According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE), more than half of the world's TOP-200 universities are based in the United States or the United Kingdom. Both countries have a rich tradition of quality higher (and more) education, excellent research opportunities, and a culture that encourages intellectualism and academic freedom. Both countries provide excellent learning environments, but differences exist between the two in terms of the structure of teaching and student life. Let's take a look at the main differences between American and British higher education systems.
In the United States, applicants enter college after 12 years of schooling after passing their final exams. Undergraduate studies take 4 years.
In the UK, graduates enter the university after passing the A-level tests, 13 years of schooling, and receive a bachelor's degree in 3 years. To enter a British university, foreign students must complete the Foundation course. US universities also accept the results of the Foundation: more prepared students will find it easier to enter and study at American universities. For foreign applicants, education in preparatory courses helps to deepen academic knowledge and improve language skills.
The UK and the US organize education differently.
- US university students attend classroom classes followed by workshops throughout their first year. The goal is to introduce freshmen to the main topics of the program, but over the years, the classes become more personalized. US universities conduct tests, quizzes, projects, research papers, and presentations throughout the course of their studies, which means US universities offer a more structured approach to homework with conventional grades. The American educational system is more focused on the dominance of realities, for which you can get extremely high marks with work over 90%.
- British universities organize large lectures, small seminars or focus groups, in which up to 20 students can participate, which allows you to interact directly with the teacher, receive individual assistance, tutoring, and personalized feedback throughout the class. Students do not receive any homework other than reading assignments - coursework and exams at the end of the year determine the overall score. It teaches basic organizational skills and develops motivation. The British system pays more attention to the proof of basic reasoning, examination, the development of ingenuity.
Duration of study
- The standard bachelor's degree in the UK is 3 years (except for universities in Scotland, where the study is 4 years)
- The standard US bachelor's degree is 4 years.
Campus life in the USA is a great way to meet new people and make friends. It can be difficult to be away from home, but the university runs many social activities to help young people get to know each other. Freshmen on campus in the US live with other students, attend classes, eat breakfast, eat and do laundry in one place. Sharing a dorm room with a neighbor is perfectly okay here, it makes the stay on campus more fun.
The UK is known for its old student cities, with residences ranging from red brick apartments to ultra-modern suburban complexes. Transport is well developed, and cities are located close to each other, so students are close to all the necessary services and entertainment. Living in the UK is ideal for self-study: students are more often accommodated in apartments with a common living area and kitchen, and will be able to communicate with friends.
Unlike the large metropolitan areas of the United States, the cities of Great Britain and London, there are many different areas in the city center. Looking for bowling, dinner, and a movie - head to a shopping mall outside the city. A trendy bar? Try the financial district. A trendy underground nightclub? Go to the center. You can choose an area that fully suits your interests.
Pub culture in the UK is an important part of student life. There are three types of establishments: traditional pubs, gastropubs, and trendy pubs that offer fine dining at high prices. You can get traditional, hearty and not too expensive food in traditional pubs if you are over 18 years old, here you will also find a good range of inexpensive drinks. Local businesses know that students are saving and are ready to help - just show the student university at almost any local store, restaurant or bar for specials and discounts.
Sports dominate student life in the United States: football, basketball, baseball, dodgeball. The game day begins with grilling hot dogs in the stadium parking lot and ends with a celebration of victory (or mourning a loss), that is, a day off. When preparing to sleep in the city, keep in mind that the legal drinking age is 21 (although many places will allow you to hang out and dance if you are 18).
How education is organized in 2 countries:
- If you clearly know what you want to do, then the UK is right for you: programs are focused, modules correspond to the discipline studied throughout the study.
- US diploma programs are much more flexible: you can try different subject modules, change your mind during the first year of study.
Employment is a great way to put your education into practice and gain direct work experience. The UK and US are home to many large businesses and industry leading research centers that offer jobs and internships for students. Graduates of US universities must leave almost immediately after graduation, and students from British universities can try to find work in England 2 years after receiving their degree.
College tuition fees for students vary by organization and are generally slightly lower in the UK than in the US.
- Great Britain - 13,500 - 25,200 £ / year.
- USA - from 25,000 $ to 60,000 $ / year.