Overview of the United Kingdom


Home to the world’s oldest university in the English-speaking world, the United Kingdom (UK) has a longstanding reputation for academic excellence, attracting over 250,000 international students annually. In fact, the UK is amongst the top three countries students choose for international education around the world.

Overview of the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or the UK, is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of mainland Europe. It is comprised of four neighbouring island countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Although England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are “nations”, they are not officially independent countries. Instead, they are part of the country of United Kingdom (UK)—and bound by the UK constitution. Each of the four UK countries have local governments, which manage local affairs, such as healthcare and other social services. A democratically-elected UK government oversees all national and international affairs, including student visas and other education-related regulations.

The capital city, and the largest city of the UK, is London. It is also the capital of England. The capital of Scotland, Wales and Northern Island are Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast respectively.

The population of the UK is 67.7 million people (2019 estimate). The UK is a highly multicultural country, made up of people from many different cultural and religious backgrounds. In fact, nearly 15% of the residents identify themselves as an ethnic minority.

Image of a world map with the United Kingdom mangified

 Was this article helpful?