The higher education sector is made up mainly of the universities and colleges of higher education which lead to degree level. The top of it is Ph.D level.
On the one hand, Britain ‘s universities still enjoy a great deal of academic freedom in selecting their own students, defining their courses, awarding their degrees and recruiting their staff but they depend on the government for funding.
Higher education students receive financial support from their local education authority.
In the past, access to higher education was too restricted. Things changed but men have been outnumbered . Most of the applications came from women.
British universities have a tradition of elitism and excellence. The universities of Oxford and Cambridge date back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and are among the best universities in the world. They are and have always been the institutions at the top of the educational hierarchy. They attract many of the brightest students of their generation and award the most prestigious certificates. They are the main universities of the elite and shape a homogeneous group with a common cultural identity rooted in the idea of a liberal education centred on the arts and humanities. Indeed, the Establishment is mostly interested in finance and administration.
The teaching at Oxford and Cambridge is based on the tutorial system. The don teaches one or two students, sometimes more.
The balance between teaching and research has shifted in favour of research. Oxford and Cambridge are institutions where the future leading politicians and civil servants used to go to learn the proper sociocultural values.
London university was founded in 1836 to provide university education for young people who could not attend Oxford or Cambridge because they did not belong to the higher classes. New universities appeared to “accommodate with the increasing number of students“. Open universities were created for mature students who followed correspondence courses. Open universities widened access to higher education for adults.
Polytechnics and Colleges of Higher education
Polytechnics were created to meet the increasing demand for vocational, professional and industrially based courses in higher education. They filled the gap between university and further education work, bearing in mind the needs of industry. Polytechnics give a wide range of courses in business, administration, engineering, technology.
Unlike Polytechnics which prepares for business, industry, industry, engineering and technology, Colleges of Higher Education lead to socially-oriented professions ranging from teacher training to the caring professions, art and design, the media and public administration.
The future development of higher education in a learning society.
The problem with higher education is that access depends on the ability to pay. The governments want more people to enter higher education.
They developed part-time degree courses. They also have to develop a more efficient system of funding, a fairer system for repaying loans
Definitely British, Absolutely American, Ellipses,2001
Watch on the internet
1.Higher Education in US What Does It Cost – YouTube.flv 2.UK students protest over university fees – YouTube.flv 3.Saving Money for College – YouTube.flv
Q&A: Tuition fees
From September 2012, universities in England are raising tuition fees to up to £9,000 per year, amid major budget cuts to institutions’ teaching budgets. The controversial policy, backed by parliament in December 2010, sparked angry street protests. It was developed as the government’s response to a review of higher education funding by former BP chief Lord Browne. Universities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be able to raise their fees from 2012, but their home students will not be affected. How much?The government is allowing universities in England to charge up to £9,000 per year for undergraduate courses, raising the cap from its 2011/12 level of £3,375. Universities wanting to charge more than £6,000 have to undertake measures, such as offering bursaries, summer schools and outreach programmes, to encourage students from poorer backgrounds to apply
Getting a college education is considered a stepping stone to the American dream, but achieving that dream is growing increasingly more difficult for millions of Americans because of the spiraling costs of higher education. State support for higher education continues to shrink as financial pressures squeeze budgets at state capitals across the nation. To make up for shortfalls in state funding, universities are raising tuition and fees, forcing college students and their families deeper into debt.
Resume the main ideas from the above articles and videos (10 lines)
PRACTICE : TOPICS AND DEBATE
Choose one topic and make a 4 minutes presentation.
1.To what extent can you say that schools and universities are instruments of power?
2.To what extent can higher education be regarded as elitist?
3.Are schools and universities the only instruments of power?
4.What do you know about the present-day problem of higher education in western countries like the USA, the UK or France?
5.Should universities use positive discrimination to increase diversity? (p.24; PASSWORD)
The main ideas from the video and articles.
All through European countries and even across the Atlantic, higher education has been facing a general crisis.
As governments make cuts in education budgets, it has become more and more difficult for students as well as for university heads who must find out funds to run their establishment. To cope with the financial problems they increase tuition fees.
With the increasing cost of higher education, students have to work part-time or ask for loans. Students’living conditions are getting worse. Many of them are forced into debt.
Nowadays, strikes are breaking out both in Europe, the USA and Canada as students can’t afford tuition fees. They voice their discontent in the streets of London, New York or Toronto and reject the governments’s drastic plans.
Consequently, if tuition fees go on increasing, few students will have access to universities. Only students from rich families will be able to attend courses at universities. Students from low-income families will be discriminated against and the universities will no longer be a diverse place, a place where you can find people from different social and ethnic backgrounds.
To some extent, positive discrimination may be a solution to solve the problem with the increasing tuition fees. But it is an expensive measure to carry on. In addition, everyone knows that positive discrimination as well as affirmative action have been criticized and considered as reverse discrimination.
Education does not seem to be the top priority for most of the western nations. Politicians must understand that the future of their nations lie in the training of their students and investment in higher education.