Great Britain is one of the most  developed  countries  in  the  world.
Great Britain enters into the number of countries of large eight.
    We all know that the Britains are very cultural people and many possess
an outstanding mind. What makes them similar?  National  culture,  heredity,
traditions or may be education? But do  many  people  in  our  country  know
about education in other countries? Many students would like to  know  about
how their contemporaries in other countries live. In what  schools  do  they
study? Does the state ensure all them with  necessary  means  for  studying?
What are their chances to obtain higher or technical  education  for  worthy
life in the future?
    This article opens the curtain above education in Britain and  contains
sufficiently complete and comprehensive  information  for  the  student  and
school staff. The purpose  of  this  article  is  to  study  the  system  of
education in Britain and to look at from an objective point of view.
    In the second half of the 20-century qualitative changes  in  education
system occurred in Britain:  the  system  of  education  began  to  be  more
oriented towards the development of useful knowledge. But in spite  of  this
in the British system  of  education  many  survivals  of  the  past,  which
strongly harm education, still remained.
    In this synopsis the following reductions are accepted:
    . A-level (advance level)  an examination usually taken  by  pupils  at
      their final year at school at  the  age  of  eighteen.  The  exam  was
      introduced in 1951. A-levels are needed to enter most types of  higher
      education and a student must usually have three good grades  to  enter
    . AS level (advanced supplementary level)  an examination taken by some
      pupils in their final year at school when they  are  taking  their  A-
      level. The AS level is a simpler examination than the A-level and  can
      be studied in half the time. The exam was first introduced in 1989 and
      is intended to give pupils the chance to study a  greater  variety  of
    . Cathedral school (choir school)    a  school  in  a  cathedral  city,
      usually a preparatory school or, occasionally, a public  school,  some
      of their pupils sing in the cathedral choir.
    . College of Further Education (CFE)  a local college  attended  mostly
      by students between the ages of 16 and 19  who  are  working  for  the
      NVQs and practical qualifications; by some students  taking  A-levels
      and by mature students doing part-time courses.
    . College  1. An independent institution of higher education  within  a
      university,  typically  one  at   Oxford   University   or   Cambridge
      University. 2. A specialized  professional  institution  of  secondary
      higher education,  such  as  a  college  of  music  or  a  college  of
      education. 3. The official title of certain public  schools,  such  as
      Eton College.
    . Comprehensive school  a large state secondary school for children  of
      all abilities from a  single  district,  providing  a  wide  range  of
      education.  Over  90%  of  all  secondary  school  students  attend  a
      comprehensive school. Comprehensive schools were introduced in 1965 to
      provide  an  equal  secondary  (11     18   years   old)   education.
      Comprehensive schools put pupils in  different  classes  according  to
      their ability, but there are no entry examinations.
    . Further education  a term used to apply  to  any  kind  of  education
      after secondary school, but not including university  work  (which  is
      higher education).
    . General Certificate of Education, the (GCE)    the  standard  school-
      leaving examination. It is taken by school pupils at the end of  their
      fifth year of secondary education, at the age of 16. The GCE  replaced
      the formed dual examination system of GCE O-level (General Certificate
      of  Education  Ordinary  Level)  and  SCE  (Certificate  of  Secondary
      Education, Ordinary Level), and the first GCSE examination  were  held
      in 1988. GCSE certificates are awarded for each subject  on  a  seven-
      point scale, from A to G, and the examinations syllabus  and  grading
      procedures are monitored by  the  School  Examination  and  Assessment
    . Local Educational Authority (LEA)  the local government body that  is
      responsible for the state schools in a district, as  well  as  further
      education, and that engages teachers, maintains school  buildings  and
      supplies schools with equipment and materials.
    . National Curriculum (NC)  was introduced into the education system in
      1989. Until that time LEA decided  on  the  curriculum,  the  subjects
      which would be taught in school in their area. The NC is  designed  to
      make a national standard for all school pupils between the ages  of  5
      to 16. The main subjects  are  English,  Mathematics,  Science  and  a
      foreign language, either French or German. There are examinations  for
      all pupils at the ages of  7,  11,  14,  and  16  to  check  on  their
    . Oxbridge  a colloquial  term  for  the  universities  of  Oxford  and
      Cambridge, jointly regarded as being superior  to  other  universities
      and as enjoying and giving special privilege and prestige.
    . Secondary school  a state school  or  private  school  education  for
      school children aged between 11  and  18.  Other  types  of  secondary
      schools are grammar schools, middle schools, secondary modern schools,
      technical  schools  and  public  schools.  An  extension  of  a  state
      secondary schools a tertiary college.
    . Nursery school  a school for very young children,  usually  three  or
      four years old (before compulsory education, which begins at  the  age
      of five).
    . Pidgin English (PE)  1. A language made up of elements of English and
      some  other  foreign  language,  especially   Chinese   or   Japanese,
      originally developing as a means of verbal communication when trading.
      2. Loosely, any kind of English spoken with the  elements  of  another
      language, whether for genuine communication or of comic effect.

                               1. Education.
    The British educational system has much in common with that in  Europe,
in that:
    > Full-time education is compulsory  for  all  children  in  the  middle
      teenage years. Parents are required by law to see that their  children
      receive full-time education, at school or elsewhere, between the  ages
      of 5 and 16 in England, Scotland and Wales and 4 and  16  in  Northern
    > The academic year begins at the end of summer.
    > Compulsory education is free of charge, though parents  may  choose  a
      private school and spend their  money  on  education  their  children.
      About 93% of pupils receive free education from  public  funds,  while
      the others  attend  independent  schools  financed  by  fees  paid  by
    > There are three stages of schooling, with children moving from primary
      school (the first stage) to secondary school (the second  stage).  The
      third stage (sometimes called the tertiary level) provides further and
      higher education and  includes  CFE,  technical  college,  college  of
      higher education, and universities.
    There is, however, quite a lot that distinguishes education in  Britain
from the way it works in other countries. The most important  distinguishing
features  are  the  lack  of  uniformity  and  comparativly  little  central
control.  There  are  three   separate   government   departments   managing
education: the Departments for Education and Employment is  responsible  for
England and Wales alone; Scotland and Northern Ireland retain  control  over
the education within  their  respective  countries.  None  of  these  bodies
exercises much control over  the  details  does  not  prescribe  a  detailed
program of learning, books and materials to be used,  nor  does  it  dictate
the exact hours of the school day, the  exact  days  of  holidays,  schools
finance management and suchlike. As many details as  possible  are  left  to
the discretion of the individual institution or of the LEA.
    Many distinctive characteristics of British education can be  ascribed,
at least partly, to the public school tradition. The  present-day  level  of
grass-root independence as well as different  approach  to  education  has
been greatly influenced by the philosophy that a (public) school is its  own
community. The 19th century public schools educated the sons  of  the  upper
and upper-middle classes and the main aim of schooling was to prepare  young
men to take up positions in the higher ranks of the  army,  the  Church,  to
fill top-jobs in business,  the  legal  profession,  the  civil  serves  and
politics. To meet this aim the emphasis  was  made  on  character-building
and the development  of  team  spirit  (hence  traditional  importance  of
sports) rather than on academic achievement.
    Such schools were (and still often are) mainly boarding establishments,
so they had a deep and lasting  influence  on  their  pupils,  consequently,
public-school leavers formed a closed group entry into which was  difficult,
the ruling elite, the core of the Establishment.
    The 20th century brought education and  its  possibilities  for  social
advancement within everybodys  reach,  and  new,  state  schools  naturally
tended to copy the features of the public schools. So  today,  in  typically
British fashion, learning for its own sake, rather than  for  any  practical
purpose is still been given a  high  value.  As  distinct  from  most  other
countries, a relatively stronger emphasis is on the quality of  person  that
education produces rather than helping people to  develop  useful  knowledge
and skills. In other words, the general style  of  teaching  is  to  develop
understanding rather than acquiring factual knowledge and learning to  apply
this knowledge to specific tasks.
|Whats a public school? A public school in Britain is not open to    |
|everyone; the ordinary, local schools where most people go are called  |
|state schools. Public schools are schools where parents have to pay  |
|money if they want their children to attend. Public schools are old,   |
|often traditional and prestigious institutions. Most of the kinds who  |
|go to them have very rich parents. Public schools are often single-sex,|
|which means they dont permit girls and boys to be educated together.  |
|There are sometimes boarding schools, that mean that kids live at      |
|school during the week. Some famous public schools for boys are Eton   |
|college, Harrow and Malvern, and for girls, Benedon and Cheltanham     |
|Ladies College. Prince William was educate at Eton and his brother     |
|Harry is still a pupil there. Eton is renowned for its academic        |
|excellence and some of its traditions. The school was founded by Henry |
|VI in 1440  1441 and was intended for 70 highly qualified boys who    |
|received scholarships. This dates back to the death of George III. The |
|school wore mourning clothes but this later became established as the  |
|official uniform. Weblink:                        |

    This traditional  public-school  approach,  together  with  the  above-
mentioned dislike of  central  authority,  also  helps  to  explain  another
thing: the NC, the purpose of which was to do away with the  disparities  in
the type and quality of education, was not  introduced  until  1989    much
later than in other countries.

                    2. Pre-school and primary education.
    There is no countrywide system of nursery (or pre-primary) schools.  In
some areas there are nursery schools and classes (or, in England,  reception
classes  in  primary  schools),  providing  informal  education   and   play
facilities, but they are not  compulsory  and  only  25%  of  3-4  year-olds
attend  them.  There  are  also  some  private  nurseries   and   pre-school
playgroups organized and paid  by  parents  themselves  where  children  are
brought twice a week for an hour or two.
    The present Labour government is working to expand pre-school education
and wants all children to begin school with  basic  foundation  in  literacy
and numeracy, or what is know as  the  three  Rs  (Reading,  wRiting,  and
aRithmetic). From September 1998 it is providing free nursery  education  in
England and Wales for all 4-year-olds whose parents want it.
    The average child begins his or her compulsory education at the age  of
5 starting primary school (infant schools are for children  between  at  the
ages of 5 and 7 and junior schools for those between the ages of 8 and 11).
|LEAs, in the partnership with private nurseries, playgroups and        |
|schools, have drawn up early years development plans of providing 4  |
|year olds with basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. The    |
|plans are designed to show how co-operation between private nurseries, |
|playgrounds and schools can best serve the interests of children and   |
|their parents. In addition, the government aims to establish early    |
|excellence centres designed to demonstrate good practice in education |
|and childcare.                                                         |

                          3. Secondary education.
    The majority of state secondary school  pupils  in  England  and  Wales
attend comprehensive schools. These largely take  pupils  without  reference
to ability or aptitude and provide a wide range of secondary  education  for
all or most children in a district. Schools take those, who are  the  11  to
18 age-range, middle schools (8 to 14), and schools with an  age-range  from
11 to 16. Most other state-educated children in England  attend  grammar  or
secondary modern schools,  to  which  they  are  allocated  after  selection
procedures at the age of 11.
    Before 1965 a  selective  system  of  secondary  education  existed  in
England. Under that system a child of 11 had to take an exam (known  as  an
11+),  which  consisted  of   intelligence   tests   covering   linguistic,
mathematical and general knowledge and which was to be taken by children  in
the last year of  primary  schooling.  The  object  was  to  select  between
academic and non-academic children.  Those who did well in  the  examination
went to a grammar school, while those who failed went to a secondary  modern
school  and  technical  college.  Grammar  schools  prepared  children   for
national examinations  such  as  the  GCE  at  O-level  and  A-level.  These
examinations qualified children for the better jobs, and  for  entry  higher
education and the professions. The education  in  secondary  modern  schools
was based on practical schooling, which would allow entry into a variety  of
skilled and unskilled jobs.
    Many people complained that it was wrong for a persons  future  to  be
decided at a so young age. The children  who  went  to  secondary  moderns
were seen as failures. More over, it was noticed  that  the  children  who
passed this exam were almost all  from  middle-class  families.  The  Labour
Party, among other critics, argued that the  11+  examination  was  socially
divisible,  increasing  the  inequalities  between   rich   and   poor   and
reinforcing the class system.
    The Labour Party, returned to power in  1965,  abolished  the  11+  and
tried to introduce  the  non-selective  education  system  in  the  form  of
comprehensive schools, that would provide schooling for  children  of  all
ability levels and from all social backgrounds, ideally under one roof.  The
final choice between selective  and  non-selective  schooling,  though,  was
left to LEAs that controlled  the  provision  of  school  education  in  the
country. Some authorities decided for comprehensive, while  others  retained
grammar schools and secondary moderns.
    In the late 1980s the Conservative government introduced another  major
change. Schools  cloud  now  decide  whether  to  remain  as  LEA-maintained
schools or to opt-out of  the  control  of  the  LEA  and  put  themselves
directly under the control  of  the  government  department.  These  grant-
maintained schools were financed directly by central government.  This  did
not mean, however, that there was  more  central  control:  grant-maintained
schools did not have to ask anybody else about how to spend their money.
    A recent development in education administration in England  and  Wales
in the School Standards and Framework Act (SSFA) passed in  July  1998.  The
Act establishes that from 1.09.1999 all state school  education  authorities
with the ending of the separate category of grant maintained status.

|There are some grant-maintained or voluntary aided schools, called City|
|Technology Colleges (CTCs). In 1999 there were 15 CTCs in England.     |
|These are non-fee-paying independent secondary schools created by a    |
|partnership of government and private sector sponsors. The promoters   |
|own or lease the schools, employ teachers, and make substantial        |
|contributions to the costs of building and equipment. The colleges     |
|teach the NC, but with an emphasis on mathematics, technology and      |
|science.                                                               |

    So, today  three  types  of  state  schools  mainly  provide  secondary
education: secondary modern schools, grammar schools and  (now  predominant)
comprehensive schools. There  should  also  be  mentioned  another  type  of
schools, called specialist  schools.  The  specialist  school  programme  in
England was  launched  in  1993.  Specialist  schools  are  state  secondary
schools specializing in technology, science and mathematics; modern  foreign
languages; sports; or arts  in addition to providing the full NC.
    State schools are absolutely free (including all textbooks and exercise
books) and generally co-educational.
    Under the new NC a greater emphasis at the secondary level is  laid  on
science and technology.  Accordingly,  ten  subjects  have  to  be  studied:
English,  history,  geography,  mathematics,  science,  a   modern   foreign
language (at secondary level), technology (including  design),  music,  art,
and physical education. For special attention there  were  chosen  three  of
these subjects (called core subjects): English, science, mathematics,  and
seven  other  subjects  are  called  foundation  or  statutory   subjects.
Besides, subjects are grouped into departments and teachers  work  in  teams
and to plan work.
    Most common departments are:
         > Humanities Department:  geography,  history,  economics,  English
           literature, drama, PE, social science;
         > Science Departments: chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics;
         > Language Department: German, French, English;
         >  Craft  Design  and  Technology   Department:   information   and
           communications  technology,  computing,   home   economics,   and
     The latter (often as CTD) brings together the practical subjects  like
cooking, woodwork, sewing and metalwork with  the  new  technology  used  in
those fields. Students can design  a  T-shirt  on  computer  using  graphics
software and make-up the T-shirt design. Students can also look  at  way  to
market their product,  thus  linking  all  disciplines.  This  subject  area
exemplifies the process approach to learning introduced by the NC.
     It is worth mentioning here the growing importance  of  PSE  (Personal
and Social Education). Since  the  1970s  there  has  been  an  emphasis  on
pastoral care, i. e. education in areas related to  life  skills  such  as
health (this includes looking at drug, discussing physical  changes  related
to poverty, sex education and relationships). There are usually one  or  two
lessons a week, from primary school through to sixth form, and they  are  an
essential part of the schools aim to prepare students to life in society.
     Education in Britain is not solely  concentrated  on  academic  study.
Great value is placed on visits and activities like  organizing  the  school
club or field trips, which are educational in  a  more  general  sense.  The
organization of these activities by teachers is very much taken for  granted
in the British school  system.  Some  teachers  give  up  their  free  time,
evenings and weekends to  do  this  unpaid  work.  At  Christmas  teachers
organised concerts, parties and general festivities. It is  also  considered
a good thing to be seen to be doing this extra work  since  it  is  fairly
essential for securing promotion in the school hierarchy.
     Classes of pupils are called forms (though it  has  recently  become
common to refer to years) and are numbered  from  one  to  six,  beginning
with first form. Nearly all schools work a five-day week, and are closed  on
Saturdays. The day starts at  or  just  before  nine  oclock  and  finishes
between three and four. The lunch break usually lasts about  an  hour-and-a-
quarter. Nearly two-thirds of pupils have  lunch  provided  by  the  school.
Parents pay for this, except for the 15 per cent who are rated  poor  enough
and have it for free. Other children  either  go  home  for  lunch  or  take
     Schools usually divide their year into three terms, starting at  the
beginning of September:
|Autumn term|Christmas  |Spring     |Easter     |Summer term|Summer     |
|           |holiday    |term       |holiday    |           |holiday    |
|           |(about 2   |           |(about 2   |           |(about 6   |
|           |weeks)     |           |weeks)     |           |weeks)     |

     Passage from one year to the next one is automatic. At the age  of  14
pupils are tested in English, maths and science, as  well  as  in  statutory
subjects. At that same age, in the 3rd or 4th form pupils  begin  to  choose
their exam subjects and work  for  two  years  to  prepare  for  their  GCSE
qualifications. The exams are usually taken in the 5th form at  the  age  of
16, which is a school-leaving age. The GCSE can  be  taken  in  a  range  of
subjects (usually five in number). The  actual  written  exams  are  set  by
independent Examination  Boards,  and  are  marker  anonymously  by  outside
examiners, but they must be approved  by  the  government  and  comply  with
national guidelines. There are several examination  boards  in  Britain  and
each school decided which boards exam its pupils take. Most exams last  for
two hours, marks are given for each exam separately and are  graded  from  A
to G (grades A, B, C are considered to be good marks).
     16 is an important age for school-leavers because they  have  to  make
key decisions as to their future lives and careers. There  is  a  number  of
choices for them.

                    4. Education and training after 16.

    The government has stated that all young people should have access to
high-quality education and training after the age of 16. Young people have
two routes they that can follow  one based on school and college
education, and the other on work-based learning.
    About 70% of pupils choose to continue full-time education after 16.
Broadly speaking, education after 16 is divided into further and higher
education. Further (and adult) education is largely vocational and covers
up to and including GCE A-level and AC qualifications, General National
Vocational Qualifications (GNVQ) A-level. Higher education covers advanced
courses higher than GCE A-level or equivalent.
    Those wishing to go on to higher education stay for two years more into
the Sixth form (17 year-olds in the Lower Sixth  and  18  year-olds  in  the
Upper Sixth). If their schools do not have the sixth form or  do  not  teach
the desired subjects pupils may choose to go to a Sixth  Form  College.  The
pupils then concentrate in two or three subjects, in  which  they  take  the
GCE  A-level  examination.  Good  passes  are  now  essential  because   the
competition for places in the universities and  other  colleges  has  become
much stiffer. The number of subjects taken at  A-level  varies  between  one
and four,  although  three  are  usually  required  for  entry  into  higher
education. The concentration is upon a few subjects a high degree  of  early
specialization in the British system.
    Since 1988 there has been introduced a new level of examination: the AS
exam, which is worth half  an  A-level  and  usually,  involves  one  years
study. This means that if pupils wish  to  study  more  than  two  or  three
subjects in the sixth form they can  take  a  combination  of  A  and  AS
levels. A-level arts student, for example, can still study science  subjects
at AS-level.
    Some young people want to stay in schools for the period between 16 and
18, not just to do academic work but also get ready  for  examinations  that
lead to professional training or vocational qualifications (and because  the
general level of unemployment is now high).
    To the end of September 1992 there were introduced the GNVQ.  They  are
mainly undertaken by young people in full-time education  between  the  ages
of 16 and 18 and focus on vocational skills such as  business  and  finance,
information  and  technology.  There  are  three  GNVQ  levels    Advanced,
Intermediate  and  Foundation.  An  Advanced  GNVQ  requires  a   level   of
achievement broadly equal to two GCE  A-levels.  Most  commonly  the  GNVQs
courses are studied at CFE but more  and  more  schools  are  also  offering

|The following five levels of NVQs have been established:               |
|Level 1  Foundation;                                                  |
|Level 2  Basic craft;                                                 |
|Level 3  Technical, advanced craft, supervisor;                       |
|Level 4  Higher technical, junior management;                         |
|Level 5  Professional, middle management.                             |

    There are also job-specific National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).
    These are the awards, which recognize work-related skills and knowledge
and provide a path for lifelong learning. They are prepared by industry  and
commerce, including  representatives  from  trade  unions  and  professional
    NVQs are based on national standards of competence and can be  achieved
levels from 1 to 5.
    With Britains new enthusiasm for continuing education,  far  fewer  16
years-olds go straight out and look for a job than used to.  About  a  third
of them still take this option, however. The importance of creating a  gap
in their education is ever appealing  to  young  people  in  Britain  today.
Experience outside classroom is also valued since it  demonstrates  maturity
and a willingness to be independent.
    The first step for young people entering the job market is their  local
Jobcentre or careers office. Some school careers advisors teach such  skills
as filling out a curriculum vitae or  writing  letters  applying  for  jobs,
which is a problem for many young people. Youth  workers  of  Youth  Service
organizations also can give advice and counseling. A large number 16 and  17
years-olds enter. Youth Training Programmes established  by  the  government
as a means of helping  young  people  to  gain  vocational  experience.  The
government guarantees a place on the scheme to everybody  under  18  who  is
not in full-time education or in work. Such programmes cover  a  wide  range
of vocational skills from hairdressing to engineering.
    To sum up, average pupils usually attempt six or  seven  subjects,  and
the basic subjects required for jobs  and  further  education  are  English,
mathematics, science and foreign language. Good GCSE  results  will  qualify
pupils for a range of jobs, and for entry to further education  if  desired.
GCE  A-level  examinations  are  normally  associated  with  more   academic
children, who are aiming to entry higher education or  to  get  professions.
The dispersion of all 16-17 years olds in Britain in 1990 was following:
        > 36% were at schools or colleges;
        > 49% were working (employment) or seeking work;
        > 15% were in Youth Training placements.

                            5. Higher education.
    As has been mentioned above, there is  a  considerable  enthusiasm  for
post-school education in Britain. The aim of the government is  to  increase
the number of students who enter into higher education.  The  driving  force
for this has been mainly economic.  It is assumed that the more  people  who
study  at  degree  level,  the  more  likely  the  country  is  to   succeed
economically. A large proportion of young people  about a third in  England
and Wales and almost half in Scotland  continue in education at a  more  A-
level beyond the age of 18. The higher education sector provides  a  variety
of courses up to degree and  postgraduate  degree  level,  and  careers  out
research. It increasingly caters for older students; over  50%  of  students
in 1999 were aged 25 and over  and  many  studied  part-time.  Nearly  every
university offers access  and  foundation  courses  before  enrolment  on  a
course of higher education of prospective  students  who  do  not  have  the
standard entry qualifications.
    Higher  education  in  Britain   is   traditionally   associated   with
universities, though education of  University  standard  is  also  given  in
other institutions such as colleges  and  institutes  of  higher  education,
which have the power to award their own degrees.
    The only exception to state universities is  the  small  University  of
Buckingham which concentrates on law, and which draws most of  its  students
of overseas.
    All universities in England and  Wales  are  state  universities  (this
includes Oxford and Cambridge).
    English universities can be broadly classified into three types.  First
come the ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge  that  date  from  the
12th  century  and  that  until  1828  were  virtually  the   only   English
    Oxford and Cambridge are composed of  semi-independent  colleges,  each
college having its own staff, know as Fellows. Most  colleges  have  their
own dining hall, library and chapel and contain enough accommodation for  at
least half of their students. The Fellows teach the students, either one-to-
one or in very small groups (called tutorials in Oxford and  supervision
in Cambridge), the tutorial method brings the tutor into close and  personal
contact with the student. Before 1970 all Oxford  colleges  were  single-sex
(mostly for men). Now, the majority admits both sexes.
    Among other older universities there should be mentioned four  Scottish
universities, such as St. Andrews (1411), Glasgow (1450),  Aberdeen  (1494),
and Edinburgh (1583). The first of these, being the  oldest  one,  resembles
Oxbridge in many ways, while the other three  follow  the  pattern  of  more
modern universities in that the students live at  home  or  find  their  own
rooms in town. At all of them teaching is organized along the lines  of  the
continental traditions  there is less specialization than at Oxford.
    The second group of  universities  comprises  various  institutions  of
higher education, usually with technical study, that by 1900 had  sprang  up
in  new  industrial  towns  and  cities  such  as  Birmingham,   Manchester,
Sheffield  and  Leeds.  They  got  to  be  know  as  civic   or   redbrick
universities. Their buildings were made of local material, often  brick,  in
contrast to the stone of older universities,  hence  the  name,  redbrick.
These universities catered mostly for local people. At first  they  prepared
students for London University degree, but later they were given  the  right
to award their own degrees, and so became universities  themselves.  In  the
mid-20th century they started to accept students from all over the country.
    The third group consists of new universities founded after  the  Second
World War and later in the 1960s, which saw considerable  expansion  in  new
universities.  These  are  purpose-built   institutions   located   in   the
countryside but close  to  towns.  Examples  are  East  Anglia,  Sussex  and
Warwick. From their beginning they attracted  students  from  all  over  the
country, and provided accommodation for  most  of  their  students  in  site
(hence  their  name,  campus  universities).  They   tend   to   emphasise
relatively new academic  disciplines  such  as  social  science  and  make
greater use than other universities  of  teaching  in  small  groups,  often
known as seminars.
    Among this group there are also universities often called never civic
universities. These were originally  technical  colleges  set  up  by  local
authorities  in  the  first  half  of  this  century.  Their  upgrading   to
university status took place in two waves. The first wave  occurred  in  the
mid-1960s, when ten of them were promoted in this way.
    Another thirty became polytechnics, in the early 1970s,  which  meant
that along with their former courses  they  were  allowed  to  teach  degree
courses (the degrees being awarded by a national  body).  Polytechnics  were
originally expected to offer a broader-based, more practical and  vocational
education  than  the  universities.  In  the  early  1990s   most   of   the
polytechnics became universities. So there are now  80  universities  and  a
further 19 colleges and institutions of higher  education  in  the  UK.  The
country has moved rapidly from a rather elitist system to one which is  much
more open, if not yet a mass system of higher education.
    Higher education  in  England  and  Wales  is  highly  selective;  i.e.
entrance to British universities is via a strict selection process is  based
on an interview. Applications for first  degree  courses  are  usually  made
through  the  Universities  and  Colleges  Admission  Service   (UCAS),   in
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. After the  interview  a  potential  student  is
offered a place on the basis of GCE A-level exam  results.  If  the  student
does not get the grades specified in the offer, a place  can  not  be  taken
up. Some universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge, have an  entrance  exam
before the interview stage.
     This kind of selection procedure means that not  everyone  in  Britain
with A-level qualifications will be  offered  the  chance  of  a  university
education. Critics argue that  this  creates  an  elitist  system  with  the
academic minority in society whilst supporters  of  the  system  argue  that
this enables Britain to get  high-quality  graduates  who  have  specialized
skills. The current system will be modified by the late  90s  and  into  the
21st century, since secondary  system  is  moving  towards  a  broader-based
education to replace the specialized A level  approach.  The  reasons  for
this lie in Britains need to have a highly skilled and educated  workforce,
not just an elite few, to meet the needs of the technological era.
    The  independence  of  Britains  educational  institutions   is   most
noticeable in universities. They make their own choices of who to accept  on
their courses and normally do this on  the  basis  of  a  students  A-level
results and an interview. Those with better exam grades are more  likely  to
be accepted. Virtually all degree courses last three  years,  however  there
are some four-year courses and medical and veterinary courses last  five  or
six years. The British University year is divided into three terms,  roughly
eight to ten weeks each.  The  terms  are  crowded  with  activity  and  the
vacations between the terms  a month at Christmas, a month at  Easter,  and
three or four  months  in  summer    are  mainly  periods  of  intellectual
digestion and private study.
    The courses are also full-time  which  really  means  full-time:  the
students are not supposed to take a  lob  during  term  time.  Unless  their
parents are rich, they receive a state grant of money, which covers most  of
their expenses including the cost of accommodation.  Grants  and  loans  are
intended to create opportunities for equality in education. A grants  system
was set up to support students through university. Grants are  paid  by  the
LEA on the basis of parental income. In  the  late  80s  (the  Conservative)
government decided to stop to increase these grants, which  were  previously
linked to inflation. Instead, students were able  to  borrow  money  in  the
form of a low-interest loan, which then had to  be  paid  back  after  their
course  had  finished.  Critics  argue  that  students  from  less  affluent
families had to think twice  before  entering  the  course,  and  that  this
worsened the trend which saw a 33% drop in working-class student numbers  in
the 1980s.
|Cambridge.                                                             |
|Cambridge is the second oldest university and city in Britain. It lies |
|on the river Cam and takes its name from this river (Cam (. ) +|
|bridge ()). Cambridge was founded in 1284 when the first college,  |
|Peterhouse, was built. Now there are 22 colleges in Cambridge, but only|
|three of them are womens colleges. The first women college was opened |
|in 1896.                                                               |
|The ancient buildings, chapels, libraries and colleges are in the      |
|center of the city. There are many museums in the old university city. |
|Its population consist mostly of teachers and students. All students   |
|have to live in the college during their course.                       |
|In the old times the students life was very strict. They were not     |
|allowed to play games, to sing, to hunt, to fish or even to dance. They|
|wore special dark clothes, which they continue to wear in our days. In |
|the streets of Cambridge, you can see young men wearing dark blue or   |
|black clothes and the squares  the academic caps.                   |
|Many great men have studied at Cambridge, among them Cromwell, Newton, |
|Byron, Tennyson, and Darwin. The great Russian scientist I.P. Pavlov   |
|came to Cambridge to receive the degree of the Honorary Doctor of      |
|Cambridge.                                                             |
|The students presented him with a toy dog then. Now Cambridge is know  |
|all over the world as a great center of science, where many famous     |
|scientists have worked: Rutherford, Kapitza and others.                |

    Students studying for the first degree are  called  undergraduates.  At
the  end  of  the  third  year  of  study  undergraduates  sit   for   their
examinations and take the bachelors degree. Those engaged in the  study  of
arts such subjects as history, languages, economics or law take Bachelor  of
Arts (BA). Students studying pure or  applied  sciences  such  as  medicine,
dentistry, technology or agriculture get Bachelor  of  Science  (BSc).  When
they have been awarded the degree, they are known as graduates. Most  people
get honours degrees, awarded  in  different  classes.  These  are:  Class  I
(known as a first), Class II, I (or an upper second), Class II,  II  (or
a lower second), Class III (a third). A student  who  is  below  one  of
these gets a pass degree (i.e. not an honours degree).
    Students who obtain their Bachelor degree can apply to take  a  further
degree course, usually involving a mixture of  exam  courses  and  research.
There are two different  types  of  post-graduate  courses    the  Masters
Degree (MA or MSc), which takes one or two years, and the higher  degree  of
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which takes two  or  three  years.  Funding  for
post-graduate courses is very limited, and even students  with  first  class
degrees may be unable to get a grant. Consequently many post-graduates  have
heavy bank loans or are working to pay their way to a higher degree.
    The university system also provides a national network  of  extra-mural
or Continuing Education  Departments  which  offer  academic  courses  for
adults who wish to study  often for the sheer pleasure  of  study    after
they have left schools of higher education.
    One development in education in which Britain can  claim  to  lead  the
world is the Open University. It was  founded  in  1969  in  Milton  Keynes,
Buckinghamshire and  is  so  called  because  it  is  open  to  all    this
university does not require any formal academic qualifications to study  for
a degree, and many people who do not have an opportunity  to  be  ordinary
students enroll. The university is non-residential and  courses  are  mainly
taught by special written course books and by programmes on state radio  and
television. There are, however, short summer courses of about  a  week  that
the students have to attend and special part-time study centers  where  they
can meet their tutors when they have problems.
    As mentioned above, the British higher education system was added to in
the 1970s, which saw the creation of colleges  and  institutions  of  higher
education, often  by  merging  existing  colleges  or  by  establishing  new
institutions. They now  offer  a  wide  range  of  degree,  certificate  and
diploma  courses  in  both  science  and  art,  and  in  some   cases   have
specifically taken over the role of training teachers for the schools.
    There are also a variety of other British  higher  institutions,  which
offer higher education. Some, like the Royal College of Arts, the  Cornfield
Institute of  Technology  and  various  Business  Schools,  have  university
status, while others, such as agricultural, drama  and  arts  colleges  like
the Royal Academy of Dramatics Arts (RADA) and the Royal  college  of  Music
provide comparable courses. All these institutions  usually  have  a  strong
vocational aspect in their programmes, which fills  a  specialized  role  in
higher education.

   1. Levashova V.A. Britain today: Life and Institutions.  Moscow:  INFRA-
      M, 2001.
   2. 200   ./.:  .,  .,     .,
       .  :   .., 2001.
   3. Magazine CLUB, 3, January  February 2001.
   4.           8    
      ./.:      ..,      ..   .   2-.   ,
      , 1978.
   5. Newspaper English Learners Digest 8, April 2001.
   6. Adrian Room, An A to Z of British Life; OUP 1992.

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