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This is a difficult question because there is more than one correct answer. In fact, there are 3 definitions for the word 'col­lege' (as it refers to a college in the USA) listed in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.

According to the dictionary, a college is:

a) a school of higher learning that grants a bachelor's degree in arts or sciences or both;

b) an undergraduate division of a univer­sity that offers courses and grants undergrad­uate degrees in a particular field of study; or

c) a technical or professional school that grants a bachelor's or master's degree in that field.

A university is a school of higher learn­ing that grants a bachelor's degree, mas­ter's degree, and doctorate through differ­ent colleges within the university.

Many international students ask if a un­iversity is better than a college. The answer is that a university has advantages and disadvantages for an international student, and a college has advantages and disadvan­tages too.

The advantages of a university are that there are usually more research and recre­ational facilities, and more different kinds of courses offered. The disadvantages of a university are that courses taught to first-year students are often taught by teach­ing assistants who are graduate students themselves, and that the classes can be very large.

All colleges and universities in the USA are divided into:

– most competitive (admit only fewer than one third of those who apply);

– highly competitive;

– very competitive;

– competitive;

– less competitive;

– noncompetitive (accept all their appli­cants).



College Age Degree Length of Time
Junior college From 18   2-year degree
College From 18 BA, BS 4-5 years
Graduate school From 22 MA, MS 2-3 years plus thesis
PhD 3 years plus dissertation
Medical school From 22 MD, DDS 4 years plus residency
Law school From 22 JD 3 years


BA = Bachelor of Arts, BS = Bachelor of Science, MA = Master of Arts, MS = Master of Science, PhD = Doctorate (Professor), MD = Doctor, DDS = Dentist, JD = Lawyer.


Прочитайте и переведите текст.


Of the full-time students now attending English Universities three quarters are men, and one quarter women. Nearly half of them are engaged in the study of arts subjects such as history, languages, economics or law, the others are studying pure or applied sciences such as medicine, dentistry, technology, or agriculture.

The University of London, for instance, includes internal and external students, the latter coming to London only to sit for their examinations. Actually most external students at London University are living in London. The colleges in the University of London are essentially teaching institutions, providing instruction chiefly by means of lectures, which are attended mainly by day students. The colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, however, are essentially residential institutions and they mainly use a tutorial method which brings the tutor into close and personal contact with the student. These colleges, being residential, are necessarily far smaller than most of the colleges of the University of London.

Education of University standard is also given in other institutions such as colleges of technology and agricultural colleges, which prepare their students for degrees or diplomas in their own fields.

The three terms into which the British University year is divided are roughly eight to ten weeks. Each term is crowded with activity and the vacations between the terms - a month at Christmas, a month at Easter, and three or four months in summer - are mainly periods of intellectual digestion and private study.

A person studying for a degree at a British University is called a graduate. B.A. or B.Sc. stands for Bachelor of Arts, or of Science, the firs degree. M.A. or M.Sc. denotes Master of Arts, or of Science. One can become a B.A. after three years of hard study, and an M.A. at the end of five years.

11. Ответьте на вопросы к тексту.

1. What is the percentage of men and women students in British
universities? Of students studying arts subjects and sciences?

2. What is a graduate?

3. What is the duration of terms and vacations in a British university?

4. What do the abbreviations B.A., B.Sc., M.A. and M.Sc.
stand for? When can these degrees be received by a student?

Составьте диалог по следующим темам.

1. Explain why, in your opinion, women constitute only one-quarter of full-time students in Great Britain.

2. Discuss differences in systems of education provided by London University and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.


Прочитайте текст, обращая внимание на перевод следующих слов.


the May Balls - Майский бал

relaxation отдых, расслабление

undergraduate – cтудент (обычно старших курсов)

spirit of release – дух свободы

race – гонки, соревнования

skill – мастерство, умение, сноровка

festivity – празднества, торжества

climax – кульминация

to glide – скользить

punt – лодка


The most interesting time of year in which to visit Cambridge is during May Week. This is neither in May nor a week. For some reasons which nobody remembers, May Week is the name given to the first two weeks in June, the very end of the University year.

May Week denotes not so much a particular period of time as the general atmosphere of relaxation at the end of the year's work. It starts for each undergraduate when he finishes his examinations.

Everything as far as possible has to happen in the open air-parties, picnics, concerts and plays. May Week seems like a celebration of the coming of spring, till then ignored in favour of examinations, and this spirit of release seems to take over the entire (the whole) town. People go to the river behind the colleges which stand next to the river to watch May boat races, in which young energetic men are ready to show off their skill.

Music and drama also have a part to play in the festivities. Nearly every college of the University (and there are over 20 of them) holds a May Week concert or presents a play in the open air.

But the most important events are the May Balls for which some girls do their best for month in advance to get invitations. College May Balls are the climax of May Week and for many undergraduates are the final event of their university life, when the river is lit with coloured lights, ballroom orchestra plays for dancers and punts glide romantically down the river.


14. Ответьте на вопросы к тексту.

1. What is May Week?

2. When does it take place?

3. How long does it last?

4. What are the most important events during May week?

Подготовьте реферирование текста «May Week at Cambridge».

Объясните значение следующих пословиц. Приведите иллюстрирующие их ситуации.


1. A little learning is a dangerous thing.

2. Better untaught than ill taught.

3. To know everything is to know nothing.

4. The wish is father to the thought.

5. Learn wisdom by the follies of others.

6. Knowledge is a city, to the building of which every human being brought a stone.

17. Ответьте на вопросы к текстам, рассказывающим о некоторых видах университетов в Великобритании.

1. How did polytechnics change their status since 1960-s?


During the 1960-s the best of many technical collages (supported by the local authorities) were given the status of University. Although their main studies are still in technological subjects, they have introduced other subjects such as languages and social sciences. Many of these former polytechnics were in large cities where there was already a University, so there're now some towns and cities in Britain which have two Universities.

2. What kind of people have the opportunity organized by The Open University?

The Open University

This is an educational system which makes use of television, radio and correspondence courses. It was organized to give educational opportunity to those people who for one reason or another have not had a chance to receive further education. Study centers have set up all over the country so that students can attend once a week, and once a year they spend a week at one of the University summer schools.

3. What was the reason for building so-called “Red Brick Universities”?

The Red Brick Universities

With the development of industry in the 19th century technicians and engineers were needed. The older Universities didn't produce them. Therefore science classes were set up in industrial centers and later they developed into either technical colleges or the modern Universities, such as London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham Universities and others. The term "Red Brick" is not used much today but it's a useful way of describing this group of Universities many of which are build in the favorite building material of the time - red brick.

4. How long does each term in Britain last?

Academic year

Academic year in British Universities is divided into three terms which usually run from the beginning of October to the middle of December, from the middle of January to the end of March, from the middle of April to the end of June. Admission to the Universities is by exams and selection.

5. How do the forms of teaching differ?

Forms of Teaching

At universities and colleges teaching takes the form of lectures classes, seminars and tutorials. A lecture is a formal method of teaching, and, although there may be questions, usually at the end, there is rarely any discussion. The number of students attending is limited only by the size of the room. A class is less formal than a lecture. There are not usually more than 50 students, sometimes considerably less and there is generally some discussion between the teacher and students. A seminar is a still smaller and more informal group. The number of students usually ranges from 5 to 10. Seminars are often held weekly, and as a rule one of the groups reads paper, which is then discussed by the others. A tutorial in its original form is an informal weekly meeting of an individual student with his tutor to discuss an essay which the student has written.

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