High education in Great Britain
High education in Great Britain. All British universities are private
institutions. Students have to pay fees and living costs, but every student
may obtain a personal grant from local authorities. If the parents do not
earn much money, their children will receive a full grant which will cover
all the expenses. Students studying for first degrees are known as
undergraduates. New undergraduates in some universities are called fresher.
They have lectures, there are regular seminars. After three or four years
the students will take their finals. Those who pass examinations
successfully are given the Bachelors degree: Bachelor of Arts for History or
Bachelor of Science. The first postgraduate degree is Master of Arts, Master
of Science. Doctor of Philosophy is the highest degree. It is given for some
original research work which is an important contribution to knowledge. Open
Days are a chance for applicants to see the university, meet students and
ask questions. All this will help you decide whether you have made the right
choice. The most famous universities in Britain are Oxford and Cambridge.
They are the two oldest English universities and they both have a long and
eventful history of their own. Oxford and Cambridge are regarded as being
academically superior to other universities and as giving special privilege
and prestige. Cambridge University consists of a group of 32 independent
colleges. The first students came to the city in 1209 and studied in the
schools of the cathedral and monasteries. Further education in Britain is
for people over 16 taking courses at various levels up to the standard
required for entry to higher education. The Open University offers degrees
for people who do not have a formal education and qualifications, or who are
older. Students study at home and then post them off to a tutor for marking.
Most courses take six years and students get a number of credits for each
years work. The Open University...
Britain has three systems of public education -
one for England and Wales, one for Northern Ireland, and one for Scotland. The
three systems differ in many ways.
Oxford and Cambridge are the oldest and most prestigious
Great Britain. They are often called collectively Oxbridge to denote an
elitarian education. Both universities are independent. Only very rich and
aristocratic families can afford to send their sons and daughters to these
universities. Mostly they are former public schools leavers.
The tutorial is the basic mode of instruction at Oxford and
Cambridge, with lectures as optional extras.
The normal length of the degree course is three years, after
which the students take the Degree of Bachelor of Arts (B. A.). Some courses,
such as languages or medicine, may be one or two years longer. The students may
work for other degrees as well. The degrees are awarded at public degree
ceremonies. Oxford and Cambridge cling to their traditions, such as the use of
Latin at degree ceremonies. Full academic dress is worn at examinations.
Oxford and Cambridge universities consist of a number of
colleges. Each college is different, but in many ways they are alike. Each
college has its name, its coat of arms. Each college is governed by a Master,
The larger ones have more than 400 members, the smallest colleges have less than
Each college offers teaching in a wide range of subjects. Within the college one
will normally find a chapel, a dining hall, a library, rooms for undergraduates,
fellows and the Master, and also rooms for teaching purposes.
Oxford is one of the oldest universities in Europe. It is the
second largest in Britain, after London. The town of Oxford is first mentioned
in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 911
A. D. and it was popular with the early English kings (Richard
Lion was probably here). The university's earliest charter is dated back to
There are now twenty-four colleges for men, five for women and
another five which have both men and women members, many from overseas studying
for higher degrees. Among the oldest colleges are University College, All Souls
and Christ Church.
The Cambridge University started during the 13th century and
grew until today. Now there are more than thirty colleges.
On the river bank of the Cam willow trees weep their branches
into the water. The colleges line the right bank. There are beautiful college
gardens with green lawns and lines of tall trees. The oldest college is
Peterhouse, which was founded in 1284, and the most recent is Robinson
College, which was opened in 1977. The most famous is probably King's
College because of its magnificent chapel, the largest and the most beautiful
building in Cambridge and the most perfect example left of
English fifteenth-century architecture. Its choir of boys and undergraduates is
also very well known.
The University was only for men until 1871, when the first
women's college was opened. In the 1970s, most colleges opened their doors to
both men and women. Almost all colleges are now mixed.
Many great men studied at Cambridge, among them Desiderius
Erasmus, the great Dutch scholar, Roger Bacon, the philosopher, Milton, the
Cromwell, the soldier, Newton, the scientist, and Kapitza, the famous
The universities have over a hundred societies and clubs,
enough for every interest one could imagine. Sport is part of students' life at
Oxbridge. The most popular sports are rowing and punting.
In addition to the universities, Britain has many
colleges that specialize in art, business studies, teacher training, and
technical subjects. If all good people were clever and
all clever people were good, the world would be nicer than ever.
I think that education is a key to a
good future. And schools are the first step on the education-way. Schools help
young people to choose their career, to prepare for their future life, they make
pupils clever and well-educated. They give pupils the opportunity to fulfill
Education in Britain developed by
steps. The first step was the introducing of two kinds of school: grammar
schools and secondary modern schools. Grammar schools offered a predominantly
academic education and in secondary modern schools education was more practical.
The second step was the introducing of a new type of school, the comprehensive,
a combination of grammar and secondary modern, so that all children could be
continually assessed and given appropriate teaching. These school were
co-educational and offered both academic and practical subjects. However, they
lost the excellence of the old grammar schools. Then after 1979 were introduced
the greatest reforms in schooling. They included the introduction of a National
Curriculum making certain subjects, most notably science and one modern
language, compulsory up to the age of 16. The National Curriculum aims to ensure
that all children study essential subjects and have a better all-round
education. Pupils' progress in subjects in National Curriculum is measured by
written and practical tests. More ambitious pupils continue with very
specialized studies in the sixth form. They remain at school for two years more.
Pupils sit for exams leaving secondary school and sixth form. They sit for the
General Certificate Secondary Education at the end of the 5th-years' course.
A-level or AS-levels are taken after two years of study in the sixth form. They
are the main standard for entrance to university or other higher education. Some
parents prefer to pay for their children to be educated at independent schools.
This private sector includes the so-called public schools, some of whose names
are known all over the world, for example Eton. It provides exceptionally fine
teaching facilities, for example in science, languages, computing and design.
Its students are largely from aristocratic and upper-class families. The
Government's vision for the education system of the 21st century is that it will
neither be divisive nor based on some lowest denominator. Diversity, choice and
excellence will be its hallmarks in this century.
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