European Campus


 Study in UK


General Information   |   Geography   |   Government   |   Communication

General Information


Area: The total area of the UK is about 244,820 sq km, which includes 3,230 sq km of Water (including Rockall and Shetland Islands) and 241,590 sq km of Land.

Population: 59,778,002 (July 2002 est.)
Population Growth Rate:
Population Density:

Capital: London

Ethnicity / Race: English 81.5%, Scottish 9.6%, Irish 2.4%, Welsh 1.9%, Ulster 1.8%, West Indian, Indian, Pakistani, and other 2.8%

Language: English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)

Currency: The United Kingdom currency is called the British Pound. The currency code is GBP. The current exchange rate is Pounds. 0.554 - US$ 1.

Religion: Anglican and Roman Catholic 40 million, Muslim 1.5 million, Presbyterian 800,000, Methodist 760,000, Sikh 500,000, Hindu 500,000, Jewish 350,000

Time: GMT (GMT + 1 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October).

Electricity: 240 volts AC, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs are standard.

Health: There are no specific health risks associated with travel to the UK and food and water can be considered safe. The British National Health Service is excellent; emergency treatment is free to visitors, but charges are made for routine medical care. A number of countries have reciprocal health agreeements with the UK including Australia, New Zealand and EU countries. Visitors from other countries (including UK, South Africa and the US) are advised to take out good medical insurance.

Tipping: 10 to 15% is expected in restaurants and upmarket hotels. An optional service charge is automatically included in some hotels' restaurants. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip, but it is appreciated.
Climate: The weather is very changeable and unpredictable. Winters are cold and wet with occasional snow, especially in the high-lying areas. Summers are generally warm with frequent showers.

Safety: It is generally safe to travel throughout the UK, although travellers are advised to take special care of their personal belongings in central London, where pick-pocketing is often reported. There is a risk of international terrorism, though no higher than in, for instance, the United States.

Customs: Handshaking is customary when introduced to someone new. Smoking is banned on public transport, but occurs in restaurants and bars. There is a strict etiquette on escalators - stand on the right, walk on the left. Visitors will find Londoners more rushed and less friendly than Brits in other parts of the country, particularly on London transport where tourists are generally the only people who talk.

Communications: The international country dialing code for UK is +44. The outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 001 for the United States). Mobile phones work throughout the country; the network operators use GSM networks, which may not be compatible with some US cell phones. Internet cafes are available in major towns and cities, train stations and airports.





Location: Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France

Geographic coordinates: 54 00 N, 2 00 W


  • Total: 244,820 sq km
  • Water: 3,230 sq km
  • Land: 241,590 sq km

Coastline: 12,429 km

Maritime claims: continental shelf: as defined in continental shelf orders or in accordance with agreed upon boundaries

Territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate: temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast

Terrain: mostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Fenland -4 m, Highest point: Ben Nevis 1,343 m

Natural resources: coal, petroleum, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica, arable land

Natural hazards: winter windstorms; floods

Environment - current issues: continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (has met Kyoto Protocol target of a 12.5% reduction from 1990 levels and intends to meet the legally binding target and move towards a domestic goal of a 20% cut in emissions by 2010); by 2005 the Government aims to reduce the amount of industrial and commercial waste disposed of in landfill sites to 85% of 1998 levels and to recycle or compost at least 25% of household waste, increasing to 33% by 2015; between 1998-99 and 1999-2000, household recycling increased from 8.8% to 10.3%

Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note: lies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes; only 35 km from France and now linked by tunnel under the English Channel; because of heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 125 km from tidal waters



UK Government


Government Structure: The Government type of the United Kingdom isconstitutional monarchy. A level of administrative authority in Britain, providing services such as education, personal social services, highways, and environmental health. There are over 400 local authorities, covering counties and (smaller) districts within counties. The structure of local government is, in 1995/96, going through a major process of reorganization. The local authorities are major employers, employing in 1993 over 2.5 million people, including over 1.2 million in education, with high proportions of women and part-time workers . For collective bargaining purposes they negotiate together, bargaining with trade unions in a number of national committees. During the 1990s there was pressure on local authorities to "opt out" of national collective bargaining and to settle wages and conditions locally. By the mid-1990s about 10 per cent. of local authorities had done this. Such decentralization has often been accompanied by a significant reduction in the role of trade unions. Local government has also come under pressure to expand the contracting-out of its services (see Local Government Act 1988 , Compulsory Competitive Tendering ).

During the 1970s industrial relations in local government became increasingly conflictual, with the strikes and disruption of 1978-1979 being seen by some as a major contributor to the defeat of the Labour government in the general election of 1979.





Telephones - main lines in use: 34.878 million (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 43.5 million (yearend 1998)
Telephone system: general assessment: technologically advanced domestic and international system
domestic: equal mix of buried cables, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optic systems
international: 40 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (7 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and 1 Eutelsat; at least 8 large international switching centers

Radio broadcast stations: AM 219, FM 431, shortwave 3 (1998)
Radios: 84.5 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 228 (plus 3,523 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions: 30.5 million (1997)

Internet country code: .uk
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): more than 400 (2000)
Internet users: 34.3 million (2002)


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