About United Kingdom
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 twentieth century saw Britain having to redefine its place in the world. At the beginning of the century it commanded a world-wide empire as the foremost global power.
Britain was the world's first industrialized country. Its economy remains one of the largest, but it has for many years been based on service industries rather than on manufacturing. The UK is ethnically diverse, partly as a legacy of empire.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The country includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. Great Britain, the dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, 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. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. The UK currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe. A member of the EU, it chose to remain outside of the EMU for the time being. Constitutional reform is also a significant issue in the UK. Regional assemblies with varying degrees of power opened in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland in 1999.
The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, deploys an essentially capitalistic economy, one of the quartets 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 only 1% of the labor force.
The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves; primary energy production accounts for 10% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance.
London is the place to start. Nowhere in the country can match the scope and innovation of the metropolis, a colossal, frenetic city, perhaps not as immediately attractive as its European counterparts, but with so much variety that the only obstacle to a great time is the shockingly high cost of everything. It's here that you'll find Britain's best spread of nightlife, cultural events, museums, galleries, pubs and restaurants. The other large cities, such as Birmingham, Newcastle, Leeds or Liverpool each have their strengths: Birmingham has a resurgent arts scene, for example, while people travel for miles to sample Newcastle's nightlife. These days Manchester can match the capital for glamour in cafes and clubs, and also boasts the inimitable draw of the world's best-known football team.
In terms of the number of tourists they attract, the biggest occasions in the English calendar are the rituals that have associations with the ruling classes – from the courtly pageant of the Trooping of the Colour to the annual rowing race between Oxford and Cambridge universities. In Scotland many visitors home straight in on bagpipes, ceilidhs and Highland Games; such anachronisms certainly reflect the endemic British taste for nostalgia, but to gauge the spirit of the nation you should sample a wider range of events. London's large-scale festivals range from the riotous street party of the Notting Hill Carnival to the Promenade concerts, Europe's most egalitarian high-class music season, while the Edinburgh Festival and Welsh National Eisteddfod are vast cultural jamborees that have attained international status. Every major town in Britain has its own local arts festival, the best of which, along with various other local fairs and commemorative shows, are mentioned in the guide; we've listed the very biggest ones.
United Kingdom is a island country located off the northwestern coast of mainland Europe. The United Kingdom comprises the whole of the island of Great Britain—which contains England, Wales, and Scotland—as well as the northern portion of the island of Ireland. The name Britain is sometimes used to refer to the United Kingdom as a whole. The capital is London, which is among the world's leading commercial, financial, and cultural centres. Other major cities include Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester in England, Belfast and Londonderry in Northern Ireland, Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, and Swansea and Cardiff in Wales.
The origins of the United Kingdom can be traced to the time of the Anglo-Saxon king Athelstan, who in the early 10th century AD secured the allegiance of neighbouring Celtic kingdoms and became “the first to rule what previously many kings shared between them,” in the words of a contemporary chronicle. Through subsequent conquest over the following centuries, kingdoms lying farther afield came under English dominion. Wales, a congeries of Celtic kingdoms lying in Great Britain's southwest, was formally united with England by the Acts of Union of 1536 and 1542; Scotland, ruled by an English monarch since 1603, formally was joined with England and Wales in 1707 to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain. (The adjective “British” came into use at this time to refer to all the kingdom's peoples.) Ireland came under English control during the 1600s and was formally united with Great Britain through the Act of Union of 1800. The republic of Ireland gained its independence in 1922, but the six counties of Ulster remained part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland. Relations between these constituent states and England have been marked by controversy and, at times, open rebellion and even warfare. These tensions relaxed somewhat during the late 20th century, when devolved assemblies were introduced in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Nonetheless, even with the establishment of a power-sharing assembly after referenda in both Northern Ireland and the Irish republic, relations between Northern Ireland's unionists (who favour continued British sovereignty over Northern Ireland) and nationalists (who favour unification with the republic of Ireland) remained tense into the 21st century.
The United Kingdom has made significant contributions to the world economy, especially in technology and industry. Since World War II, however, the United Kingdom's most prominent exports have been cultural, including literature, theatre, film, television, and popular music that draw on all parts of the country. Perhaps Britain's greatest export has been the English language, now spoken in every corner of the world as one of the leading international mediums of cultural and economic exchange.
The United Kingdom retains links with parts of its former empire through the Commonwealth. It also benefits from historical and cultural links with the United States and is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Moreover, the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union, if a sometimes reluctant one. Many of its people hold to the sentiments of the great wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, who sonorously remarked, “We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonalty. But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not comprised. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed.” Yet a cosmopolitan, resolutely multicultural United Kingdom—incorporating African, Caribbean, and Asian as well as Anglo-Saxon and Celtic influences—is now firmly joined to the European continent, and the country's former insularity—both literal and metaphorical—and sense of exceptionalism have at least for many given way to a new vision of its place in the world, which continues to be an important one.
The UK has a partially regulated market economy. Based on market exchange rates the UK is today the sixth-largest economy in the world and the third-largest in Europe after Germany and France, having fallen behind France for the first time in over a decade in 2008. The Industrial Revolution started in the UK with an initial concentration on the textile industry, followed by other heavy industries such as shipbuilding, coal mining, and Steelmaking. The empire created an overseas market for British products, allowing the UK to dominate international trade in the 19th century. As other nations industrialized, coupled with economic decline after two world wars, the United Kingdom began to lose its competitive advantage and heavy industry declined, by degrees, throughout the 20th century. Manufacturing remains a significant part of the economy but accounted for only one-sixth of national output in 2003.
The automotive industry is a significant part of the UK manufacturing sector and employs over 800,000 people, with a turnover of some £52 billion, generating £26.6 billion of exports. The aerospace is the second- or third-largest national aerospace industry depending upon the method of measurement and has an annual turnover of around £20 billion. The pharmaceutical industry plays an important role in the UK economy and the country has the third highest share of global pharmaceutical R&D expenditures (after the United States and Japan).
The total area of the United Kingdom is approximately 243,610 square kilometers (94,060 sq mi). The country occupies the major part of the British Isles archipelago and includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern one-sixth of the island of Ireland and some smaller surrounding islands. It lies between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea with the south-east coast coming within 35 kilometers (22 mi) of the coast of northern France, from which it is separated by the English Channel.
The estimated resident population of the UK was 62,262,000 in mid-2010, up by 470,000 on the previous year.
Children aged under 16 represented 19 per cent of the total population and those aged 65 and over represented 17 per cent of the total population. In mid-2010 the average age of the population was 39.7 years, up from 37.9 in 2001.
• Yahoo has a careers portal:
uk.careers.yahoo.com/ (and the global equivalent)
• The best Yahoo Employment category is probably the jobs category:
• Epinion's reviews of global job sites.
• Ciao UK has discussions of jobsites:
• Dooyoo.co.uk's opinions of UK jobsites.
The United Kingdom has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round. The temperature varies with the seasons seldom dropping below −11 °C (12 °F) or rising above 35 °C (95 °F). The prevailing wind is from the south-west and bears frequent spells of mild and wet weather from the Atlantic Ocean, although the eastern parts are mostly sheltered from this wind – as the majority of the rain falls over the western regions the eastern parts are therefore the driest. Atlantic currents, warmed by the Gulf Stream, bring mild winters; especially in the west where winters are wet and even more so over high ground. Summers are warmest in the south-east of England, being closest to the European mainland, and coolest in the north. Snowfall can occur in winter and early spring, though it rarely settles to great depth away from high ground.
Housing / Real Estate
Most people in England live in urban areas. Towns and cities are spreading into their surrounding environment to cope with the increase populations. In England, an average of 7,000 hectares of farmland, countryside and green space were converted to urban use every year between 1985 and 1998. This is almost the equivalent size of 9,600 international football pitches! More people are buying their own homes than in the past. About two thirds of the people in England and the rest of Britain either own, or are in the process of buying, their own home.
Most others live in houses or flats that they rent from a private landlord, the local council, or housing association. Most houses in England are made of stone or brick from the local area where the houses are built. The colours of the stones and bricks vary across the country. England has many types of homes. In the large cities, people often live in apartments, which are called flats. In most towns, there are streets of houses joined together in long rows. They are called terraced houses. The main types of houses in England are:
• Detached (a house not joined to another house)
• Semi-detached (two houses joined together)
• Terrace (several houses joined together)
• Flats (apartments)
Amusement & Theme Parks
Theme parks or amusement parks can provide days worth of excitement and entertainment with something to suit everyone in the family.
Castles, Palaces & Stately Homes
Due to its long history, the UK boasts a large selection of castles, palaces and impressive stately homes in various states or repair.
Zoos, Parks, Gardens & Safari Parks
There are many nature reserves and natural spaces in UK cities including parks, gardens, safari parks and zoos.
Museums & Galleries
Britain is home to many splendid art galleries and museums covering arts and knowledge.
Churches, Cathedrals & Abbeys
A selection of the UK's finest churches, cathedrals, abbeys, temples and other religious sites.
Landmarks & Historic Sites
Britain is littered with ancient and historic sites and landmarks including statues, bridges and diverse architecture.
A range of other attractions including markets, shops, parades and more.
Education in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter, with each country having a separate education system.
Education in England is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Education, though the day-to-day administration and funding of state schools is the responsibility of local authorities.[ Universally free of charge state education was introduced piecemeal between 1870 and 1944, with education becoming compulsory for all 5 to 14 year-olds in 1921. Education is now mandatory from ages five to sixteen (15 if born in late July or August). The majority of children are educated in state-sector schools, only a small proportion of which select on the grounds of academic ability. State schools which are allowed to select pupils according to intelligence and academic ability can achieve comparable results to the most selective private schools: out of the top ten performing schools in terms of GCSE results in 2006 two were state-run grammar schools. Despite a fall in actual numbers the proportion of children in England attending private schools has risen to over 7%.Over half of students at the leading universities of Cambridge and Oxford had attended state schools. The universities include some of the top universities in the world; the University of Cambridge, University College London, the University of Oxford and Imperial College London are all ranked in the global top 10 in the 2010 QS World University Rankings, with Cambridge ranked first. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) rated pupils in England 7th in the world for maths and 6th for science. The results put England's pupils ahead of other European countries, including Germany and the Scandinavian countries
School Level & College Level
Students in England study General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) over two years, from the age of 15, and take GCSE exams at the end of this period. These are the final years of their compulsory high school education. At this point, students can either leaves school and get a job, or go on to further studies.
The most traditional route for students wishing to go to university is to stay on at school or attend college for a two-year A Level course. This will allow the student to apply for any degree course at any university, providing they meet the entry requirements.
Alternatively, if a student has already decided on a path of study or career, they can take a Foundation course which will give in-depth tuition in that chosen area of specialization and is a fast-track preparation course for a university degree in that subject.
List of School & Colleges
AIU Study Abroad
All-State Career - Healthcare Division
Allied Medical & Technical Institute
American Career College
American Commercial Colleges
American InterContinental University
American Sentinel University
Arizona Culinary Institute
Arthur Angelo The Professional School
ATA Career Education
Atlantic Culinary Academy
Berks Technical Institute
Blaine The School
Blue Cliff College
Border Institute of Technology
Bradford School of Business Houston
Branford Hall Career Institute
Brookdale Community College
Buck's County School of Beauty
California College San Diego
California Culinary Academy
California Learning Center
California Lutheran University
California School of Culinary Arts
Cardinal Stritch University
CDIA at Boston University
Central Florida College
Central Pennsylvania College
Chic University of Cosmetology
Clark University Computer Career Institute
Clayton College of Natural Health (CCNH)
Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University Online
Computer Career Institute at Johns Hopkins University
Computer Learning Network
Concord Law School
Concorde School of Hair Design
Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago
Court Reporting Institute
Culinary Academy of Long Island
Deaconess College of Nursing
Digital Media Arts College (DMAC)
Dover Business College
DPT Business School
Edinburgh Business School
Ellis College of New York Institute of Technology
Empire Beauty Schools
European Academy of Cosmetology
Everest Institute - Rochester
Ex'pression College for Digital Arts
Florida Career College
Florida Career Institute
Florida Culinary Institute
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Metropolitan University
Florida Metropolitan University Online
Florida Technical College
George Washington University
Golden Gate University
Grand Canyon University
Gwynedd Mercy College
Harrington College of Design
Herzing College Online
Illinois School of Health Careers
Indiana Business College
Institute for Business Technology
International Academy of Design and Technology (IADT)
International Business College
International College of Hospitality Management
Iowa Central Community College
ITT Technical Institute
Jacksonville University Online
Johnson & Wales University
Jones International University (Online)
Katharine Gibbs School
Keiser University - Center for Culinary Arts
Keiser University eCampus Online
Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University
Kitchen Academy - Hollywood
Las Vegas College
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Atlanta
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Miami
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Minneapolis
Lehigh Valley College
Lincoln College of Technology
Louisville Technical Institute
Marine Mechanics Institute
Martins College of Cosmetology
Medical Careers Institute
Minneapolis Business College
Minnesota School of Business
Motorcycle Mechanics Institute
NASCAR Technical Institute
National American University
National Holistic Institute
National Massage Therapy Institute
National School of Technology
Natural Motion Institute
New England Institute of Technology (NEIT)
New School of Architecture & Design
North Carolina Wesleyan College
North Florida Institute
Nova Southeastern University
Ohio Dominican University
Ohio Institute of Photography and Technology (OIPT)
Olivet Nazarene University
Orlando Culinary Academy
Penn Foster Schools
Pennsylvania Culinary Institute
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology
Pierre's School of Cosmetology
Pioneer Pacific College
Pittsburgh Technical Insititute
Regis University Online
Robert Morris College
Saint Leo University
Schuylkill Institute of Business and Technology
Scot Lewis Schools
Scottsdale Culinary Institute
Seacoast Career Schools
Southern Wesleyan University
Southwest Florida College
St. Gregory's University
Suburban Technical School
Technology Education College (TEC)
TechSkills - IT
TechSkills - Medical
Texas Computer Training Institute
Texas Culinary Academy
The Art Institute Of Pittsburgh -- Online Division
The Art Institutes
The Chubb Institute
The Cittone Institute®
The College of Westchester
The Culinary Institute of America
The Hair Design School
The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill
The University of Scranton
Thomas More College
Ultimate Medical Academy
United Education Institute
Universal Technical Institute
Universitas 21 Global
University of Liverpool
University of Louisville
University of Maryland
University of Phoenix
University of St Mary
University of the Redlands
Utah Career College
Utah College of Massage Therapy
Utica College Online
Vet Tech Institute
Warren National University
Western Career College
Western Culinary Institute
Western Governors University
Western International University (WIU)
Western School of Health and Business
Westwood College (Aviation)
Westwood College Online
William Penn University
Wood Tobé-Coburn School
York Technical Institute