Higher Education in Great Britain

There are about 90 universities in Britain. They are divided into three types: the old universities (Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh Universities), the 19th universities such as London and Manchester, and the new universities. Universities accept students mainly on the basis of their “A” level results, although they may interview them as well.

At present, students who have been accepted by universities or other institutions of higher education receive a grant from their local authority, which covers the cost of the course.

A university consists of a number of faculties: divinity, medicine, arts (philosophy), law, music, natural sciences, economics, engineering, agriculture, etc. After three years of study a university graduate gets the Degree of Bachelor of Arts, Science, Engineering, etc. Later he may proceed to the Degree of Master and then a Doctor’s Degree. The first post-graduate degree is that of Master, conferred for a thesis based on at least one year’s full-time work. Everywhere the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy is given for a thesis, which is an original contribution to knowledge. Research is an important feature of university work.

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 to a further education college where they can follow a course in typing, engineering, town planning, cooking, full-time or part-time. Further education colleges have strong ties with commerce and industry.

In 1971 the Open University was started. Nearly all students are studying part-time. The Open University's style of teaching is called “supported open learning”, also known as “distance learning”. Your course may use any of the following different media that you will use from home (or wherever you choose to study): printed course materials, set books, audio cassettes, video cassettes, TV programmes, cd-rom/software, web site.


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