Higher education in the United States of America and the United Kingdom
An analysis of the system of higher education is in the United States of America. Consideration of universities with the highest reputation: California University, Catholic University of America, Cornell University. Appearance of university of the future.
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Higher education in the United States of America and the United Kingdom
higher education university
Read the quotes and say what ideas are expressed by them
«Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand.» - Native American Saying.
«What we learn with pleasure we never forget.» - Alfred Mercier (1816-1894), American writer and poet.
«Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.» - W. B. Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet and dramatist.
«Instruction ends in the school-room, but education ends only with life.» - Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1855), British divine.
2. You probably know some facts about higher education in the USA and Great Britain. Share them with your classmates.
admission board - приемная комиссия
admission n - прием в колледж (университет)
applicant n - претендент; соискатель, абитуриент
apprenticeship n - обучение, ученичество (процесс обучения на производстве)
Associate's degree - диплом/степень кандидата в бакалавры/младшего специалиста (в некоторых университетах и колледжах - степень, получаемая лицом, прослушавшим неполный курс, обычно двухгодичную программу из четырехгодичного курса, требуемого для получения степени бакалавра)
Associate in Science (A.S.) - степень, присваиваемая выпускнику среднего учебного заведения, окончившему двухгодичную программу по гуманитарным наукам
Associate of Arts (A.A.) - степень, присваиваемая выпускнику среднего учебного заведения, окончившему двухгодичную программу по гуманитарным наукам; нижняя ступень высшего образования в США
Bachelor's degree - степень бакалавра
Bachelor of Arts (B.A., A.B.) - бакалавр гуманитарных наук (искусств)
Bachelor of Science ( B.S.) - бакалавр наук
colloquium n - коллоквиум
community college - местный ("общинный") колледж
credit n - зачет
curriculum n - курс обучения, учебный план
degree n - учёная степень; диплом
distance learning - дистанционное обучение
Doctor of Philosophy - доктор (докторская степень, общая для всех областей знаний, за исключением юриспруденции, медицины, теологии)
electives n - факультативные курсы (выбираемые учащимся)
extracurricular adj - внепрограммный; факультативный; внеаудиторный
faculty n - профессорско-преподавательский состав
first degree - первая (учёная) степень (то же, что степень бакалавра в Англии или степень магистра искусств в старейших шотландских университетах)
four-year college - колледж высшей ступени (колледж с 4-летним сроком обучения, по окончании которого выпускнику присваивается степень бакалавра)
fraternity n - братство (студенческая организация для юношей)
freshman n - первокурсник
full-time student - студент очного отделения
further education - дальнейшее образование (дневное и вечернее, иногда с освобождением от работы; платное; основная цель - повышение квалификации; возраст учащихся не ограничен; )
grade point average - средний балл
graduate n - выпускник
graduate education - последипломное (магистерское либо аспирантское образование) образование
graduate student (Am)/ postgraduate (Br) - аспирант (человек, который получил университетскую степень бакалавра и продолжает научную работу, чтобы получить учёную степень магистра)
grant n - стипендия (денежная сумма, выделяемая частным фондом или государством для финансовой поддержки студента или аспиранта)
high school - старшая средняя школа
honours degree - диплом с отличием
humanities n - гуманитарные науки
internship n - интернатура (работа в учреждении, на фирме и т.п., предполагающая ознакомление практиканта с новыми навыками, изучение какой-либо специальности и т.д.)
junior n - студент третьего курса
liberal arts college - гуманитарный колледж
liberal education - гуманитарное образование
major n - специализация
Master's degrees - степень магистра
Master of Arts (M.A.) - магистр гуманитарных наук
Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) - магистр делового администрирования
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) - магистр изящных искусств
Master of Science (M.S.) - магистр (естественных) наук
open admission - открытый приём (прием любого (вне зависимости от успеваемости) выпускника средней школы в колледж )
part-time student - студент заочного отделения; студент, обучающийся в режиме неполного дня.
paycheck n - зарплата
proficiency n - умение, профессиональный уровень, квалификация
roster n - перечень, cписок
sandwich courses - курсы, где занятия чередуются с работой на производстве
scholar n - учёный
scholarship n - стипендия (регулярная выплата или дотация на обучение, питание, жилье и т.п., выдаваемая хорошо успевающему или подающему надежды студенту)
school n - факультет
score n - балл
senior n - студент последнего курса
senior year - последний курс
sophomore n - второкурсник
sorority n - женское студенческое общество
student loan - студенческий заем
syllabus n - программа, расписание, учебный план
technical institution - техникум
thesis n - диссертация
to award a degree - присвоить степень
to enroll v - зачислить
to major v- специализироваться по какому-л. предмету
to score v - набрать баллы
to vie v - конкурировать, соперничать, соревноваться
tuition n - плата за обучение
tutorial n - консультация, встреча с руководителем
two-year college - колледж низшей ступени
undergraduate college - колледж или университет, предлагающий четырехгодичный курс обучения, дающий право на получение степени бакалавра
undergraduate degree - ученая степень не выше степени бакалавра
undergraduate education - преддипломное обучение (академический курс на базе среднего образования на соискание степени бакалавра)
undergraduate n - студент университета или колледжа
vocational adj - профессиональный
Higher Education in the USA
According to UNESCO the US has the second largest number of higher education institutions and the highest number of higher education students in the world. Out of the more than three million students who graduate from high school and vie for admission each year, about one million go on for «higher education».
US higher education borrows its structure from both the British undergraduate colleges and German Research University, but its character is profoundly influenced by major philosophical beliefs that shape American public life: ideals of limited government (which protect higher education institutions from excessive government control) and commitment to equal opportunity and social mobility. Though higher education was an elite activity for much of its history, excluding individuals based on gender, religion, race/ethnicity, and social class, during the 20th century, economic and social changes transformed higher education into a primary gateway to the middle-class. Americans view broad access to higher education as a necessary component of the nation's ideal as a «land of opportunity.» American higher education includes institutions ranging from open-access two- and four-year institutions that admit all students, to highly selective research universities and liberal arts colleges that admit only a small fraction of those who apply. Many students apply to more than one college or university and enroll in one from among those that offer them admission.
Degree-granting institutions are typically divided into four major groups:
1) Two-year colleges (often but not always community colleges) usually offer the associate's degree such as an Associate of Arts (A.A.); Associate in Science (A.S.).
Community colleges are often open admissions, with low tuition. America's 1,100 public two-year institutions enroll the largest share of undergraduates. These institutions award associate's degrees in vocational fields, prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions, and provide a wide array of educational services. These services range from specialized training for large employers, to English language instruction for recent immigrants and recreational courses.
2) Four-year colleges (which usually have a larger number of students and offer a greater range of studies than two-year colleges) offer the bachelor's degree, such as the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.). The bachelor's degree is by far the most common type of undergraduate degree awarded.
Four-year institutions in the U.S. which emphasize the liberal arts are liberal arts colleges. They are known for being residential and for having smaller enrollment and class size. Most are private. In addition, some offer experimental curricula.
3) Universities are research-oriented institutions which provide both undergraduate and graduate education. For historical reasons, some universities--such as Boston College, Dartmouth College, and the College of William & Mary--have retained the term "college," while some institutions use the term "university." Graduate programs grant a variety of master's degrees--such as the Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), or Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.). The master's degree is either itself a terminal degree or prepares graduates for future advanced study at the doctoral level. The doctoral degree is the highest academic award and recognizes the graduate's ability to conduct independent research. The most common degree of this type is the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.).
Some universities have professional schools, which are attended primarily by those who plan to be practitioners instead of academics (scholars/researchers). Examples include journalism school, business school, medical schools, law schools veterinary schools, and dental schools.
A common practice is to refer to different units within universities as colleges or schools (what is referred to in other countries as faculties).
4) Technical institutions offer courses of from 6 months to 4 years duration and provide a wide variety of technical skills, from hair styling to business accounting or computer programming; but don't award a degree. Many technical institutions work with local companies and offer apprenticeship, internship, which allow students to get real practical experience in their industry (and sometimes a sizeable paycheck) before they graduate.
Admission decisions at selective institutions are based on a number of academic criteria, including high school coursework, grade point average and class rank, recommendations from high school teachers; the impression applicants make during interviews at the university and admissions test score, as well as a more flexible set of nonacademic characteristics, such as demonstrated leadership ability, creativity, and community service.
Because the United States has no national secondary school curriculum or high school exit examination, colleges rely on two admissions examinations--the SAT (the Scholastic Aptitude Test) and ACT (the American Collegic Test). An applicant can take either of these tests depending upon the preference of a particular university. The tests must be taken in your senior year in high school. They are given on a certain day in December or January at a local college. The test takes the whole day. Both tests are composed of three parts: language proficiency, maths, and logic. Each of the three subjects has a maximum of 800 points. The lowest score for getting into university is 550. A SAT can be taken two or three times, so that the student can improve the results if he or she wished to do so.
No national laws govern curriculum of an American higher education institution. The undergraduate curriculum typically consists of two components--general education and the major field of study (the major). The purpose of general education is to provide students with broad knowledge and prepare them to be engaged and informed citizens.
General education is delivered through either a core curriculum, in which all undergraduate students take the same courses, or an elective format, in which students choose courses from a list of subjects called «electives» (such as science, art and aesthetic appreciation, mathematics, humanities, etc.).
The other courses include those related to the major. Students choose their major either upon enrolling or after completing their second year of studies, depending upon institutional policy. Students may change their majors if their interests change.
Most institutions rely on a traditional nine-month (two semesters) academic calendar.
In U.S. education, a course is a unit of teaching that typically lasts one academic term, which is led by one or more instructors (teachers or professors), has a fixed roster of students, and gives each student a grade and academic credit. There are different formats of course in universities:
· the lecture course, where the instructor gives lectures with minimal interaction;
· the seminar, where students prepare and present their original written work for discussion and critique;
· the colloquium or reading course, where the instructor assigns readings for each session which are then discussed by the members;
· the tutorial course, where one or a small number of students work on a topic and meet with the instructor weekly for discussion and guidance;
· the laboratory course, where most work takes place in a laboratory.
Many courses combine these formats. Students are expected to do various kinds of work for a course: attending course sessions; reading and studying course readings assigned in the course syllabus; discussing material they have read; writing short and long papers based on assigned reading and their own library research; completing homework or problem sets; completing laboratory exercises; taking quizzes and examinations. Unlike most European university courses, grades are generally determined by all of these kinds of work, not only the final examination.
In the United States, a student in a high school or university earns credits for the successful completion of each course for each academic term. Usually after a typical four-year run, the student needs 21 to 24 credits to graduate.
College grades are usually on a five-point scale: A - is the highest mark and usually equals to 5 points, B = 4, C = 3, D = 2, E or F means failure. The points make it possible to calculate the GPA (grade point average). Normally, a minimum GPA of 3, 5 is necessary to continue studies.
Students are classified as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. A freshman is a first-year student; a sophomore - a second-year student; a junior - a third-year student; and a senior - a fourth-year student. All students who have graduated from the senior class and who continue studies at a university are called advanced or graduate students.
American universities and colleges are usually built as a separate complex, called "campus", with teaching blocks, libraries, dormitories, and many other facilities grouped together on one site, often on the outskirts of the city. Some universities are comprised of many campuses. A peculiar feature of American college or university life is numerous students' unions, fraternities and sororities. A great deal of cultural and recreational life at a university is created by different kinds of students' clubs.
There is no clear distinction in terms of quality of education offered between the institutions. However, this is not to say that all institutions enjoy equal prestige. The factors determining whether an institution is one of the best, or one of lower prestige, are: quality of teaching faculty and research facilities, amount of funding available for libraries, special programmes, etc. The prestige of a particular university is also assessed by considering the graduates' average incomes and perspectives for promotion. Research conducted by a university is a factor contributing to its prestige as well.
The universities with the highest reputation are: California University, Catholic University of America, Cornell University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, Stanford University, Chicago University, Wisconsin University, and Yale University. The best-known of all is Harvard University, Massachusetts, which was founded in 1636. Ivy League is a group of old and highly-respected universities of the eastern US. These are Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale Universities, Dartmouth College, and the University of Pennsylvania. All these colleges are very competitive with 4-10 applicants to a place. The most famous professors teach at them and the academic standards are very high.
Tuition is charged at almost all American universities. Public universities often have much lower tuition than private universities because funds are provided by state governments. Students often use scholarships, student loans, or grants, rather than paying all tuition out-of-pocket. Student loans are loans offered to students to assist in payment of the costs of professional education. These loans usually carry a lower interest rate than other loans and are usually issued by the government. Often they are supplemented by student grants which do not have to be repaid.
A scholarship is an award of access to an institution. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria. The most common scholarships may be classified as:
· Merit-based: These awards are based on a student's athletic, academic, artistic or other abilities, scores on the ACT and SAT standardized tests;
· Need-based: These awards are based on the student and family's financial record;
· Student-specific: These are scholarships where applicants must initially qualify by race, gender, religion, family and medical history, or many other student-specific factors;
· Career-specific: These are scholarships awarded by a college or university to students planning to pursue a specific field of study. Often the most generous awards are given to students pursuing careers in high-need areas such as education or nursing.
Because the Constitution does not mention education as a federal responsibility, the federal government plays a limited role in education. Though, an educational institution must comply with a wide range of federal reporting requirements, the federal government does not intrude into core academic decisions, which are generally left to the institutions.
While government plays a very important role in financing, American colleges and universities are supported further by diverse revenue sources. The major sources of revenue include tuition and fee payments from students and families; appropriations, grants, private gifts, endowment and other investment earnings; and sales from auxiliary enterprises and services. While the revenue sources of American institutions are diverse, two sources are of particular importance to most institutions: state appropriations, particularly for public institutions; and tuition and fees. These two sources provide the bulk of funds for general operating expenses.
Complete the sentences according to the contents of the texts
1. US higher education borrows its structure from both … .
2. Degree-granting institutions are typically divided into four major groups. They are… .
3. The largest number of undergraduates is enrolled into … .
4. Liberal arts colleges are known for … .
5. School graduates may take courses ranging from six months to three-four years and learn different technical skills at … .
6. Universities provide both … .
7. … are composed of three parts: language proficiency, maths, and logic.
8. The undergraduate curriculum typically consists of two components … .
9. The student needs … to graduate.
10. Students are classified as … .
11. Public universities often have … than private universities because funds are provided by state governments.
12. The federal government plays … in education.
Decide whether the statements are true or false
1. The level of the government control over higher education institutions is much higher in the USA than in most other countries.
2. Community colleges are open admissions, with low tuition, and offer the associate's degree.
3. Four-year colleges (which usually have a smaller number of students and offer a smaller range of studies than two-year colleges) offer the bachelor's degree.
4. Admissions decisions at selective institutions are based on a number of both academic and nonacademic criteria.
5. The SAT can be taken only once.
6. Students may not change their majors.
7. The tutorial is a form of teaching where one or a small number of students work on a topic and meet with the instructor weekly for discussion and guidance.
8. In the USA grades are generally determined by the final examination.
9. College grades are usually on a five-point scale.
10. The factors determining whether an institution is one of the best, or one of lower prestige, are: the amount of appropriations it gets and the number of students who apply to it.
11. Tuition is charged at private universities only.
12. A scholarship is an award of access to an institution, which is to be repaid.
13. The federal government plays a limited role in education.
14. Two major sources of revenue at American colleges and universities are state appropriations and tuition and fees.
Answer the following questions
1. What are the specific features of American higher education?
2. Why do Americans place such a great value on higher education?
3. What types of higher educational institutions exist in the USA? What are the differences between them?
4. What are professional schools?
5. What academic and nonacademic criteria are taken into account when a college or a university makes admission decisions?
6. What are the SAT and ACT?
7. What are two main components of the undergraduate curriculum?
8. When do students choose their major? Is it possible to change it?
9. What are the most typical formats of course at an American college or university?
10. How many credits does a student usually need to graduate? How are credits earned?
11. What is the GPA?
12. What is a «campus»?
13. What factors usually determine the prestige of a college or a university? Name some universities or colleges with the highest reputation.
14. What opportunities exist to help an American student to pay tuition?
15. What is a scholarship? On which bases can a scholarship be awarded?
16. What role does the Government play in the US higher education system?
Higher education in Great Britain
The nature of higher education in Great Britain has changed significantly over the past 30 years. The number of students studying at universities and colleges has increased dramatically, with over 2 million students at higher education institutions today. The age of undergraduates has changed too. Formerly these were largely school leavers studying full-time. The student population now includes large numbers of mature and part-time students. Higher education is part of `lifelong learning', which is not limited to the compulsory school years, but extends through an adult's working life and sometimes into retirement. Higher education is available at universities, colleges, institutions of higher and further education.
Higher education colleges vary in size, mission, subject mix and history. Like universities, they are self-governing and independent. Colleges range in size from small specialist institutions with 500 students to large multi-discipline institutions of 13,000 students. Many colleges cover a wide range of subjects, while some specialize in one or two areas.
Universities are also diverse, ranging in size, mission, subject mix and history. They are self-governing and independent. All universities in England and Wales are state universities. Universities have their own degree-awarding powers. They range in size from under 4,700 students to over 32,000 students. Universities in the UK may be divided into three types:
· The old established universities, such as Oxford (founded 1249), Cambridge, Edinburgh, London, Liverpool, Durham, Edinburgh, Bristol, Cardiff.
· The 19th century "redbrick universities" such as London and Manchester (they were called so because that was the favourable material of the time). These Universities were created to fill local needs, to provide a liberal education for the poorer boys, and to give technological training. Currently they offer a full range of courses.
· The «new universities» established after World War II, such as Essex, Lancaster, the New University of Ulster. Among this group there are also universities often called `newer civic' universities. These were originally technical colleges set up by local authorities in the first half of this century.
The most interesting innovations are the Open University and the University of the Third Age. The Open University provides awards by distance learning (the formal qualifications GCSE and A-Levels are not necessary). About 150,000 students are following its courses now. Over the last forty years the Open University has become Britain's largest University. It offers people a chance to study without sacrificing work or family commitments. People study at home using specially written texts, videos, TV and radio programmes and computers. The University of the Third Age is for the retired who just want to study without receiving any diplomas or degrees.
The normal minimum age for an undergraduate to start a course is 18 or 17 in Scotland. Students are admitted largely on the basis of their performance in the examinations for the General Certificate of Secondary Education at ordinary (GCSE) and advanced levels (GCE A-level). To get a place the students should have «A-level» results in at least two subjects. The selection procedure is rather complicated.
A student who wants to go to university usually applies for admission before he takes his advanced level examinations. First of all, he must write to the Universities Central Council on Admissions (UCCA), and they send him a form which he has to complete. On this form, he has to write the names of six universities in order of preference. He may put down only two or three names, stating that if not accepted by these universities he would be willing to go to any other. This form, together with an account of his out-of-school activities and two references, one of which must be from the headmaster of his school, is then sent back to the UCCA.
The UCCA sends photocopies of the form to the universities concerned. Each applicant is first considered by the university admission board. In some cases the board sends the applicant a refusal. This may happen, for example, if the board receives a form in which their university is the applicant's sixth choice and the university already has many candidates. If there are no reasons for immediate refusal, the university admission officer passes the candidate's papers on to the academic department concerned. One or two members of this department will then look at the candidate's application: see what he says about himself, look at his marks at the ordinary level examinations, and see what his headmaster and the other referee say about him. On the basis of those, the department may make the candidate an offer (either a definite offer or a conditional one) or send him a definite rejection.
As a rule, the department makes a conditional offer. This means that the candidate will be accepted by the university if he fulfills the requirements stated in the offer. In his turn, the student may accept the offer conditionally.
When the Advanced level examination results come out in August, the university admissions department sees whether the candidate has fulfilled his conditions and, if he has, sends him a definite offer. The candidate must accept or refuse within 72 hours.
First degree courses generally take three years in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Sandwich courses, which include periods of practical work in organizations outside the university or college, usually last four years, as do certain specialist courses. Some vocational degrees are longer, for example in medicine, dentistry and architecture.
The main undergraduate qualification awarded by higher education institutions is the first or bachelor's degree, for example, B.A., B.S. Other undergraduate qualifications include: Higher National Diploma (HND), Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) which usually take one or two years to complete. The Foundation Degree is a vocational qualification introduced by the government of the United Kingdom in September 2001, which is available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is similar in level to the associate's degree awarded in the United States. Courses are typically two years long and are offered both by universities and colleges of higher education. Foundation degrees are intended to give a foundation in a subject, thus the name, which enables the holder to go on to employment in that field.
A high proportion of graduates go on to do further training after university. Postgraduate studies lead to higher degrees most of which are Master's or Doctor's degrees. Postgraduate students are granted the Master's degree by thesis or examination after a minimum of one or two years of advanced studies. The Doctorate (Doctoral /Doctor's degree) generally requires outstanding proficiency in some specialized branch of research. It is regarded as the highest degree.
Traditionally, the UK academic year runs from September or October to June, divided into 3 terms of eight to ten weeks, with four weeks' vacation at Christmas and Easter and three months' vacation in the summer. Higher education courses are increasingly being offered on a modular basis. On completing a module the student is awarded a credit or credits. Students are awarded a degree after accumulating the appropriate number of credits in appropriate combinations.
For taught courses, lectures and seminars provide the basis of study at various classes between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Although lecture audiences can be very large - (perhaps over a hundred students) - there is usually an opportunity to ask questions. Seminars and tutorials provide more opportunity for discussion in smaller groups. The size of a seminar group may vary considerably. Some universities retain a tradition of one-to-one work, while others rarely have groups smaller than 20. Students are sometimes asked to write essays which are then discussed in the group - this is a good opportunity to develop your skills in presentation and discussion. This work is supported by reading and individual study.
The higher education is mostly managed and funded by several government agencies; student tuition fees also comprise a significant element of university funding. For all British citizens a place at the university brings with it a grant from their Local Education Authority. The grants cover tuition fees and some of the living expenses. The amount depends on the parents' income. If the parents don't earn much money, their children will receive a full grant which will cover all their expenses. In Scotland students do not pay fees. After they graduate and their income reaches a specified level they will be taxed to cover the cost of the education.
Universities and other higher educational institutions are autonomous and enjoy complete academic freedom, appointing their own staff and deciding which students to admit. Each university can decide on the qualification level at which they will accept student applicants. The universities determine the length and the content of their courses. They are legally independent corporate institutions responsible only to their governing councils.
In most universities students organize clubs and societies covering various areas such as sport, drama, debating, music, politics, and religion. Every university has a students' union which organizes recreational facilities and entertainments. It also deals with the administration representing student interests. The union is required to have a written constitution approved by the governing body. The reports of the union are published annually. The National Union of students represents student interests. Its members are drawn from the students unions of different universities and colleges.
1. "A" level - повышенный уровень
2. GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) - свидетельство о среднем образовании
3. The UCCA (the Universities Central Council on Admissions) - Центральный совет по вопросам приема в университеты
4. HND (Higher National Diploma), HNC (Higher National Certificate) - диплом о высшем техническом образовании
Complete the sentences according to the contents of the text
1. The student population now includes not just school-leavers but also … .
2. Colleges can either … a wide range of subjects or … .
3. The 19th century "redbrick universities" were created to … .
4. The Open University provides … .
5. Students are admitted largely on the basis of their performance in the examinations for … .
6. First of all, a student who wants to go to university must write to … .
7. On the basis of a number of criteria, the department of a university may make the candidate ether a … or send him a … .
8. … generally take three years in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
9. … is similar in level to the associate's degree awarded in the United States.
10. … lead to higher degrees most of which are Master's or Doctor's degrees.
11. The amount of grant which covers … depends on … .
12. Universities and other higher educational institutions are autonomous and enjoy complete … .
Decide whether the following statements are true or false
1. The number of students studying at British colleges and universities has decreased dramatically over the past 30 years.
2. Higher education is part of `lifelong learning', which is not limited to the compulsory school years, but extends through an adult's working life and sometimes into retirement.
3. Students of the University of the Third Age study at home using specially written texts, videos, TV and radio programmes and computers.
4. To get a place at university students should have «A-level» results in at least two subjects.
5. A definite offer means that the candidate will be accepted by the university if he fulfills the requirements stated in the offer.
6. First degree courses generally take three years in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
7. Foundation degrees are intended to prepare a student for postgraduate education.
8. Traditionally, the UK academic year runs from September or October to June and is divided into 3 terms.
9. The size of a seminar group may vary considerably. Still, no universities retain a tradition of one-to-one work.
10. The amount of grant a student gets depends on the parents' income.
11. The length and the content of university courses are determined by the Government.
12. The lowest grade an American student can get is F, which means that he/she will have to take the course once again.
Answer the following questions
1. How has the nature of higher education changed over the past 30 years?
2. What are the typical features of British colleges?
3. What are the typical features of British universities?
4. What are three types of universities in Britain? What are the differences between them?
5. In which way are the Open University and the University of the Third Age different from other universities?
6. What are the admission requirements in Great Britain?
7. Where should British school leavers apply to if they want to go to university? What papers are applicants supposed to provide?
8. What university groups consider the applications for admission? What decisions can be taken by universities?
9. What is the most common degree awarded in Great Britain? How long does take to get it?
10. What is a sandwich course?
11. What are the most common undergraduate degrees?
12. What is the difference between undergraduates, graduates and postgraduates?
13. What is the normal route for the award of a Master's Degree and a research degree (a Doctor's Degree)?
14. What does the typical UK academic year look like?
15. What are the most typical methods of teaching at a British college or university?
16. Do all the students in Great Britain have to pay for their education?
17. What does the autonomy of a British university mean?
18. What are some of the peculiarities of British students' life?
Read the text and say what «grade inflation» is. All shall have prizes
The whole thing started when Mr Mansfield, whose tough grades earned him the nickname "c-minus", declared that he was no longer willing to punish his students by giving them realistic grades. Henceforward he would give them two grades: an "ironic" grade that would go on their official records, and a realistic grade that he would reveal to them only in private. In this way Harvard students could enjoy the challenge of measuring themselves against real standards without having their gleaming resumes sullied.
"Ironic" is a gentle word for Harvard's grading system. About half of Harvard's students get an a-minus or above. Only 6% receive a ' c-plus or lower. Some Harvard apologists justify this inflated system on the ground that their university selects the best and brightest. But aren't "elite" institutions supposed to measure people against the highest possible standards? And aren't serious teachers supposed to point out their pupils' weaknesses as well as their strengths?
None of this would matter if Harvard were alone in taking the name of excellence in vain. But grade-inflation is almost universal in American education. Outstanding students are compared with Einstein. Abject failures are praised as "differently abled". Even the hard Sciences have started diluting their standards in order to compete with the humanities/where cheating is so much easier.
Why have academics allowed their standards to become so debased? Mr Mansfield provoked an outcry when he put some of the blame on affirmative action, the policy of providing places to some people on the basis of their race. University administrators accused him of making "divisive" charges without a "shred of evidence" to back them up. The divisive bit is certainly true, but Mr. Mansfield could hardly provide the proof when the university administration keeps the relevant student transcripts under lock and key. He was simply relying on the only tools at his disposal: personal experience (he has been on the Harvard faculty since 1962) and circumstantial evidence: grade-inflation followed the introduction of affirmative action.
The debate about affirmative action is arguably a red herring. Three less controversial but much more pernicious things probably matter more. The first is the cult of self-esteem. For years fashionable educators have been arguing that the worst thing you can do to young people is to damage their sensitive egos with criticism. "If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn," goes a popular screed handed out to the parents of pre-schoolers. "If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate; if a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself."
This might be defensible when applied to the kindergarten. The trouble is that this therapeutic philosophy is spreading throughout the educational system. The idea is at the heart of "constructivist maths", which emphasises the importance of feeling good about maths, rather than mastering basic techniques. And it is at the heart of the "I love me" sessions that proliferate in American elementary schools, in which children complete the phrase "I am..." with words such as "beautiful", "lovable" and "great", when "spoilt", "bored" and "violent" often seem more accurate.
The second mighty force behind grade inflation is something conservatives normally praise: the marketplace. American universities are big businesses which can charge students in excess of $20,000 a year for the privilege of attending them. Students naturally gravitate towards institutions that are going to give them a return on their investment -- the sparkling academic resume that opens the doors to Wall Street banks or prestigious law firms. Professors who resist the demand for grade-inflation may find themselves embarrassed by empty classrooms. Student course guides provide plenty of details about how generously teachers grade.
The third force is the lack of interest that high-flying academics show in the humdrum business of teaching. People who care a great deal about something are obsessed with making precise judgments of quality: listen to the average sports fan, for example. But the road to success in modern academia lies through research rather than teaching. All too many academics are content to hand out A-grades like confetti in return for favourable teaching ratings and more time to devote to research.
Fixing grade-inflation will not be easy in a system in which professors rightly value their autonomy. On the other hand, there are some signs of change. Some universities have experimented with putting two grades on report cards -- the individual student's grade and the average grade for the class as a whole.
But perhaps the simplest argument for Mr Mansfield's cause is that anybody who has ever been well taught knows that he is right. People who work under demanding task masters usually learn to respect them. People who are coddled with unearned a-grades despise the system they are exploiting. Living on a diet of junk grades is like living on a diet of junk food. You swell up out of all decent proportions without ever getting any real nourishment. And you end up in later life regretting your disgusting habits.
Answer the following questions
1. What grades will the students of Harvard be given by Harvey C. Mansfield? How does he explain it? What is the purpose of his declaration?
2. Do all people assess Harvard students' performance in the same way?
3. What are the four reasons for grade inflation as given in the text?
1. Fill in the words related to those given in the chart below.
2. Find the right definitions for the words in bald. Pay attention that there are no definitions for some words.
A. a period of intensive teaching given by a teacher to an individual student or to a small group of students
B. the subjects studied for a particular course/ an outline of a course of studies
C. a period of working for a skilled or qualified person in order to learn a trade or profession
D. any of several courses consisting of alternate periods of study and industrial work
E. the payment for instruction, esp. in colleges or universities
F. a distinction awarded to an examination candidate obtaining good marks
G. a social club or society for university women
H. students in the fourth and final year at college
I. a list of all the courses of study offered by a school or college
J. an optional course taken by a student
K. wage packet
L. a written testimonial regarding one's character or capabilities
M. a sum of money provided by a government, local authority, or public fund to finance educational study
N. a dissertation resulting from original research, esp when submitted by a candidate for a degree or diploma
O. the act of admitting to an educational establishment
P. financial aid provided for a student because of academic merit
2. Use the appropriate form of the following words to complete the sentences below. Pay attention that you will not need all the words.
1. Each university tries to attract the best … that will provide the students with the highest quality of teaching.
2. The largest share of American … apply to community colleges.
3. The lowest you can … in the SAT is 550.
4. Research … by a university is a factor contributing to its prestige.
5. The Foundation Degree is usually … after two years of study.
6. Many students apply to more than one college or university and … in one that offers admission.
7. A high proportion of school leavers though do not apply for a place at a university still choose to get … .
8. Liberal arts colleges give a chance to … in humanities only.
9. A university usually consists of a number of … .
10. A trade or … school is often organized by an industry or large company to provide students with practical skills and enable them to work in different branches of industry.
11. The university … makes decisions on a number of academic and nonacademic criteria.
12. The lowest grade an American student can get is F or …, which means that he/she will have to take the course one again.
13. A summer … usually lasts from April to June.
14. Students really have to … for a place at a university as only one out of three applicants are usually … .
15. Every … has an opportunity to participate in a wide range of … activities such as sport, drama, debating, music, politics, and religion.
1. Join the words from the columns to make word combinations:
1. out-of-school a. a field of study
2. degree-granting b. a degree
3. to award c. proficiency
4. graduate d. curriculum
5. determine e. ability
6. language f. living expenses
7. conditional g. institution
8. educational h. activities
9. core i. local needs
10. technical j. a year of studies
11. pursue k. out-of-pocket
12. undergraduate l. family commitments
13. lifelong m. the content of courses
14. academic n. student
15. to complete o. qualification
16. to cover p. learning
17. leadership q. offer
18. to pay r. services
19. to sacrifice s. year
20. to conduct t. college
21. to fill u. research
4. Replace the words in italics with the words and expressions in the box. Pay attention that you will not need all the words.
1) He was satisfied with his family, life and education.
2) The applicants' marks were so poor, that the University had to lower its standards.
3) My car can be used as you wish.
4) There were not enough facts to prove him guilty.
5) Where can I have my car repaired?
6) You have to be fond of things and have a lot of duties not to live a dull life.
7) Unemployment is harmful to the welfare of society?
8) You can learn a language well if you are fond of it or if you work hard.
9) Cholera was beyond any control among them.
10) One day the truth about these events will be made known.
11) The fact that he handed out excellent marks like confetti stained his reputation considerably.
12) How much do you ask for mending a pair of shoes?
5. Make sure that you know the following words denoting attitudes and feelings. Fill them in the gaps.
1. He went stowaway and he was … when the conductor approached him.
2. People who work under demanding task masters usually learn to … them.
3. Strike-breakers are … by their workmates.
4. He was so … with the idea that he couldn't sleep.
5. It's immoral to think that the end … the means.
6. You can't … English poetry unless you understand its rhythm.
7. It's necessary to … a child for doing good and reprimand him for misbehaviour.
8. We often … being rude and intolerant.
9. The US strikes against Yugoslavia and Iraq were … by many nations.
10. Her father will never … of her marriage to you.
6. Metaphors are part and parcel of a publicist style. Find out what the following metaphors mean. Use these metaphors in the sentences of your own.
Discovering language. Fill in the correct prepositions
1. Out of the more than three million students who graduate … high school and vie … admission each year, about one million go on for «higher education».
2. Individuals were often excluded … higher education based … gender, religion, race/ethnicity, and social class.
3. Though the federal government does not intrude … core academic decisions, an educational institution must comply … a wide range of federal reporting requirements.
4. American higher education institutions range … open-access two- and four-year institutions … highly selective research universities and liberal arts colleges.
5. Many students apply … more than one college or university and enroll … one from among those that offer them admission.
6. Higher education colleges vary … size, mission, subject mix and history. Some colleges cover … a wide range of subjects, while some specialize … one or two areas.
7. Different units within universities are often referred … as colleges or schools.
8. A student who wants to go to university usually applies … this university … admission before he takes his advanced level examinations.
9. If there are no reasons … immediate refusal, the university admission officer passes the candidate's papers … … the academic department concerned.
10. The UK academic year runs … September or October … June, divided … 3 terms, with four weeks' vacation … Christmas and Easter and three months' vacation … the summer.
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