Education in United Kingdom

In UNITED KINGDOM there are three basic types of institutions in which higher education is provided. These ares-

  • Universities
  • Colleges and institutions of higher education and
  • Art and music colleges

In matters relating to courses all universities are particularly autonomous institutions. An Act of Parliament or Royal Charter helps in the empowerment of these universities. The Further and Higher Education Act of 1992 made a demarcation, separating universities and polytechnics was abolished. Polytechnics were given the right to award their own degrees,i.e. was given separate university status.

For Wales, Scotland and England the Higher Education Funding Council was created which replaced the Universities Funding Council and the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council. Most of the universities are divided into various faculties which may be subdivided into departments.

Most of the colleges and institutions of higher education are ultimately the result of various mergers of teacher training colleges and other different colleges. The Universities’ United Kingdom examinees are a matter of concern to all the universities. The responsibility for all universities depends upon The Department for Education and Skills.

Various post-graduate qualifications and non-degree courses are provided by non-university higher educational institutions. External bodies like the local university or the Open University often validate non-university higher educational institutions to provide various offers Higher Degrees and other qualifications.

An institution which must be able to demonstrate a good record of running degree courses has the right to award their own degrees but must be validated by other recognized universities. Institutions should satisfy some criteria before it can apply for university status .Those criteria includes the power to award its own first and higher degrees.

Further educational institutions also provide some higher education. The Higher Education Funding Councils and the Department of Education Northern Ireland funds this kind of provisions. Primary education generally takes the form of combined infant and junior schools .Therefore these schools last for six years.

They comprise of a first stage covering infant schools consisting of two years and a second stage covering junior schools consisting of four years. From the age of eleven schooling the secondary education starts and continues to the minimum school leaving age of sixteen. Leading to the VCSE and GCSE pupils follow a common curriculum. They generally combine a number of VCSEs, GCSEs combination of both. When pupils sit for the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level i.e. GCE AS examinations they may stay on at a school sixth form for a further two years, at some of the schools.