Higher Education in Great Britain

Nowadays higher education in Great Britain is provided by universities, colleges of education, colleges of artsand colleges of further education. There are about 100 universities in Britain, including the Open University. The oldest and best-known universities are located in Oxford, Cambridge, London, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Bristol, and Birmingham. Students are carefully selected. The General Certificate of Secondary Educationand good A-level resultsin at least two subjects are necessary to get a place at a university. However, good certificate and exam scores are not enough. Universities choose their students after interviews.

English universities greatly differ from each other. They differ in date of foundation, size, history, tradition, general organization, methods of instruction, and way of student life. The universities can be roughly divided into threegroups:

· the oldest universities(Oxford and Cambridge);

· the redbrick universities(they were founded between 1850 and 1930, such as London University);

· and the new universities(founded after World War II).

Oxford(12th century) and Cambridge(13th century) are the oldest and most prestigious Universities in Great Britain. They are often called collectively Oxbridge.Both universities are independent. The basis of teaching there is by weekly tutorials.Each student has a tutor who controls and guides his training. Normally a student writes an essay which his tutor criticizes both in writing and in person with the student. Oxford and Cambridge preserve their traditions such as the use of Latin at degree ceremonies.

Many great men studied at Cambridge. Among them Roger Bacon,the philosopher, Milton,the poet, Oliver Cromwell,the soldier, Newton,the scientist, and Kapitza,the famous Russian physicist.

The general pattern of teaching at other universities remains a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Each university and department has its own method of assessment.In general, progress is measured through a combination of coursework, dissertationand finals. Other colleges for further education include polytechnics(all have the status of universities), colleges of education, specialist colleges(Agricultural colleges, colleges of Art and Music, etc.), further education colleges.

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. They "attend" lectures by watching television (the BBC) and listening to the radio. They keep in touch by phone and letter with their tutors and attend summer schools. More than 6,000 students, of all ages, get degrees this way every year.

The most common degree titles for a first degree are Bachelor of Arts (BA)or Bachelor of Science (BS).Usually they are awarded after four years of study. The second degree titles are Master of Arts (MA)and Master of Science (MS).The highest degree in most fields is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Tuition feesare high, especially for overseas students. And they are increased each year in line with inflation. University life is considered "an experience"; the exams are competitive but the social life and living away from home are also important.

4 Find in the text the English equivalents to the following Russian words:

аттестат о среднем образовании; независимый; собеседование; куратор/наставник; по крайней мере; посещать занятия; оценка знаний; поддерживать связь; плата за обучение; ученая степень; присуждать

5 Give the Russian equivalents to the following English words and phrases:

redbrick universities; date of foundation; are located; including; can be roughly divided; weekly tutorials; each student; is measured through; titles; according to

6 Answer the following questions:

1) What are the most well-known universities in Great Britain?

2) How are the universities classified?

3) What groups are they divided into?

4) What are the most prestigious universities in Great Britain?

5) What is the principal method of teaching in Oxford and Cambridge?

6) What are the functions of the tutor?

7) What scientific degrees can students get?

8) What is the highest degree in British universities?

9) In what way do people study at the Open University?

10) Which university is older – Oxford or Cambridge?

7 Complete the following statements:

1) Higher education in Great Britain is provided by………………….

2) …………………………. are necessary to get a place at a university.

3) The universities can be divided……………………….

4) A student write…………………….

5) A tutor criticizes……………………

6) ………………………………… Oxbridge.

7) The basis of teaching there is…………………

8) Each university and department has………………

9) Tuition fees for foreign students are …………………

10) University life is……………………….

8 Express your agreement or disagreement with the following statements:

1) London University is one of the oldest universities in Great Britain.

2) Besides good certificate and exam scores you need to have an interview to enter the university.

3) English universities do not differ from each other.

4) The Ancient Greek language is used at ceremonies in Oxbridge.

5) Students from other countries cannot study in England.

6) Students do coursework, dissertations, and take finals.

7) Bachelor degree is awarded after four years of studying.

8) The second degree title is Doctor of philosophy.

9 Retell the text.


1 Read and learn the following words:

faculty [ˊfӕkltɪ] факультет
variety [vǝˊraiǝtɪ] разнообразие
specialties [ˊspeʃltɪz] специальности
curriculum [kǝˊrɪkjᴜlǝm] программа обучения
discipline [ˊdɪsǝplɪn] дисциплина
politics [ˊpɒlǝtɪks] политика
environmental [ɪnˏvaɪrǝnˊmentl] относящийся к окружающей среде
department [dɪˊpɑ:tmǝnt] отделение, факультет
feudalism [ˊfju:dlɪzǝm] феодализм
contemporary [kǝnˊtemprǝrɪ] новейшая
experts [ˊekspᴈ:ts] эксперт
development [dɪˊvelǝpmǝnt] развитие
politicians [ˏpɒlɪˊtɪʃnz] политик
archives [ˊɑ:kaɪvz] архив

2 Read the words in the bold types. Pay attention to the pronunciation and the stress. Translate them into Russian.

3 Read the text.

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