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The oldest and the most celebrated Universities of Great Britain are those in Oxford and Cambridge. There are also universities in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and other cities.

There are no state universities in Britain; each of the universities has its own government. It is the state however that defines their status and gives them the power to grant degrees to students. Each university itself decides in what condition it will grant degrees, but the form of examination and the standards of knowledge and intelligence required for the first degree (Bachelor of Arts, or Bachelor of Science) are about the same at all the universities.

Students still have to pay fees. Most students now do some paid work during their vacations, such as helping at the post office at Christmas and doing some seasonal jobs in summer, but practically none does paid work during the term-time.

The first postgraduate degree is normally that of Master, given for a thesis based on at least one year's full-time work.

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is given for a thesis which is an original contribution to knowledge. In a few of the biggest universities there are some seminars for postgraduate students, but usually there are no regular courses for them.

The university is a sort of federation of colleges. The university prescribes syllabuses, arranges lectures, conducts examinations and awards degrees, but there is no single building which can be called the university. The colleges and university buildings are scattered about the town.

Each college is governed by its fellows and they are also responsible for teaching their own students through the tutorial system.

It is more expensive to study at Oxford or Cambridge than at any other university and it is not easy to find a place to study at Oxford or Cambridge.

About half of the students at these two leading universities are former pupils of prominent public schools. The number of applicants is usually several times as great as the number of places available. Colleges tend to admit young men who are good at football or some other sport, sons of former students, or sons of respectable citizens or millionaires, one of the main points taken into consideration that is they might support the university financially.

Special tests are used for allocating scholarships by which some students get a reduction of their fees.

Part of the teaching at all faculties is by means of lectures arranged by the university, and any student may attend any university lecture. At the beginning of each term a list is published showing all the lectures being given during the term within each faculty, and every student can choose which lectures he will attend, though his own college tutor advises him which lectures seem likely to be most useful. Attendance at university lectures is not compulsory.

Apart from lectures teaching is done by means of the «tutorial system». This is a system of individual consultations.

Each fellow in a college is a tutor in his own subject to the undergraduates who are studying it. Once every week each student has a tutorial, that is he reads out an essay which he has written and for an hour he and the tutor discuss the essay. Before writing an essay the student may consult his tutor.

Though the system of teaching practiced at Oxford, with its tendency to avoid set courses, is supposed to encourage independent thought and judgement, opinions differ, and at some universities regular courses of lectures for each of the subjects studied are preferred.

British education is supposed to provide equality of opportunity for all, but it is not to be denied that this is not the case.

Education in Great Britain is class-divided and selective. The number of young people who can enter the university is limited not so much by the capacity of the universities as by class considerations. The educational system tends to perpetuate social and economic power and privilege from one generation to the next.

2Read the text again and find the answer to the following questions:

1. What are the oldest and the most celebrated universities of Great Britain?

2. Are there any state universities in Great Britain?

3. How are the universities governed? Who defines their status?

4. Is the form of examination different or the same at all the universities?

5. Do students have to pay fees for the tuition at the university?

6. Why do most students have to work while studying at the university?

7. What is the first postgraduate degree? What is it given for?

8. Who is awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy?

9. What does the university arrange?

10. Whom is each college governed by?

11. What are the Fellows responsible for?

12. Whom do these colleges usually admit?

13. Who applies for the place at Oxford or Cambridge?

14. How are the fees reduced?

15. Is the attendance of lectures compulsory or not?

16. What system of teaching is available at British universities?

17. What is the way of conducting tutorials?

3. Ask questions to the following statements:

1. The Master’s degree is given for a thesis based on one year's full-time work. (What for...)

2. The university arranges lectures, conducts examinations and awards degrees. (What...)

3. Each college is governed by its fellows. (By whom...)

4. Colleges admit young men who are good at sport. (Whom...)

5. Part of the teaching at all faculties is done by lectures. (How...)

6. Once every week each student has a tutorial. (How often...)

4.Ask questions to which the following may serve as the answers:

1. Only 1% of children of unskilled workers receive full-time education beyond the age of 18.

2. Many students do some paid work during their vacations.

3. It is the tutorial system that is believed to encourage independent thought and judgement.

4.Yes, students still have to pay fees.

5.The Fellows are responsible for teaching their students.

6. Teaching is mostly done by means of the tutorial system.

5. Finish the sentences by choosing a word or phrases from the brackets:

1 British education ... (doesn’t provide equal opportunities for all; fails to develop potential talent and ability; is cheap; is expensive; gives little opportunity to workers' children).

2 Most universities in Great Britain... (are state universities; are independent; have their own government; aren’t financially supported by rich people).

3 Each university has the right... (to give degrees; to conduct meetings; to arrange lectures).

4 The first university degree is... (Doctor of Philosophy; Master of Arts; Bachelor of Arts).

5 University students have to work... (during the term; during their vacation; all the year round).

6 If a postgraduate student has defended a thesis, he gets a degree of... (Bachelor of Science; Master; Doctor of Philosophy).

7 At British universities teaching is done mostly by means of... (lectures; seminars; the tutorial system).

8 Universities mostly admit... (former pupils of prominent public schools; workers' children; sons of millionaires).

9 British universities are supported financially by... (the state; rich private persons; public institutions).

10 Attendance at university lectures is... (compulsory; not compulsory).

6.Skim throughthe text again and finish the sentences:

1 British education is supposed to provide...

2 Only one per cent of children of unskilled workers receive...

3 The British educational system fails to develop...

4 All universities have the right to grant…

5 University students have to pay...

6 The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is given for a thesis which is….

7 The university conducts...

8 The fellows who govern the university are responsible for...

9 The students are taught through...

10 Universities are financially supported by…

11 Colleges admit mostly sons of...

12 Some students get a reduction of their fees through...

13 Attendance at university lectures is...

14 The tutorial system is a system of...

15 The tutorial system is supposed to...


7.1.Work in three groups. Each group reads a different text given by the teacher and concerning social students’ life. Read the texts and make notes on the key points. (p. 89 Supplementary materials to Module 1)

2 Form new groups of three people, each of whom has read a different text. Inform your partners about main points of the text you've read.

3 Work in the same groups and discuss the similarities and differences in students' life in the USA and in Russia.

4. Choose a spokesperson in the group to make a presentation to the whole class, summarizing the opinions in the group.


8.This form may be completed on line at: www. intstudy. com/f_application.htm

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