Undoubtedly one of the world’s top destinations for international education, studying in the UK offers a chance to be part of a dynamic, historic and diverse student population.
England has by far the biggest population among the four constituent members of the UK, and attracts the largest numbers of international students.
Two things that are quite unique about the country are the weather and accents. Every 30 miles that you travel, the locals have a different accent. The country is pretty diverse, and so are the selection of universities and their locations.
The UK has well-established reputation for world-class education and the country claims four of the world’s top 10 universities which are Oxford, Cambridge, University College London and Imperial College London.
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Some of the famous British cities for students are:
Oxford and Cambridge
Oxford and Cambridge are the two towns, built on rivers and situated towards the south of England not far from London; both are completely dominated by their universities –two of the oldest in the world. Oxford and Cambridge are both collegiate universities, and their constituent colleges loom large over the city centres.
While Cambridge is home to a large cluster of high-technology industries such as software and bioscience, earning it the name ‘Silicon Fen’ (a play on Silicon Valley), Oxford has a long history of brewing and has been an important centre of motor-manufacturing for years, with the main production site for Mini cars, now owned by BMW, based there.
Home to nine million people, it is the financial, cultural and political centre of the country. Life in London is busy and fast-paced. Most of those who choose to study in London agree that the city is worth every penny in the opportunities for culture, fun and networking on offer. Home to many of the best libraries, museums, art galleries, nightclubs and theatres in the UK, and the hub of many of its most competitive professional sectors, London has more to see and do than you’ll have time to get to the end of – even if you stay long enough to complete a PhD.
The city is home to an eclectic range of music venues, large and small, and the city’s music scene is as vibrant and fast-moving as ever. The Northern Quarter is popularly considered the cultural and musical heart of the city. Manchester is undoubtedly something of a party town, it’s also big on sports – especially football. The global fame of Manchester United is difficult to beat, while local rival Manchester City is one of the wealthiest clubs in the world. Just outside the city centre is the BBC’s new Media City complex, and a cluster of cultural venues including the Lowry Center and the Museum of Science and Industry.
Birmingham (or Brum, as it is known affectionately to locals) is a thriving commercial hub, home to the UK’s largest shopping area outside of London, and one of the most multicultural places in the UK. It offers thriving art, music and literary scenes, including the prestigious City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and a range of other cultural institutions. Birmingham’s six universities make the city the UK’s largest centre of higher education and academic research outside of the capital, while the ongoing ‘Big City Plan’ aims to make Birmingham one of the top 20 most liveable cities in the world within 20 years.
The Scottish capital is famous for its range of historical and cultural attractions, such as Edinburgh Castle (Scotland’s most-visited site), Holyrood Palace, the medieval Old Town and 18th century Georgian New Town. It’s also the setting for popular events such as the annual Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe – the largest arts festival in the world. These all help to make the city the UK’s second most-visited after London, welcoming over 1.5 million tourists in 2015. Edinburgh has also long been a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scots law, literature, the sciences and engineering, earning it the nickname “the Athens of the North”.
Glasgow is emerging as one of the UK’s most dynamic up-and-coming cities. With historic architecture, distinctive local traditions and museums to rival any city in the UK, Glasgow now also has enough trendy bars, restaurants and gig venues (plus the world’s tallest cinema). PETA has declared the city to be the most vegan-friendly in the UK. And, while Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, it is not as overrun by tourists as Edinburgh and has a significantly lower cost of living. It also has the largest student population in Scotland (and the second largest in the UK, after London).
Coventry has a large student community and strong reputation among graduate employers. Located in the West Midlands area of England, St. Michael’s Cathedral is Coventry’s best-known landmark and visitor attraction, built after the previous cathedral was largely destroyed during World War II.