly funded. The student loans system requires students to pay for all or some of their degree after they graduate. However, these are only for home qualified students. Foreign students are expected to make full payment of their course fees.

Most universities received funding from the government in the form of research grants and funding to cover the teaching of high cost subjects. This concession is only for universities with “Charity” status


Detailed Information of the UK Education System

There is more to the UK education system. There are several official and non-official sites offering similar pictures to help new comers.


Degrees Received In the UK

Degrees received in the UK do vary and may differ from those available in other countries. The types are clearly explained here.


Special Consideration for Overseas Students

Typically, overseas students are required to meet certain criteria in order to study in the UK. This is explained here.



Help With Determining the Equivalence of Foreign Qualifications

A common challenge for most overseas students who wish to study in the UK is knowing whether or not they could gain admission using previous qualifications acquired from outside the UK. UK NARIC is the designated United Kingdom national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills. It performs this official function on behalf of the UK Government.


Obtaining a student visa to study in the UK

You will need a student visa if you wish to study in the UK. Typically each UK University would feature a student visa help page on their website to explain their expectations. It’s probably best if you check with the university you have applied to study with. Alternatively, there is help on  the UK government site.


Studying and working in the UK

You will find information on the arrangement for working while studying the UK on the UK government site. Other useful sites include STUDY LONDON, and STUDY IN UK. Again, do remember to check first with the UK university you have applied to for their arrangement.