Monday, September 28, 2009


UK Education system has long been admired among international students and attracted the world elites. Education has always been a top priority in Britain and that is why efforts has been made to implement unrivalled quality assurance and academic audit systems. All academic & professional institutions are obliged to meet stringent standards set by government agencies. Standards are high not just in teaching but also includes world class libraries & learning centres with state of art IT facilities and superb students accommodations.

Higher education:
Higher education is provided by three main types of institutions: universities, colleges and institutions of higher education and art and music colleges. All universities are autonomous institutions, particularly in matters relating to courses. They are empowered by a Royal Charter or an Act of Parliament.

Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS) brings together functions from two former departments. Science and innovation responsibilities from the Department of Trade and Industry. Skills, further and higher education from the Department for Education and Skills. This department is also responsible for all universities. Non-university higher education institutions also provide degree courses, various non-degree courses and postgraduate qualifications. Some may offer Higher Degrees and other qualifications offered by most non-university higher education institutions are validated by external bodies such as a local university or the Open University.

Stages of studies:
Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level:
Non-university level post-secondary technical education is provided by technical colleges, colleges of further and higher education and accredited independent colleges which offer a large number of courses leading to a vocational qualification.

Main Laws/decrees governing higher education
Decree: Education Reform Act Year: 1988
Decree: Further and Higher Education Act Year: 1992
Decree: Higher Education Act Year: 2004

The Business & Technology Education Council (BTEC) was a subdegree-conferring council in the United Kingdom until 1996, when its functions were transferred to Edexcel. The council offered further and higher education awards, particularly to polytechnics, and in particular the BTEC Nationals and BTEC Higher Nationals awards which remain prominent.

University level studies:

University level first stage: Undergraduate stage:
This stage lasts for three or four years and leads to the award of a Bachelor's Degree in Arts, Science or other fields (Technology, Law, Engineering, etc.). The Bachelor's Degree is conferred as a Pass Degree or an Honours Degree where studies are more specialized. The Bachelor's Honours Degree is classified as a First Class Honours, a Second Class Honours or a Third Class Honours. In some universities and colleges of higher education, a two-year course leads to a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE). This is a recognized qualification in its own right. Some universities have adopted the credit-unit or modular system of assessment. In some universities students must follow a foundation course before embarking on the course leading to the Bachelor's Degree. Students of foreign languages are sometimes required to study or work for an additional year in the country of the target language. Sandwich courses generally involve an additional year's work experience. Some institutions have introduced accelerated two-year degrees which require students to study during the normal vacation period. It is now rare for the class of degree to depend entirely on student performance in final examinations. Most institutions base a component of the degree class on examinaions taken during the period of study, especially those taken at the end of the second year, and many also use some form of continuous assessment. The majority of degree courses also involve the research and writing of an extensive thesis or dissertation, normally making up around 50% of the final year assessment.

Academic year:
*Classes from: Sep to: Jul
*Long vacation from: 1 Jul to: 30 Sep
Languages of instruction: English
*(varies among institutions)

University level second stage: Master's Degree, Master of Philosophy:
Study at master's level is at the forefront of an academic or professional discipline. Students must show originality in their application of knowledge and advancement of knowledge. The normal entry requirement for a Master's degree is a good Bachelor's degree. A Master's degree is normally studied over one year. Some Master's programmes, including the M.Eng, are integrated in undergraduate programmes and result in a postgraduate qualification, not an undergraduate one, after four years of study.At a university, after two years of additional study and the successful presentation of a thesis, students obtain the Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) degree.

University level third stage: Doctor of Philosophy, Higher Doctorate:
After usually three years' further study beyond the Master's Degree, the candidate may present a thesis for the Doctorate of Philosophy (D.Phil. or Ph.D.).A further stage leads to Higher Doctorates which may be awarded by a university in Law, Humanities, Science, Medical Sciences, Music and Theology after a candidate, usually a senior university teacher, has submitted a number of learned, usually published, works.

Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers:
Primary school teachers must hold a first degree and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education awarded by a university or college of higher education. Alternatively, they must hold a BEd Degree and have a qualified teacher status which can be obtained after successful completion of an approved course of initial teacher training (ITT). The main types of ITT courses are the one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education course or the Bachelor of Education (BEd) course.

Training of secondary school teachers:
Secondary school teachers must hold a first degree and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education awarded by a university or college of higher education. Alternatively they must hold a BEd Degree and have a qualified teacher status which can be obtained after successful completion of an approved course of initial teacher training (ITT). The main types of ITT courses are the one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education course or the Bachelor of Education (BEd) course which normally lasts for four years.

Training of higher education teachers:
Higher education teachers normally hold a higher degree.

Non-traditional studies:

Distance higher education:
The Open University offers instruction for part-time study for degrees and other courses by correspondence, supplemented by radio and television broadcasts, residential summer schools and an extensive counselling and tutorial service which operates through local study centres. Three main types of course are available: undergraduate level courses, postgraduate courses and study packs. They are offered as part of Certificate, Diploma or Degree programmes. Undergraduate students take a series of courses which are worth one half or one full credit. A one-credit course is estimated to require 350-400 hours of study. An Ordinary Degree BA or BSc is awarded to students who have obtained six credits; an Honours degree (BA or BSc Honours) to students who have obtained two of these credits at the higher levels of study. Students may choose from a selection of 134 courses at four levels of difficulty. Up to three credits may be allowed for previous qualifications such as an initial teacher training qualification or a Higher National Diploma. The Open College offers vocational and professional training often leading to recognized qualifications. The Open College of Arts, set up in 1987, is affiliated to the Open University. It aids students of the arts who wish to study at home. It receives no government funding but as a registered charity it receives donations from other organizations.

Lifelong higher education:
Extra-mural education is provided by universities or other institutions of higher education to adults living in the region served by the institutions and who do not belong to the regular student body. Higher education institutions may also choose to offer courses that are specifically intended to meet the needs of the local community. Thus they may offer part-time courses providing professional updating which people attend on day-release from work or attend in the evening, or leisure courses on local History or Geography, or Language and Literature classes.

Higher education training in industry
There are sandwich courses in which an undergraduate course is incorporated with periods of industrial training. The duration of study for an Honours Degree is four years. Admission conditions vary enormously and courses are offered only in universities which were formerly colleges of advanced technology.

Other forms of non-formal higher education
Foundation degree programmes were finalized in autumn 2000 for the first students to begin the courses in 2001. Foundation degrees are employment-related higher education qualifications designed to equip students with work-related skills.The sectors include construction, creative industries, e-business, e-commerce, finance, information technology and law. Foundation degrees have been designed with employers to provide an employment base at associate professional and higher technician level. They are awarded by universities and higher education colleges. A Foundation Degree can be used as a starting point for further study, either a related Honours Degree or further professional development in the workplace. There are no specific entry requirements and it is up to the college or university providing the degree to decide if a candidate is eligible.

UK NARIC - the National Agency responsible for providing information and expert opinion on vocational, academic and professional skills and qualifications from over 180 countries worldwide.

As the National Agency, managed on behalf of the UK Government, provide the only official source of information on international qualifications through quick and easy access to the advice you need.

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