A school should not be a preparation for life.

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A school should not be a preparation for life.

A school should be life.



What are the colleges and institutes of higher education?

Most people could name a university. But how many could name a college or institute of higher education, or appreciate their role in the higher education sector alongside the universities? Too often there is confusion between colleges of Higher Education and colleges of Further Education.


Briefly, there are 55 HE colleges and institutes throughout England and Wales. They give degrees, diplomas, certificates and postgraduate awards which are welcomed by employers nationally and internationally. They range from specialist colleges (many of which are leaders in their field) to large, multi-campus establishments. They are particularly known for teacher training, the links with local business and the community, and the vocational content, quality and professionalism of the courses.

Being smaller in size than universities, HEcolleges and institutes also have the advantage of greater flexibility. The range of courses and subject combinations is very broad; traditional single-subject courses are offered, together with a vast range of technical, professional and postgraduate qualifications.



The Open University (OU) offers degrees for people who do not have a formal education and qualifications, or who are older and do not want to enroll at a university or college. Students study and write essays at home and then post them off to a tutor for marking. BBC2 and Radio 5 broadcast teaching programmers and lectures early in the morning and late at night on weekdays, and on Saturday and Sunday mornings. There is a summer school of one week every year when students can meet each other and their tutors. Each student must do a year's foundation course in a variety of subjects before specializing in a particular course. Most courses take six years and students get a number of credits for each year's work. The OU was founded in 1969 and started its first course in 1971. About 120,000 people have enrolled since then.



Further education (FE) in Britain is for people over 16 taking courses at various levels up to the standard required for entry to higher education. Courses are run by further education colleges, many of which also provide higher education courses.

Many further education courses are vocational, ranging from lower-level technical and commercial courses to more advanced courses for those aiming at higher level jobs in business, administration and the professions. Most colleges also offer non-vocational courses, including GCSEs and GCE A-levels.

Colleges have strong links with universities and other higher educational institutions, and these links can enable students to progress from the further education college into an advanced stage of a degree course at university.



The object of education is to prepare the young

To educate themselves throughout their lives.

R.M. Hutchins



Today there are 89 universities in Britain, compared with only seventeen in 1945. They fall into four broad categories: the ancient English foundations, the ancient Scottish ones, the 'redbrick' universities, and the 'plate-glass' ones.


13th - 14th c.c. the ancient English universities (Oxford and Cambridge)

15th - 16th c.c.the ancient Scottish universities (St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen,Edinburgh)

19th c.'redbrick' universities in the industrial centres (Birmingham, Nottingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Bristol)

20th c.: the 60s'plate-glass' universities (Sussex, Kent, East Anglia)

the 90sformer polytechnics adopted a university title

All British universities are private institutions. Each has its own governing council, including some local business people and local politicians as well as a few academics. The state began to give grants to them 60 years ago. Students have to pay fees and living costs, but every student may obtain a personal grant from local authorities of the place where he lives. This is enough to pay his full costs, including lodging and food but the amount depends on the parents' income. If the parents do not earn much money, their children will receive a full grant, which will roughly cover all the expenses.

Students studying for first degrees are known as "undergraduates". New undergraduates in some

universities are called "freshers". They learn a new way of studying which is different from that of school. They have lectures, there are regular seminars, at which one of the students reads a paper he or she has written. The paper is then discussed by the tutor and the rest of the group. The students also see a tutor alone to discuss their work and their progress. Such tutorials take place once a week.

The Bachelor's degree. After three or four years (depending on the type of the university) the students will take their finals. Those who pass examinations successfully are given the Bachelor's degree: Bachelor of Arts (BA) for History, Philosophy, Language and Literature and sometimes Social Studies or Theology; or Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Commerce or Music. About 15% of students who start at universities leave without obtaining a degree, some of them after only one year.

The Master's degree. The first postgraduate degree is normally that of Master: Master of Arts (MA); Master of Science (MSc). In most universities it is only in the science faculties that any large numbers of students stay to do postgraduate work.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest degree. It is given for some original research work which is an important contribution to knowledge.




There are 89 Universities in Great Britain, the biggest one being London University, and the oldest ones Oxford and Cambridge.

Oxford was founded in the 12th century as an aristocratic University and retains its aristocratic character to the present day: the cost of studies is comparatively high. Students have to pay for using librariesand laboratories, as well as for taking examinations.

Oxford's organization is very complicated. In fact, the University is a collection of 35 Colleges: two for women only, the rest taking both men and women. Each college is a world of its own which gives its students a specialized training in arts, law, medicine and science. The largest college has over 500 students; the smallest college has 100 students.

The University is an administrative center, which arranges lectures for all students of the colleges, holds examinations and gives degrees.

The tutorial system of education used both in Oxford and Cambridge is one of the ways in which Oxbridge differs from other English Universities. Every student has a tutor in charge of planning his work and discussing its results with the student; the student's duty is to regularly see his tutor and submit papers and essays. The tutorial system of education brings the student into personal contact with his tutor, the latter trying to influence the social and political life of the student.

The academic year in England has three terms; each term lasts from eight to ten weeks. Terminal examinations take place at the end of autumn, spring and summer terms. Final examinations take place at the end of the course of studies. If a student fails in an examination, he may be allowed to take the exam again, only two re-examinations being usually allowed.



Work done, have your fun.

There are fewer public holidays in Great Britain than in other European countries. They are: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday and Summer Bank Holiday. Public holidays in Britain are called bank holidays, because the banks as well as most of the offices and shops are closed.

The most popular holiday is Christmas. Every year the people of Norway give the city of London a present. It's a big Christmas tree and it stands in Trafalgar Square. Central streets are beautifully decorated.

Before Christmas, groups of singers go from house to house. They collect money for charity and sing carols, traditional Christmas songs. Many churches hold a carol service on the Sunday before Christmas. The fun starts the night before, on the 24th of December. Traditionally this is the day when people decorate their trees. Children hang stockings at the end of their beds, hoping that Father Christmas will come down with toys and sweets.

Christmas is a family holiday. Relatives usually meet for the big dinner of turkey and Christmas pudding. And everyone gives and receives presents. The 26th of December, Boxing Day, is an extra holiday after Christmas Day. This is the time to visit friends and relatives or perhaps sit at home and watch football.

New Year's Day is less popular in Britain than Christmas.But in Scotland, Hogmanay is the biggest festival of the year.

Besides public holidays there are some special festivals in Great Britain. One of them takes place on the 5th of November. On that day, in 1605, Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I. He didn't succeed. The King's men found the bomb, took Guy Fawkes to the Tower and cut off his head.

Since that day the British celebrate the 5th of November. They bum a dummy, made of straw and old clothes, on a bonfire and let off fireworks. This dummy is called a «guy» (like Guy Fawkes) and children can often be seen in the streets before the 51" of November saying, «Penny for the guy». If they collect enough money they can buy some fireworks.

There are also smaller, local festivals in Britain.


Boxing Day- другий день Різдва

Good Friday – Страсна П‘ятниця

Easter Monday - перший понеділок після Паски

May Day- Травневий день (свято весни, святкується у першу неділю травня)

(the) Spring Bank Holiday – день відпочинку навесні

(the) Summer Bank Holiday день відпочинку літом

Father Christmas- Дід Мороз




Answer the questions:

1. What are the most popular British universities?

2. How are the universities governed?

3. What degrees can be attained by university graduates?

4. What are the aims of courses of further education?

5. What are the colleges and institutes of higher education? What opportunities do they give to their students?

6. What is the OU? How is it different from other universities? How do students study?

7. What kinds of sports and games in Britain do you know?

8. There are two kinds of horse racing. What are they and how do they differ?

9. How do the British like to spend their free time at home?

10. What do the letters DIY mean?

11. Is it do-it-yourself repair widely practised in the families of your friends and acquaintances?

12. What holidays in Great Britain do you know?

13. What is the “bank holiday”?

14. What is the most popular holiday in Great Britain and when is it celebrated?

15. What do the British do on Boxing Day?


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