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17 November 2015

State Schools are free of charge and designed to education of British children and also foreigners from 8 to 18 years old, whose parents have a right of permanent stay in Great Britain.

International Colleges are small senior schools only for foreign students from 14 to 18 years old. There are two types of living: in student’s hostels (in the territory of school) or in families. The cost of academic year is from $18 000.

International Colleges have the same program as British Senior Schools. Following school subjects are taught there: Mathematics, Physics, Algebra and Geometry, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Human Anatomy, Sociology, Political Science, Basic Principles of Legislation, Statistics, History, Music, Fine Arts, Computers and Programming, English, English Literature, Religious Principles, one or more foreign languages (French, German, Spanish and so on). Besides core subjects there are also additional subjects, such as Latin, Accounting, Basics of Business, Economics and others.

In most of International Colleges there are also one/two-year Foundation Courses for those students who want to enter a university. After successful completion graduates are enrolled in the university with which there is an agreement on recognition of the status of these courses. It’s very good opportunity for those foreigners who want to obtain a higher education. But there is also one peculiarity: one of the main subjects is native language.

If the foreigner doesn’t have a certificate of sufficient knowledge of English, he can’t enter the university. One-year study at the basic introductory courses is very good practice and preparation for university education in English and also it’s a good opportunity to pass the exam in English.

Independent Schools are more prestigious educational form, designed to English children (85%) and to foreign pupils from 8 to 18 years old. Good Independent Schools are independent educational centers which own 100-150 ha; there are also educational buildings, sports facilities, swimming-pool and residence halls. Usually students live in residence halls but sometimes universities offer them to live in families. The cost of academic year is from $ 23 000.

You can find a lot of schools with good reputation, history and its own traditions among both Private Boarding Schools and State Boarding Schools.

Vocational education

Besides schools in Great Britain there are also so-called Tertiary Colleges, giving vocational education and being alternative of education with A Level programs. Vocational education, which was got in Tertiary College, as a rule, implies further professional activity as distinct from A Level programs, which are universally recognized and more universal for entering the university. All educational programs are constantly changed. Also qualifications, which were conferred on completing of these programs, are usually changed.  Here are the most common professional qualifications.

NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) 

This qualification is suitable for practical work only. It confirms that you are able to perform labor in one business/production area or another. NVQ standards are based on the real requirements of employers and reflect their practical needs. At the present time NVQ is available in most production and commerce areas.

There are 5 levels of NVQ, ranging from Foundation Skills (NVQ 1) to Professional (NVQ 5). In order to obtain this qualification you have to show the ability to perform labor in practice as required. Studies usually take place at the workplace. There is an opportunity to gain qualification: you have to provide evidence of practical experience and ability to perform it in appropriate level. This educational program consists of separate parts, which can be studied independently. There is no time limit set of education, during which the program must be accomplished.

GNVQ (General National Vocational Qualification)

As distinct from A Level this type of qualification is suitable for those people who incline to practical but not theoretical activities. GNVQ as surely as NVQ is multilevel qualification which gives basic knowledge in chosen area, a student can use this knowledge for further education in a college or to enter a university (GNVQ Advanced) or for job connection. Advanced Level requires almost 2 years of study to be completed.

ND (National Diploma)

This qualification is similar to GNVQ Advanced qualification.

A lot of Colleges of Further Education give an opportunity to complete program of further education, to pass the exams and to get Higher National Diploma (common abbreviation is HND). You can get HND after two years of study almost in every academic or professional speciality.

Diplomas, given by one of the three main examinational committees: CGLI diploma (City & Guilds of London Institute), RSA diploma (Royal Society of Arts), BTEC diploma (Business and Technical Education Council), are highly valued and widely acknowledged in the area of vocational education. A lot of colleges are authorized to issue diplomas on behalf of one of these examinational committees. The other educational institutions issue their own diplomas and certificates or diplomas of the other examinational committees. HND diploma has maximum value for those students, who want to start practicing a profession straightaway and don’t want to continue education, leading to bachelor’s degree. Students with this professional level can work as chief mechanic/senior technician or assistant manager. From the standpoint of professional life this diploma provides an opportunity to move up the career ladder within subprofessionals or assistant managerial personnel of a company, an enterprise or institution.

HND diploma provides an opportunity to enter a university, to choose one of the programs leading to bachelor’s degree and to receive bachelorhood in two years.

In general, for being admitted to HND program, you must have GCE/ A Level or GNVQ Advanced or National Diploma.

In Great Britain expression “Further Education” refers to continuation education after obtaining GCE/A Level (or GNVQ) with programs, which doesn’t lead to degree or its equivalent. As a rule, it’s vocational education. Expression “Higher Education” refers to the programs, leading to Degree: Bachelor Degree, Master Degree or PhD Doctoral Degree.


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