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Higher Education in Great Britain

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Most big towns in Britain have both a university and a college of higher education. There are 91 universities and 47 colleges there. Universities offer three- and four-year courses; the colleges offer both two-year HND (Higher National Diploma) courses, as well as degree


A degree is a qualification one gets from university when he or she passes their final exams. One is then awarded a Bachelor or Master degree in such areas as arts, science or education. Undergraduates — students who are studying for degrees — go to large, formal lectures, but most of the work takes place in tutorials: lessons in groups often or more when the students discuss their work with the lecturer.

Only a quarter of the student populations go on to higher education. Competition to get into one of Britain's universities is fierce and not everyone who gets A level can go. Students usually need three A levels to go to university and grades at A level go from A, the highest grade, down to F (failed). Students apply to universities months before they take their A levels. The applicants are given personal interviews and the universities decide which of them they want. If applicants do not get the grades a university asks for, they may try another university or college before the new term starts in early October.

Until 1998, British students did not have to pay for university. Now they must pay about £ 1,000 a year as a tuition fee. Not all students study full-time at university or college. Many of them combine their studies with work. Some companies release their staff for training one or two days a week or for two months a year. Large companies often have their own in-house training schemes. The British Government is very enthusiastic about such training schemes. It wants at least half the work force to have a formal professional qualification.



System of Educationin theUSA





  Postdoctoral Study and Research
Ph. D. or Advanced Professional Degree Professional Schools (Teaching, Medicine, Law, etc.) 2-4 years Doctor Degree Study Doctor Degree, 4 years
Master Degree Master Degree 2 vears  
Bachelor's Degree Undergraduate Liberal Arts or General 4 years
Associate Degree or Certificate Technical or Vocational Institutions, 2 years Junior or Com­munity Colleges, 2 years  
High School Diploma (17) High Schools, 4-years (14-17) Senior High Schools Combined Junior and Senior Schools
Junior High Schools (12-16)
6-13 year old Elementary (or Primary) Schools

II. Ответьте на вопросы.

1. Why is education so important?

2. How many universities and colleges of higher education are there in Britain?

3. How long does it take to be awarded a degree?

4. What part of the student population go on to higher education?

5. Is it difficult the enter a British university?

6. What is the difference between education and training?

7. When was a tuition fee introduced in Britain?

8. How do you understand the term 'in-house training scheme'?

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