The official name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Located off the northwest coast of continental Europe. The area is 244.8 thousand km2, the population is 59.8 million people. (July 2002). The official language is English. The capital is London (7.2 million people). Public holiday – Queen’s Birthday (1926) – is celebrated on the 2nd Saturday of June. The monetary unit is the pound sterling (equal to 100 pence).
Under British control are 15 overseas territories with a population of approx. 190 thousand people, incl. Gibraltar in Europe, Anguilla, Bermuda, part of the Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, the Falkland Islands in South and Central America, St. Helena in Africa, Pitcairn Island in the Pacific Ocean, territories in Antarctica.
The British monarch is the nominal head of the Commonwealth (formerly the British Commonwealth of Nations), which includes most of the former colonies and dominions of Great Britain, a total of 54 states with a population of 1.7 billion people.
Member of international organizations: UN (since 1945), IMF and World Bank (since 1947), NATO (since 1949), OECD (since 1961), EU and OBSS (since 1973), G7 (since 1975), EBRD ( since 1990), WTO (since 1995).
UK Science and Culture
Great is the contribution of Great Britain to the treasury of world science, primarily to the development of the natural and technical sciences. Among the outstanding scientists – physicists, chemists, biologists – I. Newton, R. Boyle, R. Hooke, J. Joule, M. Faraday, J. Maxwell, C. Darwin, Cavendish, E. Rutherford. World famous works of British philosophers, sociologists, historians, economists – R. Bacon, T. More, Fr. Bacon, T. Hobbes, I. Bentham, W. Petty, A. Smith, D. Ricardo, J. Mill, R. Owen, T. R. Malthus, A. Marshall, J. M. Keynes, B. Russell. St. 70 British scientists have been awarded Nobel Prizes. The UK accounts for approximately 4.5% of the world’s spending on science, 8% of all scientific publications. In 2000, R&D expenditures accounted for 1.8% of GDP, of which 85% went to civilian purposes, 15% to military ones. Funding sources: business – 49%, state – 29%, foreign funds – 16%. Science in the government is in charge of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and in it the Minister of Science.
In the UK, according to Andyeducation, there is compulsory education for children aged 5 (in Northern Ireland – from 4) to 16 years. Approximately 94% of students attend public free schools, 6% study in private paid schools or at home. OK. 70% of school leavers continue their education. Approximately 1/3 of secondary school graduates enter universities and other higher educational institutions. There are 90 universities and 64 other higher education institutions in the country. The oldest universities are Oxford (founded in 1167) and Cambridge (1209). The duration of study for a bachelor’s degree is 3 years (in Scotland – 4).
British writers, artists, architects, actors have had a significant impact on the development of world literature and art. Suffice it to name such poets and prose writers as J. Chaucer, W. Shakespeare, J. Swift, D. Defoe, G. Fielding, R. Burns, D. Byron, P. B. Shelley, W. Thackeray, W. Scott, R. Kipling, B. Shaw, A. Trollope, L. Stevenson, J. Galsworthy, G. Wells, A. Conan Doyle, A. Christie. World-famous works of artists W. Hogarth, D. Reynolds, T. Gainsborough, D. Constable, W. Turner, architects A. Jones, C. Wren, J. Wood, composers G. Purcell, E. Elgar, B. Britten, musicians of the Beatles group, the British stage was glorified by the actors D. Garrick, S. Siddon, W. Macready, D. Gielgud, L. Olivier, V. Lee, P. Scofield.