The second group of universities comprises various institutions of higher education, usually with technical study, that by 1900 had sprang up in new industrial towns and cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds. They got to be know as civic or redbrick universities. Their buildings were made of local material, often brick, in contrast to the stone of older universities, hence the name, redbrick. These universities catered mostly for local people. At first they prepared students for London University degree, but later they were given the right to award their own degrees, and so became universities themselves. In the mid-20th century they started to accept students from all over the country.
The third group consists of new universities founded after the Second World War and later in the 1960s, which saw considerable expansion in new universities. These are purpose-built institutions located in the countryside but close to towns. Examples are East Anglia, Sussex and Warwick. From their beginning they attracted students from all over the country, and provided accommodation for most of their students in site (hence their name, campus universities). They tend to emphasise relatively new academic disciplines such as social science and make greater use than other universities of teaching in small groups, often known as seminars.
Among this group there are also universities often called never civic universities. These were originally technical colleges set up by local authorities in the first half of this century. Their upgrading to university status took place in two waves. The first wave occurred in the mid-1960s, when ten of them were promoted in this way.
Another thirty became polytechnics, in the early 1970s, which meant that along with their former courses they were allowed to teach degree courses (the degrees being awarded by a national body). Polytechnics were originally expected to offer a broader-based, more practical and vocational education than the universities. In the early 1990s most of the polytechnics became universities. So there are now 80 universities and a further 19 colleges and institutions of higher education in the UK. The country has moved rapidly from a rather elitist system to one which is much more open, if not yet a mass system of higher education.
Higher education in England and Wales is highly selective; i.e. entrance to British universities is via a strict selection process is based on an interview. Applications for first degree courses are usually made through the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS), in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. After the interview a potential student is offered a place on the basis of GCE A-level exam results. If the student does not get the grades specified in the offer, a place can not be taken up. Some universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge, have an entrance exam before the interview stage.
This kind of selection procedure means that not everyone in Britain with A-level qualifications will be offered the chance of a university education. Critics argue that this creates an elitist system with the academic minority in society whilst supporters of the system argue that this enables Britain to get high-quality graduates who have specialized skills. The current system will be modified by the late 90s and into the 21st century, since secondary system is moving towards a broader-based education to replace the specialized A level approach. The reasons for this lie in Britains need to have a highly skilled and educated workforce, not just an elite few, to meet the needs of the technological era.
The independence of Britains educational institutions is most noticeable in universities. They make their own choices of who to accept on their courses and normally do this on the basis of a students A-level results and an interview. Those with better exam grades are more likely to be accepted. Virtually all degree courses last three years, however there are some four-year courses and medical and veterinary courses last five or six years. The British University year is divided into three terms, roughly eight to ten weeks each. The terms are 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.
The courses are also full-time which really means full-time: the students are not supposed to take a lob during term time. Unless their parents are rich, they receive a state grant of money, which covers most of their expenses including the cost of accommodation. Grants and loans are intended to create opportunities for equality in education. A grants system was set up to support students through university. Grants are paid by the LEA on the basis of parental income. In the late 80s (the Conservative) government decided to stop to increase these grants, which were previously linked to inflation. Instead, students were able to borrow money in the form of a low-interest loan, which then had to be paid back after their course had finished. Critics argue that students from less affluent families had to think twice before entering the course, and that this worsened the trend which saw a 33% drop in working-class student numbers in the 1980s.
Cambridge is the second oldest university and city in Britain. It lies on the river Cam and takes its name from this river (Cam (тех. кулак) + bridge (мост)). Cambridge was founded in 1284 when the first college, Peterhouse, was built. Now there are 22 colleges in Cambridge, but only three of them are womens colleges. The first women college was opened in 1896.
The ancient buildings, chapels, libraries and colleges are in the center of the city. There are many museums in the old university city. Its population consist mostly of teachers and students. All students have to live in the college during their course.
In the old times the students life was very strict. They were not allowed to play games, to sing, to hunt, to fish or even to dance. They wore special dark clothes, which they continue to wear in our days. In the streets of Cambridge, you can see young men wearing dark blue or black clothes and the squares the academic caps.
Many great men have studied at Cambridge, among them Cromwell, Newton, Byron, Tennyson, and Darwin. The great Russian scientist I.P. Pavlov came to Cambridge to receive the degree of the Honorary Doctor of Cambridge.
The students presented him with a toy dog then. Now Cambridge is know all over the world as a great center of science, where many famous scientists have worked: Rutherford, Kapitza and others.Students studying for the first degree are called undergraduates. At the end of the third year of study undergraduates sit for their examinations and take the bachelors degree. Those engaged in the study of arts such subjects as history, languages, economics or law take Bachelor of Arts (BA). Students studying pure or applied sciences such as medicine, dentistry, technology or agriculture get Bachelor of Science (BSc). When they have been awarded the degree, they are known as graduates. Most people get honours degrees, awarded in different classes. These are: Class I (known as a first), Class II, I (or an upper second), Class II, II (or a lower second), Class III (a third). A student who is below one of these gets a pass degree (i.e. not an honours degree).
Students who obtain their Bachelor degree can apply to take a further degree course, usually involving a mixture of exam courses and research. There are two different types of post-graduate courses the Masters Degree (MA or MSc), which takes one or two years, and the higher degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which takes two or three years. Funding for post-graduate courses is very limited, and even students with first class degrees may be unable to get a grant. Consequently many post-graduates have heavy bank loans or are working to pay their way to a higher degree.
The university system also provides a national network of extra-mural or Continuing Education Departments which offer academic courses for adults who wish to study often for the sheer pleasure of study after they have left schools of higher education.
One development in education in which Britain can claim to lead the world is the Open University. It was founded in 1969 in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and is so called because it is open to all this university does not require any formal academic qualifications to study for a degree, and many people who do not have an opportunity to be ordinary students enroll. The university is non-residential and courses are mainly taught by special written course books and by programmes on state radio and television. There are, however, short summer courses of about a week that the students have to attend and special part-time study centers where they can meet their tutors when they have problems.
As mentioned above, the British higher education system was added to in the 1970s, which saw the creation of colleges and institutions of higher education, often by merging existing colleges or by establishing new institutions. They now offer a wide ra