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Higher education in Great Britain All British universities are private institutions.

Students have to pay fees and living costs, but every student may obtain a personal grant from local authorities. If the parents do not earn much money, their children will receive a full grant which will cover all the expenses. Students studying for first degrees are known as undergraduates. New undergraduates in some universities are called fresher. They have lectures, there are regular seminars. After three or four years the students will take their finals. Those who pass examinations successfully are given the Bachelors degree: Bachelor of Arts for History or Bachelor of Science. The first postgraduate degree is Master of Arts, Master of Science. Doctor of Philosophy is the highest degree. It is given for some original research work which is an important contribution to knowledge. Open Days are a chance for applicants to see the university, meet students and ask questions. All this will help you decide whether you have made the right choice. The most famous universities in Britain are Oxford and Cambridge. They are the two oldest English universities and they both have a long and eventful history of their own. Oxford and Cambridge are regarded as being academically superior to other universities and as giving special privilege and prestige. Cambridge University consists of a group of 32 independent colleges. The first students came to the city in 1209 and studied in the schools of the cathedral and monasteries. Further education in Britain is for people over 16 taking courses at various levels up to the standard required for entry to higher education. The Open University offers degrees for people who do not have a formal education and qualifications, or who are older. Students study at home and then post them off to a tutor for marking. Most courses take six years and students get a number of credits for each years work. The Open University was founded in 1969 and started its first course in 1971. About 120, 000 people have enrolled since then.

Higher Education in the USA In the United States, a student who has finished high school, may want to continue in higher education. There are several ways to do it: universities, colleges, community colleges, and technical or vocational schools. A university in the United States usually has several different colleges in it. Each has a special subject area. There may be a college of liberal arts where humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics are taught. There may be a college of education and a college of business. A program for undergraduates usually takes four years. University students get an undergraduate degree in the arts or sciences. If they complete a course of study they get Bachelor of Arts or Science degree. Students may leave the university at this time. They may also go on for a graduate or professional degree. The university always has programs for graduate and professional study in many

subjects. The university may get money from several different sources. A publicly funded university gets some money from the state government. A privately funded university gets money only from private sources. Or the university may be funded by a religious group. College students usually spend four years at school, too. A college does not have graduate or professional programs. If a college student completes a course of study in arts or science, he or she gets Bachelor of Arts or Science degree. If college students want to continue for a graduate or professional degree, they must go to University. The college is usually funded in one of the three ways already described. The program of study in the community college usually lasts two years. Not all of the subjects taught there are the usual school subjects. The community college may give courses in the regular academic subjects or subjects like dental technology, sewing and other non-academic subjects. Not all students of the community college have a high school diploma. They may then go to a college for two more years to get the bachelor's degree. Community colleges are nearly always publicly funded. The technical or vocational school has only job training, it has no academic program. Students may have a high school diploma, or not. Programs may take from six months to two years and more. The technical or vocational school gives training for work in areas such as electronics, carpentry and others.

Higher education in Russia

Over the last ten years, the system of higher education has undergone considerable change in the following areas: Goals - with an orientation towards the needs of the market, society, and individuals; Structure - decentralization (in contrast to Soviet centralized planning); Autonomy of higher educational institutions - introduction of private higher education; four- and two-year programs in parallel with the traditional five-year program; elimination of a bias towards engineering specialties; Financing - diversification of financial sources instead of a reliance solely on state financing; Content - increasing the humanitarian components in the curriculum, and diversifying programs and courses Following the provisions of the 1992 Law on Education and responding to the rising demand and the need to generate revenue, the state educational institutions acquired more autonomy, opened new programs and started enrolling commercial students. At the same time the Russian higher education system remains relatively centralized: the Federal Government provides no less then 50% of all higher education institutional expenditures and keeps all state-owned institutions' funds under strict control through a special system of treasury accounts, it provides accreditation, attestation and licensing of all institutions, private or public, it establishes considerably detailed unified standards of HE programs defining the curricular and content for all disciplines and it keeps monopoly to issue diplomas confirming higher education degree. The specializations which ar most sort out by students are: avaition, Finance, Communication, electronics & information technology, Marine engineering, Medicine and Biological, Civil & Automobile Engineering, Railways & Power and other specialities. Russia has four types of institutions: Universities: responsible for education and research in a variety of disciplines; There are "classical" and "technical" universities with special attention paid respectively to social sciences and humanities or natural fundamental and applied (engineering) sciences. Unofficial ratings also distinguish old "classical" universities and "new" universities, former pedagogical or technical institutions which have acquired their university status quite recently. Academies: responsible for education and research. They differ from universities only in that they restrict themselves to a single discipline; Institutes: multi-discipline oriented. They can be independent structural units, or part of a university or academy and usually specialize in one field. However pedagogical institutes are responsible for all spectrum of disciplines taught at schools Private institutions: present in increasing numbers. They offer degrees in non-engineering fields such as business, culture, sociology and religion. Degree structure There is a new degree structure, which follows a three-tier pattern, three levels, and uses U.S./British nomenclature. Currently there are only two types of diploma (degrees) which are officially recognized as ones of completed higher education - these are diploma of specialist and diploma of a Master level (magistr). The Bachelor diploma and the certificate of "incomplete higher education" are not

regarded as high education degrees. In some cases a bachelor degree suffices to start a career. Anyway bachelors (or undergraduates) are not allowed to take positions were higher education is necessary by labor law or by custom, they can't get the research degree of Candidate of Sciences, male graduates are drafted as soldiers and must serve for two years while specialists and magistrs have half a year shorter conscription period. It should be noted that Russia has signed Bologna Declaration and by the year 2010 transition to a two- tier degree structure should be completed, the objective is specified as one of the ultimate goals of the country's educational reforms. Below you can find a more detailed description of program organization: Level I Programs at this level are organized into two stages: Stage 1 consists of two years of course work, upon completion of which students are awarded a "certificate of incomplete higher education." Stage 2 is devoted entirely to one to two years of intensive professional training. Upon completion, students are awarded a diploma of incomplete higher education (o nepolnom visshem obrazovanii). These are not distinct programs but rather credentials awarded upon partial completion of study leading to a diploma of higher education, such bachelor or specialist. Students with a Level I certificate or diploma have not completed their higher education. However, they can seek employment in jobs that require some higher education, but not a degree. Level II Bachelor (bakalavr): Awarded upon completion of four-year programs in the humanities, economics and natural sciences, as well as some practical professional training. It represents the completion of "basic academic education." Level III There are two options after the second level -master and specialist. Both degrees allow access to doctoral study. Master (magistr): This is an academic degree designed for students who wish to pursue a career in academia and research. It takes 2 years after obtaining the bachelor degree. The field of study must be the same as for the bachelor. (Because most students continue after the bakalavr at the same institution, they may not receive the actual bakalavr diploma). Specialist: This is a professional training program designed for students who choose to pursue the practical applications of their specialization. Bakalavr, magistr and specialist diplomas are awarded by the State Attestation Commission. Foriegn student admission are handled by 3rd party independant contractors.