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Education in Great Britain


                                1.Education.

The British education system has much in common with that in Europe,
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  4  and
        16 in Northern Ireland.
      . The academic year begins at the end of summer.
      Compulsory education is free  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
      parents.
      . There are three stages of  schooling  with  children,  moving  from
        primary school  to  secondary  school.  The  third  stage  provides
        further and higher education, technical 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  comparatively  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,  school’s
finance management and such lick. As many details possible are left  to  the
discretion of the individual institution.
          Many distinctive  characteristics  of  British  education  can  be
ascribed at least partly, to 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  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” 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 leaves  for  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
advanced within everybody’s 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.



                        2.Public Schools – For Whom?

          About five per cent of children are educated privately in what  is
rather confusingly called public schools. These  are  the  schools  for  the
privileged. There are about 500 public schools in England and Wales most  of
them single-sex. About half of them are for girls.
          The schools, such as  Eton,  Harrow,  Rugby  and  Winchester,  are
famous for their ability to lay the foundation of  a  successful  future  by
giving their pupils self- confidence, the  right  accent,  a  good  academic
background and, perhaps  most  important  of  all,  the  right  friends  and
contacts.  People  who  went  to  one  of  the  public  schools  never  call
themselves school-leaves. They talk about “the old school tie” and “the  old
boy network”. They are just old boys or old girls. The  fees  are  high  and
only very rich families can afford to pay so much.  Public  schools  educate
the ruling class of England. One  such  school  is  Gordonstoun,  which  the
Prince of Wales, the elder son of the Queen, left in 1968. Harrow School  is
famous as the place where Winston Churchill was educated,  as  well  as  six
other Prime Ministers of  England,  the  poet  Lord  Byron,  the  playwright
Richard Sheridan and many other prominent people.
          Public schools are free from state control. They are  independent.
Most of them are boarding schools. The education is of a high  quality;  the
discipline is very strict. The system of education is  the  same:  the  most
able go ahead.
          These schools accept pupils from preparatory schools at  about  11
or 13 years of age usually on the basis of an examination, known  as  Common
Entrance. There  are  three  sittings  of  Common  Entrance  every  year  in
February, June and November. Scholarships are rarely awarded on the  results
of Common Entrance. The fundamental requirements are very high. At  18  most
public school-leaves, gain entry to universities.



                                3.Schooling.

          Great Britain does not have a written constitution, so  there  are
no constitutional provisions for  education.  The  system  of  education  is
determined by the National Education Acts.
          Schools in England are supported from public  funds  paid  to  the
local  education  authorities.  These  local   education   authorities   are
responsible for organizing the schools in their areas.
          Let’s outline the basic features of public education  in  Britain.
Firstly, there are wide variations between  one  part  of  the  country  and
another. For most educational purposes England and Wales are treated as  one
unit, though the system  in  Wales  is  a  little  different  from  that  of
England. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own education systems.
          Secondly,  education  in  Britain  mirrors  the  country’s  social
system: it is class-divided and selective. The  first  division  is  between
those who pay and those who do not pay. The majority of schools  in  Britain
are supported by public funds and the education provided is free.  They  are
maintained schools, but there are  also  a  considerable  number  of  public
schools. Parents have to pay fees to send their children to  these  schools.
The fees are high. As matter of fact,  only  very  rich  families  can  send
their children to public schools. In some parts of Britain they  still  keep
the old system of grammar schools, which are selective. But  most  secondary
schools  in  Britain,  which  are  called  comprehensive  schools,  are  not
selective – you don’t have to pass an exam to go there.
          Another important feature of schooling in Britain is  the  variety
of opportunities offered to schoolchildren. The English school  syllabus  is
divided into  Arts  and  Sciences,  which  determine  the  division  of  the
secondary school pupils into  study  groups:  a  Science  pupil  will  study
Chemistry, Physics,  Mathematics,  Economics,  Technical  Drawing,  Biology,
geography; an Art pupil will do English Language  and  Literature,  History,
foreign languages, Music, Art, Drama. Besides these subjects  they  must  do
some general education subjects like Physical Education, Home Economics  for
girls, and Technical subjects for boys, General Science. Computers  play  an
important part in education. The system of options exists in  all  kinds  of
secondary schools.
          The National Curriculum, which was introduced in  1988,  sets  out
detail  the  subjects  that  children  should  study  and  the   levels   of
achievement they should reach by the ages of 7, 11, 14, and  16,  when  they
are tested. Until that year headmasters and headmistresses of  schools  were
given a great deal of freedom in deciding what subjects to teach and how  to
do it in their schools so that there was really no central, control  at  all
over  individual  schools.  The  National  Curriculum  does  not  apply   in
Scotland, where each school decides what subjects it will teach.
          After the age of 16  a  growing  number  of  school  students  are
staying on at school, some until 18 or 19, the  age  of  entry  into  higher
education in universities, Polytechnics  or  colleges.  Schools  in  Britain
provide careers guidance. A specially trained person called careers  advisor
or careers officer helps school students to decide what job they want to  do
and how they can achieve it.
          British university courses are  rather  short,  generally  lasting
for 3 years. The cost of education depends on the college or university  and
special which one chooses.

                           4.Education in Britain.


|class                 |school                |age                  |
|                      |nursery school        |3                    |
|                      |playgroup or          |4                    |
|                      |kindergarten          |                     |
|reception class       |                      |5                    |
|year 1                |infant school         |6                    |
|year 2                |                      |7                    |
|year 3                |primary school        |8                    |
|year 4                |junior school         |9                    |
|year 5                |                      |10                   |
|year 6                |                      |11                   |
|year 7                |                      |12                   |
|year 8                |                      |13                   |
|year 9                |secondary school      |14                   |
|year 10               |                      |15                   |
|year 11               |                      |16                   |
|year 12               |sixth form college    |17                   |
|year 13               |                      |18                   |
|first year (fresher)  |                      |19                   |
|second year           |University or         |20                   |
|third/final year      |Polytechnic           |21                   |
|postgraduate          |University            |23                   |



                    5.Pre-primary and Primary Education.

          In some of England there are nursery schools for children under  5
years of age. Some children  between  two  and  five  receive  education  in
nursery classes or in infants’ classes in  primary  schools.  Many  children
attend informal  pre-school  playgroups  organized  by  parents  in  private
homes. Nursery schools are staffed with teachers and students  in  training.
There are all kinds of toys to keep the children busy from 9 o’clock in  the
morning till 4 o’clock in the afternoon while their  parents  are  at  work.
Here the babies play, lunch and sleep.  They  can  run  about  and  play  in
safety with someone keeping an eye on them.
          For day nurseries, which remain  open  all  the  year  round,  the
parents pay according to  their  income.  The  local  education  authority’s
nurseries are free. But only about three children in 100  can  go  to  them:
there aren’t enough places and the waiting lists are rather long.
          Most children start school at five in primary  school.  A  primary
school may be divided into two parts-infants and juniors. At infants  school
reading, writing and arithmetic are  taught  for  about  20  minutes  a  day
during the first year, gradually increasing to about 2 hours in  their  last
year. There is usually no written timetable. Much time is spent in  modeling
from clay or drawing, reading or singing.
          By the time children are ready for the junior school they will  be
able to read and write, do simple addition and subtraction of numbers.
          At seven children go on from the infants’  school  to  the  junior
school. This marks the transition from play to  “real  work”.  The  children
have set periods of  arithmetic,  reading  and  composition  which  are  all
Eleven Plus subjects. History,  Geography,  Nature  Study,  Art  and  Music,
Physical Education, Swimming are also on the timetable.
Pupils are streamed, according to their ability to learn into, A, B,  C  and
D streams. The least gifted are in the D stream. Formerly  towards  the  end
of their fourth year the pupils wrote their  Eleven  Plus  Examination.  The
hated 11 + examination was a selective  procedure  on  which  not  only  the
pupil’s future schooling but their future careers  depended.  The  abolition
of selection at  Eleven  plus  Examination  brought  to  life  comprehensive
schools where pupils can get secondary education.



                           6.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,  which
consisted  of  intelligence  tests  covering  linguistic,  mathematical  and
general knowledge 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 person’s 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  Labor
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 passed  in  July  1998.  The
Act established 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. In  1999  there  were  15  City  Technology
Colleges 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  comprehensive
schools. There should also be mentioned  another  type  of  schools,  called
specialist  schools.  The  specialist  school  programmer  in  England   was
launched  in  1993.  Specialist  schools   are   state   secondary   schools
specializing  in  technology,  science  and  mathematics;   modern   foreign
languages; sports; arts.
          State schools are absolutely free  (including  all  textbooks  and
exercise books) and generally co-educational.
          Under the 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,  technology,  music,  art  and  physical  education.  For  special
attention  there  of  these  subjects  (called  “core  subjects”):  English,
science, mathematics and seven other  subjects  are  called  “foundation  or
statuary subjects”. Besides,  subjects  are  grouped  into  departments  and
teachers work in teams and to plan work.
          Most common departments are:
    .  Humanities  Departments:  geography,  history,   economics,   English
      literature, drama, social science;
    . Science Department: chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics;
    . Language Department: German, French, English;
    .   Craft   Design   and   Technology   Departments:   information   and
      communications technology, computing, home economics and photography.
          The latter brings together the  practical  subjects  like  cooing,
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’s   area
exemplifies the process approach to learning introduced by the NC.
          It is worth mentioning here the  growing  importance  of  personal
and Social Education.  Since  the  1970s  there  has  been  an  emphasis  on
“pastoral” care, education in areas related to life skills  such  as  health
(this includes looking at  drug,  discussing  physical  changes  related  to
poverty, sex education and relationship).  There  are  usually  one  or  two
lessons a week, from primary school through to sixth form and  they  are  an
essential part of the school’s 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
organized 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  beginning
with first form. Nearly all schools work a five-day week and are  closed  on
Saturdays. The day starts at nine o’clock 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 sandwiches.
          Schools usually divide their year into tree  “terms”  starting  at
the beginning of September:


|Autumn     |Christmas |Spring   |Easter  |Summer  |Summer  |
|term       |Holiday   |term     |Holiday |term    |Holiday |
|           |(about    |         |(about 2|        |        |
|           |2weeks)   |         |weeks)  |        |(about 6|
|           |          |         |        |        |weeks)  |


          Passage from one year to the next one is automatic. At the age  of
14 pupils are tested in English, mathematics and  science,  as  well  as  in
statutory subjects. At that same age in the third or forth pupils  begin  to
choose their exam subjects and work for  two  years  to  prepare  for  their
qualifications. The exams are usually taken in fifth form at the age of  16,
which is a school-leaving age. The actual written exams are set  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 that board’s exam its pupils take. Most exams  last  for
two hours, marks are given for each exams separately and are graded  from  A
to G (grades A, B, C are considered to be “good” marks).
          16 are an important age for school-leaves  because  they  have  to
make key decisions as to their future lives and careers. There is  a  number
of choices for them.

                              7.Life at School.

          The school year is divided into terms, three  months  each,  named
after seasons: autumn term, winter term and spring term.
          The autumn term starts on the first Tuesday morning in  September.
In July schools break up for eight weeks.
          Life at school is more or less similar everywhere. Each  group  of
30 pupils is the responsibility of a form tutor. Each school day is  divided
into periods of 40-50 minutes, time for various lessons with  10-20  minutes
breaks between them. It might be  interesting  for  you  to  see  the  “Bell
Times” at Lawnswood school in Leads.


          Bell Times
8.40 a.m. – School begins
8.45 a.m. – Registration
8.50 a.m. – Assembly bell
9.00 a.m. – Pupils move to lessons
9.05 a.m. – Lesson 1
9.45 a.m. - Lesson 2
10.25 a.m. – Lesson 3
11.25 a.m. – Lesson 3
11.05 a.m. – Break
11.25 a.m. – Pupils move to lessons
11.30 a.m. – Lesson 4
12.10 p.m. – Lesson 5
12.50 p.m. – Lunch time
1.40 p.m. – Afternoon school begins
1.45 p.m. – Registration
1.50 p.m. – Lesson 6
2.30 p. m. Lesson 7
3.10 p.m. – End of normal lessons
3.10 p.m. – Start of additional lessons, clubs, societies, team practice,
detentions.

          On important occasions such as end of term  or  national  holiday,
called in English schools speech-days pupils are gathered  in  the  assembly
or hall.
          Most of the pupil’s time is spent in  a  classroom  equipped  with
desks and a blackboard nowadays often called chalkboard because normally  it
is brown or green. The desks are arranged in rows,  the  space  between  the
rows is called an aisle.
          In addition to classrooms  there  are  laboratories  for  Physics,
Chemistry  and  Biology.  Technical  rooms  are  for  Woodwork,   Metalwork,
Technical Drawing. There are rooms for computer studies. Many  young  people
use them for school exercise. They are now able to write their own games  as
well. The Physical Education lessons are conducted at the gymnasium,  games-
hall or at the playground in front of the school building.  There  are  also
language laboratories and house craft rooms. Every school has a library  and
a school canteen. In student common room boys and  girls  can  relax  during
the breaks and lunchtime the Staff common room is for teachers. In  case  of
illness a schoolchild may go to the sick room.
      Pupils at many  secondary  schools  Britain  have  to  wear  a  school
uniform. This usually means a white blouse for girls (perhaps with  a  tie),
with a dark-colored skirt and pullover. Boys wear  a  shirt  and  tie,  dark
trousers and dark-colored pullovers. Pupils  also  wear  blazers-a  kind  of
jacket-with the school badge on the pocket. They often  have  to  wear  some
kind of hat on the way to and from school-caps for boys and berets  or  some
other kind of hat for girls shoes are usually black or brown.  And  no  high
heels!
      Young people  in  Britain  often  don’t  like  their  school  uniform,
especially the hats  and  shoes.  Sometimes  they  do  not  wear  the  right
clothes. Schools will often give them a warning the  first  time  that  this
happens but then will punish them if they continue not to wear  the  correct
uniform. Senior student don’t have to wear their school uniform.
      It sounds logical to say that the school’s  function  is  to  train  a
pupil’s mind and his character should be formed at home. Teachers  would  be
pleased if the problem could be solved so easily. But children  don’t  leave
their characters at home when their minds go to school. Many  of  them  have
personality problems of one kind or another.
      The pupils who violate various school regulations may be  punished  in
the following ways: for lateness,  truancy  they  may  be  reported  to  the
Headmaster or named in school assembly.  They  may  be  detained  in  school
after ordinary hours.
      Corporal punishment has recently been banned in state schools. But  in
most public schools it is still allowed. Caning is the usual punishment  for
serious misbehavior in class, damage and  vandalism.  Many  teachers  remark
that standards of discipline  have  fallen  since  corporal  punishment  was
banned by the government.
      You may want to know whether there are any rewards and prizes for  the
best pupils. Of course, there are. Each school has its  system  of  rewards:
medals and prizes.



                    8.Social, Cultural and Sporting Life

      Each school or sixth-form college has its School or  College  Council.
It helps to plan the policy for the whole school. It  organizes  the  social
and cultural life at the school.
      School Councils in many schools and colleges are chaired by a  student
and have a majority of student members. They run discos and  parties,  stage
drama productions and decorate the  student  common  room.  Music-making  is
part of school life. Some students help in local hospitals,  homes  for  the
handicapped and elderly people.
      There are many clubs and  societies.  Very  popular,  especially  with
senior pupils, is à school debating society.
      Most clubs meet regularly: daily, weekly or monthly, at lunch time  or
after school. Extracurricular activities include various outings, visits  to
places of interest and dances. School choirs  and  orchestras  give  regular
concerts. Sports are very popular too:  running,  jogging,  swimming,  self-
defence, football, soccer, badminton, aerobics, rugby, etc.
      There are many national voluntary youth organizations in Britain.  You
have probably read about the Scout and Girl Guides  Associations. There  are
some clubs run by the churches. There three pre-service  organizations  (the
Sea Cadet Corps, Army, Cadet Force and Air  Training  Corps)  are  not  very
large. Their activities are related to the work of the armed forces.
      But the largest youth organizations, as you  probably  know,  are  the
associations of the  Boy  Scouts  and  the  Girl  Guides.  There  are  about
1,300,000 boys and girls in them. The movement of Boy Scouts was founded  by
General Baden-Powell in 1908 and began to spring up  in  almost  every  town
and village of the British Isles. Its aim is to help I à Scout (à  boy  from
8 to 18) to develop into à good man and à useful citizen. He  must  be  able
to handle sails, to use à compass, to lay and light à fire out of doors,  he
must know first aid and develop his interest in  music,  literature,  drama,
arts and films. A Scout is à friend to animals, he  is  'clean  in  thought,
word and deed’. He must obey the Scout Law.
      The Girl Guides Association was founded by Lord Baden-Powell in  1910.
It is divided into three sections: Brownies (from 7,5 tî  11),  Guides  (age
11 — 16) and Rangers (age 16 — 21). The programmer of  training  is  planned
to develop intelligence and practical skills inculding cookery,  needle-work
and childcare. The training and the Law are much the same as  those  of  the
Scouts. Like à Scout à Girl Guide must be à friend to animals. She  must  be
‘pure in thought, word and deed’. She must be loyal to God and the Queen.
      There  are  several  youth  organizations  associated  with  political
parties. The Youth Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (YCND) unites  thousands
of young people of Great Britain. It co-operates with the National Union  of
Students and many other youth organizations. It organizes mass  rallies  and
meetings, demonstrations, marches of protest, festivals.



                      9.Life at College and University


      The academic year in Britain' s universities,  Polytechnics,  Colleges
of Education is divided  into  three  terms,  which  usually  run  from  the
beginning of October to the middle of December, from the middle  of  January
to the end of March, and from the middle of April to the end of June or  the
beginning of July.
      There are about one hundred universities in Britain.  The  oldest  and
best-known universities are located in  Oxford,  Cambridge,  London,  Leeds,
Manchester,   Liverpool,   Edinburgh,   Southampton,    Cardiff,    Bristol,
Birmingham.
      Good À-level results in at least two subjects are necessary to  get  à
place at à university. However, good  exam  passes  alone  are  not  enough.
Universities  choose  their  students  after  interviews.  For  all  British
citizens à place at à university brings with it à  grant  from  their  local
education authority.
      English universities greatly differ from each other.  They  differ  in
date of foundation, size, history, tradition, general organization,  methods
of instruction, way of student life.
      After three years of study à university graduate will leave  with  the
Degree of Bachelor of Arts, Science, Engineering, Medicine,  etc.  Later  he
may continue to take à Master’s Degree and then à Doctor’s Degree.  Research
is an important feature of university work.
      The two  intellectual  eyes  of  Britain  —  Oxford  and  Cam-  bridge
Universities — date from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
      The Scottish  universities  of  St.  Andrews,  Glasgow,  Àberdeen  and
Edinburgh date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
       In the nineteenth and the early part of the twentieth  centuries  the
so-called  Redbrick  universities  were  founded.  These   include   London,
Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield  and  Birmingham.  During  the  late
sixties and  early  seventies  some  20  'new'  universities  were  set  up.
Sometimes they are called 'concrete and glass' universities. Among them  are
the universities of Sussex, York, East Anglia and some others.
      During these years the Government  set  up  thirty  Polytechnics.  The
Polytechnics, like the universities, offer first and  higher  degrees.  Some
of them offer full-time and sandwich courses. Colleges of Education  provide
two-year courses in teacher  education  or  sometimes  three  years  if  the
graduate specializes in some particular subject.
      Some of those who decide to leave school at the age of 16 may go tî  à
further education  college  where  they  can  follow  à  course  in  typing,
engineering, town planning, cooking, or  hairdressing,  full-time  or  part-
time.  Further  education  colleges  have  strong  ties  with  commerce  and
industry.
      There is an interesting form of  studies  which  is  called  the  Open
University. It is intended for people who study in their own free  time  and
who attend" lectures by watching television  and  listening  to  the  radio.
They keep in touch by phone and letter with their tutors and  attend  summer
schools. The Open University students  have  nî  formal  qualifications  and
would be unable to enter ordinary universities.
      Some 80,000 overseas students study at British universities or further
education colleges or train in nursing, law, banking or in industry.



                            10.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
universities.


                                 11.Oxbridge


      Oxford and Cambridge are the oldest and most prestigious  universities
in  Great  Britain.  They  are  often  called  collectively  Oxbridge.  Both
universities are independent. Only the  education  elite  go  to  Oxford  or
Cambridge. Most of their students are former public schools leavers.
      The normal length of the degree course is three years, after which the
students take the Degree of Bachelor of Arts (Â.À.). Some courses,  such  as
languages or medicine, bay 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  à  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  30.  Each  college  offers  teaching  in  à  wide  range  of
subjects. Within, the college one will normally  find  à  chapel,  à  dining
hall, à 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 I.ondon. The town of Oxford is first mentioned  in
the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 911 À.D. and it  was  popular  with  the  early
English kings (Richard Coeur de Lion' was probably here).  The  university's
earliest charter" is dated tî 1213.
      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 local car industry in East Oxford gives an important  addition  to
the city' s outlook. There à great deal of bi- cycle traffic both in  Oxford
and Cambridge.

                                 12.Oxford.

      The first written record of the town of Oxford dates back to the  year
912. Oxford University, the oldest and most famous  university  in  Britain,
was founded in the middle of  the  12th  century  and  by  1300  there  were
already 1,500 students. At that time Oxford was a wealthy town, but  by  the
middle of the 14th century it was poorer, because of a decline in trade  and
because of the terrible plague, which killed many  people  in  England.  The
relations between the students and the townspeople were very unfriendly  and
there was often fighting in the streets.
      Nowadays there are about 12,000  students  in  Oxford  and  over  1000
teachers. Outstanding scientists  work  in  the  numerous  colleges  of  the
University  teaching  and  doing  research  work  in   physics,   chemistry,
mathematics, cybernetics, literature, modern and ancient languages, art  and
music, psychology.
      Oxford University has  a  reputation  of  a  privileged  school.  Many
prominent political  figures  of  the  past  and  present  times  got  their
education at Oxford.
      The Oxford English Dictionary is well-known  to  students  of  English
everywhere. It contains  approximately  5,000,000  entries,  and  there  are
thirteen volumes, including a supplement.
      Oxford University Press,  the  publishing  house  which  produces  the
Oxford English Dictionary has a special department called  the  Oxford  Word
and Language Service.
      Cambridge University started during the 13th century  and  grew  until
today. Now there are more than thirty colleges.
On the banks of the Cam'4 willow trees drown 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 col- leges opened their  doors  to  both  men
and women. Almost all colleges are now mixed.
Ìàïó great men studied at Cambridge, among  them  Desiderius  Erasmus",  the
great Dutch scholar,  Roger  Bacon",  the  philosopher,  Milton,  the  poet,
Oliver Cromwell", the soldier,  Newton,  the  scientist,  and  Kapitza,  the
famous Russian physicist.
The universities have over à 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.



                                13.Cambridge.

      The Cambridge Folk Festival. Every year, in summer, one of the biggest
festivals of folk music in arrive in Cambridge for  the  Festival.  Many  of
the fans put up their tents to stay overnight. The Cambridge  Folk  Festival
is always very well organized and there is always good order. However,  some
people who live nearby do not like Festival. They  say  that  there  is  too
much noise, that too much rubbish is left on the ground, and  that  many  of
the fans take drugs. On the other hand, local shopkeepers are glad,  because
for them the Festival means a big increase in the number of customers.
      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 Britain’s 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  Britain’s  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  student’s  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.
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 bachelor’s 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  Master’s
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.

                                 14.Science

      The word “science” comes from the Latin word “scientia”,  which  means
“knowledge”. Scientists make observations and collect facts  in  field  they
work in. Then they arrange facts orderly and try to express  the  connection
between the facts and try to work out theories. Then they have to prove  the
facts  or  theory  correct  and  make  sufficient  and  sound  evidence.  So
scientific knowledge is always growing and improving.
      Science has great influence on our life.  It  provides  with  base  of
modern technology, materials, sources of power and  so  on.  Modern  science
and technology have changed our life in  many  different  ways.  During  the
present century our life changed greatly. Thanks to radio and television  we
can do a great number of jobs; it was radio and TV that made it possible  to
photograph the dark side of the moon and to talk with  the  first  cosmonaut
while he was orbiting the Earth. On  of  the  wonders  of  our  age  is  the
“electronic brain”, or giant calculating machine, which can to  some  extent
duplicate human senses. The desk computer is expected to  function  as  your
personal librarian,  to  carry  out  simple  optimization  computations,  to
control your budget or  diet,  play  several  hundred  games,  etc.  further
development of the computer is believed to lead  to  a  situation  in  which
most of the knowledge accepted by mankind will be stored  in  the  computers
and made accessible to anyone with the home computers. It  is  natural  that
the advent of minicomputers with extensive memories and  possibilities  will
lead to a new higher level in information culture. Among  other  things,  we
shall be able to organize educational process in the country’s colleges  and
universities and also in the system of school  education  on  a  new  basic.
Knowledge is the most valuable wealth, and minicomputers  will  help  us  to
make it accessible for  everyone.  Agricultural  scientists  develop  better
varieties of plants. The development of  antibiotics  and  other  drugs  has
helped to control many diseases. Studies in anatomy and physiology have  let
to amazing surgical operations and the inventions  of  lifesaving  machines,
that can do the work of such organs as  heart,  lungs  and  so  on.  Nuclear
fission when  a  tremendous  amount  if  energy  is  setting  free  is  very
important discovery.
       Science  improved  the  living  standards,  communications,  promoted
contact between people  and  government,  knowledge  and  culture,  made  it
possible to discover and develop new sources of energy, made it possible  to
prolong man’s life.
      But science also has some disadvantages.  It  produces  mass  culture:
painting,  music,  literature.  Some  scientific  inventions  increase   the
ecological problems, provide with new  diseases  like  AIDS,  increased  the
danger of violent death.
      The greatest scientists were very persistent and were  sure  in  their
success. Even without any serious  education  they  made  great  inventions.
Even during times of  disappointing  experiments  and  unacknowledgement  by
other scientists, they didn’t give up and  went  on  working  out  theories.
Also they were always  ready to begin everything from  the  very  beginning.
They worked a lot, and this work wasn’t for money.
      The aim, the main object of the greatest scientists of all  times  was
always to find out the troth and no personal prejudices can be  allowed.  So
the science grows and prospers and is the engine of progress.

      The problem  of  learning  languages  very  important  today.  Foreign
languages are socially demanded especially at  the  present  time  when  the
progress in science and technology has led to an explosion of knowledge  and
has contributed to an  overflow  of  information.  The  total  knowledge  of
mankind is known to double every seven years. Foreign languages  are  needed
as the main and the most efficient means  of  information  exchange  of  the
people of our planet.
      Today English is the language of the world. Over  300  million  people
speak it as mother tongue. The native speakers  of  English  live  in  Great
Britain, the United States of America, Australia and New  Zealand.   English
is one of the official languages in the Irish Republic,  Canada,  the  South
African Republic. As the second language it is used in  the  former  British
and  US colonies.
      It is not only the national or the official language  of  some  thirty
states which represents  different  cultures,  but  it  is  also  the  major
international  language  for  communication  in  such  areas   as   science,
technology, business and mass entertainment. English is one of the  official
languages  of  the  United  Nations   Organization   and   other   political
organizations. It is the language of literature,  education,  modern  music,
international tourism.
      Russia is integrating into the world  community  and  the  problem  of
learning English for the  purpose  of  communication  is  especially  urgent
today.
      So far there is no universal or ideal method  of  learning  languages.
Everybody has his own way. Sometimes it is boring to  study  grammar  or  to
learn new words. But it is well known that reading books  in  the  original,
listening to BBC news and English  speaking  singers,  visiting  an  English
speaking country, communicating with the English speaking people  will  help
a lot.
       When learning a foreign language you learn the  culture  and  history
of the native speakers.





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