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EDUCATION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

 

The UK has two distinct systems of courses and qualifications: one for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and one for Scotland. Since 1995 the English Department for Education and Employment is responsible for development, interpretation, carrying out and control of the national education.

British education is divided into two separate school systems: state maintained schools and private fee-charging schools. Any child may attend school without paying fees. Over ninety percent of children of compulsory school age go to state schools.

Education in the UK is compulsory for everyone between the ages of five and sixteen. They start with the Pre-school or Pre-preparatory education. Pre-school education is available in both, the independent and the state systems. Many children start their education at the age of three or four at a nursery school.

There are three stages in education. The first stage is primary education, the second stage is secondary education and the third stage is further education at university or college. In the state system they go to primary school at the age of five and generally leave at the age of eleven. In the independent system they go to preparatory school which is available for children aged from five to thirteen. All UK Secondary schools, both state and independent, teach pupils at least until the age of sixteen and prepare them for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSEs) or equivalent qualifications.

After completing compulsory education at the age of sixteen, students may legally leave school and start work. Those who stay at school after GCSE, study for two more years for A (Advanced) level exams in two or three subjects. There are over six hundred Further Education colleges, both state-funded and independent. The grading system is A to E. B is usually required by universities. The students finish their Secondary Education at the age of eighteen with A-levels or equivalent qualifications.

The Higher Education includes degree courses, postgraduate programmes and MBAs. It takes place at Universities, colleges and institutes offering studies at degree level and higher. The UK has over ninety universities and more than fifty Higher Education colleges offering a wide range of courses. There are no great distinctions between different types of universities in Britain. But still there are some categories of them. Oxford and Cambridge universities were founded in the medieval period. These universities consist of semi-independent colleges, each of them having its own staff (Fellows). The Fellows teach the college students either one-to-one or in very small groups. This system is unique in the world and known as tutorials in Oxford and supervisions in Cambridge.

Studying for your first degree can take three years for an honour degree: Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Science. The degrees are classified in the following ways: first-class degree, upper second-class degree, lower second-class degree, third-class degree and pass. Students with good degrees can go on to higher degrees. This study can lead to: a postgraduate diploma, a master's degree and a doctorate.

The university is self-governing. Universities have substantial freedom from central control and are able to appoint their own staff. They can decide which students to admit, what and how to teach, which degrees to award. They usually select students on the basis of A-level results and an interview but students who wish to enter Oxford and Cambridge have to take certain exams. Those who have better A-level results are usually accepted. The normal course of study lasts three four years. Students are not supposed to take a job during the term unless their parents are rich. They receive a state grant, which covers most of their expenses, including the cost of accommodation. Quite a lot of students live on campus or in rooms nearby.

One of the developments in education in Britain is certainly the Open University. It was founded in 1971. Some people don't have an opportunity to study full-time, and this university allows them to study for degree. The university courses are taught through television, radio and coursebooks. Its students work individually and with tutors, to whom they send their papers. The students discuss their work at meetings or through correspondence. In summer they attend short courses.

The system in Scotland is subject to its own distinct laws and practices. Education is compulsory between the ages of five and sixteen. From ages five to fourteen the curriculum in Scottish schools follows guidelines set by the Scottish Executive Education Department. The five to fourteen curriculums take pupils through primary education and two years of secondary. Secondary education in Scotland begins at the age of twelve. At sixteen students take the examinations for the Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC), and they can also choose to leave school or continue for two more years to prepare for vocational training, employment, or higher education.

There exist twenty-one universities and colleges of higher education in Scotland. Students can choose from two levels of degree: the general degree, which takes three years to complete and the honours degree, which takes four years. Scotland also offers a wealth of course options at the postgraduate level.

 

VOCABULARY NOTES

school, n. ; correspondence school ; elementary/prmary school ; fee-chargng school ; hgh/secondary school ; hgher school ; nursery school ; preparatory school ; to leave school .

university, n. ; open unversty ; unversty char ; unversty educaton .

dstncton, n. , ; distinction in kind ;wthout dstncton ; to draw/to make dstnctons .

college, n. ; busness/commercal college ; techncal college ; unversty college .

staff, n. ; ; admnstratve staff ; attendant staff ; caterng staff ; drectng staff ; junor staff ; management staff ; permanent/regular staff ; senor staff ; temporary staff ; traned staff ; tranng staff ; to appont/to employ staff ; to be on the staff ; to cut down the staff ; to dsmss/fre/sack staff .

tutoral, n. ; .

bachelor, n. ; Bachelor of Educaton ; Bachelor of Scence .

self-governng, adj. ; self-governng terrtory .

campus, n. ; on the unversty campus .

examnaton, n. ; admtted by/upon compettve examnaton , ; an examnaton n Englsh ; compettve examnaton ; oral/wrtten examnaton / ; to fal n an examnaton ;to go n for/to st for/to take an examnaton ; to gve an examnaton ; to pass an examnaton .

tranng, n. ; addtonal tranng ; adequate tranng ; advanced tranng ; approprate tranng ; converson tranng ; correspondence tranng ; day release tranng ; further tranng ; legal tranng ; on-the-job tranng ; personnel tranng ; vocatonal tranng .

VOCABULARY EXERCISES

 

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