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Education after 16 is voluntary in United Kingdom. Students, who live in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, must take at the age of 16 the examinations for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). In Scotland students receive the Scottish Certificate of Education. After this exam students can choose to stay in school or attend colleges of further education.

British universities are self-governing and are guaranteed academic independence. Funding for education and research is provided by funding councils set up by Parliament. The number of universities jumped in 1992 when polytechnics and some other higher education establishments were given the right to become universities. By the end of 1994, there were some 90 universities, almost half of them former polytechnics, including the Open University.

Many of the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge universities were founded in the 12th and 13th centuries. All other universities in Britain were founded in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Open University, based in Milton Keynes, England, was founded in 1969. It uses extension techniques of correspondence courses, television and radio programmes, and video cassettes, supported by local study centres and residential summer schools, to provide higher education opportunities to a wide variety of people.

During the 1960s there was a significant increase in the number of new universities, reflecting a fast growth in student numbers which was made possible by an expansion in grant facilities. During the 1980s, an expansion in higher education places led to another large jump in student numbers. In the 1992-1993 academic year there were more than 1.4 million students in full – or part-time higher education in Great Britain, compared with just under 850,000 a decade earlier. About one quarter of young people are in higher education in England, Wales, and Scotland; one third in Northern Ireland. About 90 per cent of students get state grants to cover tuition fees and living costs.

The size of the grant is determined by parents’ income. Since the late 1980s, however, grants have been frozen; students can apply for a student loan.


Vocabulary Bank

voluntary добровольное
attend посещать
self-governing самоуправление
polytechnics политехнические институты
extension techniques технологии дистанционного образования
to reflect отражать
Parents’ income доход родителей
student loan студенческий заём
funding финансирование
significant значительный
funding councils советы по финансированию
to set up основывать


a) high-school diploma – школьный аттестат

graduation ceremony – выпускной экзамен

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) – бакалавр естественных наук

Bachelor of Art (B.A.) – бакалавр естественных наук

Master of Arts (M.A.) – магистр искусств

Master of Science (M.S.) –магистр естественных наук

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) – доктор философии

undergraduate student – студент 1–4(5) курсов

graduate student – студент 5–6 курсов

graduate school of psychology – магистратура аспирантура по специальности психология

b) room (lodging) and board – проживание и пропитание

personal expenses – личные расходы

books and supplies – книги и материалы

c) to be eligible for admission – быть подходящей кандидатурой для поступления

to enroll – зачислять

enrollment – зачисление

tuition fee – плата за обучение

admissions office – приемная комиссия

student services office – департамент по работе со студентами

university bursar’s office – бухгалтерия университета (офис казначея).



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