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2018-07-30 11:56:56

TOP-10 pros and cons of British educational system for international students

TOP-10 pros and cons of British educational system for international students

British education has long been considered a model of classical and high-quality education. Under the British law, secondary education in British schools is compulsory for every citizen of that country between the ages of 5 and 16, and in Ireland from 6 to 16. In all of the states that make up the United Kingdom, the majority of schools are state-funded, and Only 5% of the total number of private educational institutions. Mostly they are prestigious and elite boarding schools for boys.

British educational system 

In the UK, the educational sphere started to develop even in the early days of settling these lands by the Anglo-Saxon tribes, and perhaps much earlier, say, during the Roman Empire. In the medieval schools of England for students, grammar and Latin were obligatory subjects.

All educational institutions, which were then open, were under the close supervision of the church. However, not many people in the Middle Ages studied in schools, most preferred to receive practical skills in a proven way - learning as an apprentice from some master.

Only at the end of the 19th century, in the countries of Britain - England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales - there was a unified education introduced at the state level. Simultaneously with this transformation in the United Kingdom began to develop and the system of higher education. Today, British universities are quite popular with international students, which were opened among the very first - it's Cambridge and Oxford. These international giants for the first time opened their doors to students more than 800 years ago.

At the same time, universities began to open in other cities in England - London, Manchester, Birmingham. In addition, four of the six very first universities in Britain were founded in Scotland - these are the famous high schools in the cities of Glasgow and Aberdeen.

From year to year, the British educational system continued its development and transformation. In 1988, the reform was carried out, according to which a single program of state education appeared in all schools in each of the countries of the United Kingdom. And then in 1997, new laws appeared in the British educational system.

Preschool level of education

Small students learn songs, draw, learn poems, also young students read fairy tales and give different games for the development of fine motor skills. The stage of preschool education can begin for a child at the age of three and usually lasts up to five. After this, the students come to the next stage.

School Education in Britain

The stage of obtaining secondary education in British educational institutions consists of two stages: primary classes (for pupils of 5-11 years) and middle classes (11-16 years).

Primary education can take place in three types of schools:

  • grammatical, where the emphasis is placed on academic instruction with a focus on continuing studies in higher education
  • modern, where the main is the study of applied disciplines, and as a consequence - the acquisition of vocational education in the future
  • unified, which is now the vast majority. In such schools, the academic and applied aspects of the curriculum are at the same level.

In addition, in British schools after taking the basic course of secondary education, the student can continue to study. In order for a foreign student to have a complete secondary education, he must obtain an A-level certificate. To this end, the student undergoes a two-year educational program, which is considered the standard for testing the student's preparedness for further education.

Sometimes the level of knowledge of the student is checked and when entering the school: for example, for studies in elite schools, candidates must be tested, the results of which will determine whether he will be enrolled or not. Therefore, in many private boarding schools, the student may need additional preparation before admission.

Further, students who received their certificate at the age of 16 may already start working, or continue to receive professional education. In the second case, studies can be continued in the college with professional preparation, and after it is completed, start a career path.

In addition, the British education system provides a pre-university training program for foreign students wishing to enter a local university is a Foundation course. The program takes 9 months, and for admission to it, the candidate will need a certificate of secondary education with a fairly high average score.

Another interesting feature of the British educational system is that it pays a lot of attention to issues of charity. Therefore, pupils of British institutions from an early age are taught to engage in socially useful things. For example, work as volunteers in various government agencies, such as nursing homes, gas stations and so on.

British Higher Education System

So, after passing the A-level program, graduates of schools can already enter the university for the first stage of higher education - Bachelor's degree. Please note that in Scotland the period of study for a bachelor's degree will be 4 years, while in England, Ireland and Wales the duration of study will be three years.

At the same time, some university specialties require an internship, because of which the duration of study can be further increased by a year or two. Other directions, as a rule, of a creative nature (design, art) before admission require preparation (usually 10-12 months).

Also, programs of specialties related to medicine or architecture can last up to 7 years. The best and at the same time the oldest university where you can get a high-quality medical education is in Scotland in the city of Aberdeen. However, it will be rather difficult for foreigners to enter there, as this will require, firstly, excellent knowledge of English, and secondly, preliminary preparation in Scotland. Well, the competition in such a prestigious university is quite high, as the demand for it is not only among foreigners, but also among local residents.

As already mentioned earlier, the Bachelor's degree is the first stage of higher education, and the second is the magistracy. Master's degree can be obtained from the students of the university, by lowering the corresponding department in the university. Students need to engage in research activities on some topical issue, or in-depth study of the professional specialization that they already have. The final test for obtaining a degree is the examination and protection of the student's research work.

If a student wants to continue scientific activity after the magistracy, he can go to graduate school and get a doctorate. For 2-3 years the graduate student conducts an almost independent research of his scientific problem, and all the results obtained should be formalized in one or several scientific articles and published in a printed or online publication. To obtain an appropriate degree, the graduate student also needs to write a dissertation on the basis of the research conducted, and her successful defense before the university admission committee will allow the student to be awarded a doctorate.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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