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United Kingdom Educational System
The United Kingdom (UK), which is located in north Western Europe, includes the four countries of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The UK was the world's first industrialized country and has been a model for many aspects of western civilization. It has a population of about 62 million people with over 8 million living in the Greater London Urban Area

Despite having less than one percent of the world's population, the United Kingdom has the sixth largest economy in the world. London is the largest financial centre in the world, thus financial services are a significant part of the economy while tourism, manufacturing, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries also contribute significantly. Although a member of the European Union, it maintains its own currency, the pound sterling.

The United Kingdom is a member of the United Nations Security Council, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Council, the European Union and many other regional and international organizations.

Higher Education
The United Kingdom has a very highly respected system of higher education which is comprised mostly of public institutions. Each of the four countries in the UK administers and funds their own higher education institutions. The United Kingdom is a signatory of the Bologna Agreement which created standards for degrees across European country participants. Tuition at public institutions in the UK is reasonable but more costly than in most other Western European countries.

Many of the top universities in the world are in the United Kingdom including the University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Oxford and Imperial College of London which all usually rank in the top ten in the QS World University rankings. The University of Edinburgh in Scotland typically ranks within the top 25. The UK is a very popular location for international students with over 350,000 students a year attending school there in recent years.

Overview of Higher Education in England

Higher education in England is provided by over 200 universities, colleges and other institutions of which the majority are public. Public institutions receive approximately 35 percent of their funding from the federal government and the rest from various sources such as student fees, research grants, endowments and other sources.

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills oversees the higher education system but each school is self-governing. Universities and some colleges are awarded degree-granting powers by a Royal Charter, Act of Parliament or the Privy Council. Institutions without degree-granting authority often have an association with another institution that can award degrees to its students.

Admission to universities and colleges are based on results of the General Certification of Secondary Education (GCSE) exams and the Advanced Level General Certification of Education exams, otherwise known as A-level exams. Schools and programs within schools will admit students who meet their expectations for minimum grades for these exams.

Types of Schools and Degrees
Institutions are granted the right to use the title of "University" if they have degree-granting powers and have over 4000 students. Schools that can grant degrees but are smaller can use the title of "University College". Schools that cannot grant degrees use "College" in their title. Public colleges and private institutions of higher education are not allowed to award their own degrees. Instead, degrees must be awarded though an association with a university or a national accrediting body.

Degrees are awarded at the bachelor's, honors bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels as defined by the European Bologna agreement of 1999, which standardized degrees across Europe and brought degree qualifications in line with many other countries. England also offers foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates after one or two years of study, depending on the program.

Students pay tuition fees which vary from school to school but had a cap of £3225 at public institutions in 2010. This tuition cap is subject to change and may even be eliminated.

International Students
About 350,000 students from abroad study in the United Kingdom, which includes Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and represented about 14 percent of the higher education population according to a 2009 UNESCO report.It's reputation for first class universities attracts students from all over the world. A number of universities in England often rank in the top tier in world university rankings with the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford typically appearing in the top ten.

Foreign qualifications to attend an English university or college vary between schools and programs. The UK National Academic Recognition Information Center (UK NARIC) provides assessment of overseas qualifications as to their compatibility with UK qualifications. International students can apply to English colleges through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), which is a centralized application service for undergraduate study. Those applying to graduate programs can apply through the UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service (UKPASS).

Students who want to get more information about studying in England can get more details from the Education UK website.

About England
England is a country of about 51 million people with about 8 million residing in the greater London area. It is well-known for its history, higher education and as a global financial centre. 100 of Europe's largest 500 corporations are based in London which has recently moved to the top of the list of largest financial centres in the world on the Global Financial Centres Index.

The United Kingdom, of which England represents 84 percent, ranks 21st on the 2007 United Nations Human Development Index and 20th for per capita GDP. Although a member of the European Union, it maintains its own currency – the pound sterling. It has one of the highest higher-education course completion rates in the world, despite its lower rate of government funding compared to many of its peer countries.

UK is made up of four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
English, Welsh, Scottish form of Gaelic.
Official Currency
British Pound (GBP)
Temperate; Moderated by prevailing Southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one half of the days are overcast.

Time Difference
London 4 Hours 30 Minutes behind.

There are more than 3,000 educational institutions that welcome international students in the UK. You can choose from a variety of routes through the education and training system, combining different types of course according to your needs and abilities.

English Language Skill
All International students have to meet academic requirements of universities or colleges. Proof of English Language is not mandatory but is advisable, as the language skills will enable the students to complete chosen course easily. Minimum requirements of English Language at Universities and Government Colleges for International students are as under:

Diploma – 5.5 Bands or above in IELTS
Bachelor - 6.0 Bands or above in IELTS
Master Degree – 6.5 or 7.0 Bands or above in IELTS

*** As per new rules IELTS in not mandatory for Visa purpose. It is mandatory for admission in some universities or colleges.

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