By Michael Grundy
Britain has always led the world in engineering, and this is especially true when one considers its universities.
What really elevates this country above other university programmes in this field is the sheer range of courses on offer. Reflecting the wide areas of British engineering achievement, students are able to concentrate on particular areas and specialise on very specific subjects; everything from Aviation Technology to Biomolecular Engineering, Nanotechnology to Petroleum Engineering is available at British universities.
Choosing to pursue an engineering or technology course in Britain is also choosing to be part of an important historical tradition. This country is of course the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, and the legacy this has in the country’s collective memory continues into the Twenty First Century, with Britain still seen as a leading innovator in terms of engineering and technological advances, achievements and inventions. From the birth of the digital computer to the development of the World Wide Web, the UK has been a major player in relatively more recent technological engineering history. It is fair to say that the modern world of digital communication would be a very different place were it not for British innovation in this field.
Both researchers and teachers of the highest quality are drawn to the UK from all over the world, and just as British engineering achievement enjoys a global reputation, so too do British universities have a truly international dimension and appeal. Faculties at British universities have over the years contributed to the design of everything from the wing on the Spitfire to the technology behind the first mobile phone, and to maintain its global reputation, universities offer some of the most appealing international engineering scholarships in the world. International engineering graduates also frequently stay in the UK to continue their studies, with a high percentage pursuing higher degrees here.
The UK plays a leading role in aerospace engineering, and is home to the second-largest aerospace industry in the world. Some of the most important contributions made in the history of aircraft have been made by companies such as Rolls Royce and BAE Systems, and their continued influence within the industry ensures that Britain remains a major player in the global aerospace industry. This can be seen in the large presence that overseas aerospace companies have in Britain, including Boeing and Airbus Group. British universities maintain close links with these companies, with many offering very attractive internships and graduate schemes.
The recent Rosetta mission to land a spacecraft on a comet, a decade-long enterprise which finally succeeded at the end of last year, is another significant technological advance which could not have happened without British expertise. The mission, which aims to provide detailed information on the comet’s composition and in turn address questions about the very origin of life on Earth, was achieved largely due to research carried out at British universities. A total of ten British companies were involved, with much of the technology on board the craft designed at various research facilities, including those of Oxford University and the Open University.
There are a wide range of benefits in choosing the UK to study engineering or technology. Aside from the career prospects and opportunities that such degrees offer, graduates in these courses are sure to find enjoyment and satisfaction throughout their career. As an area that is constantly changing and evolving, with new advancements constantly being made, it is always an exciting and appealing area to study. Nowhere can this be more true than in Britain, a country which is consistently providing the world with new, dynamic and exciting leaps forward in engineering, across all fields.
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