UK Education System

Education in England is overseen by the United Kingdom’s Department for EducationLocal government authorities are responsible for implementing policy for public education and state-funded schools at a local level.

The education system in the UK is divided into four main parts, primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education. Children in the UK have to legally attend primary and secondary education which runs from about 5 years old until the student is 16 years old.

The state-funded education system is divided into stages based upon age: Early Years Foundation Stage (ages 3–5); primary education (ages 5 to 11), subdivided into Key Stage 1 (KS1) Infants (ages 5 to 7) and Key Stage 2 (KS2) Juniors (ages 7 to 11); secondary education (ages 11 to 16), subdivided into Key Stage 3 (KS3; ages 11 to 14) and Key Stage 4 (KS4; ages 14 to 16); Key Stage 5 is post-16 education (ages 16 to 18); and tertiary education (for ages 18+).

At age 16 the students typically take exams for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) (which is equivalent to high school graduation in Canada, the United States many other countries) or other Level 1/2 qualifications. While education is compulsory until 18, schooling is compulsory to 16, thus post-16 education can take a number of forms, and maybe academic or vocational.

Higher education often begins with a three-year bachelor’s degree. Postgraduate degrees include master’s degrees, either taught or by research, and doctoral-level research degrees that usually take at least three years.

In the United Kingdom, higher education is offered by universities and non-university institutions (colleges, institutes, schools and academies) and provide both research-oriented and higher professional education. Universities provide degree programmes that culminate to a degree (bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree) and non-degree programmes that lead to a vocational qualification such as a certificate or diploma. 

British higher education is highly valued around the globe for its quality and rigorous academic standards. The prestige of British higher education emanates from the alumni of its world-renowned institutions. Prominent people that have reached the apex in their respective fields have been products of British higher education. Britain is home to some of the world’s most prominent institutions of higher learning and ranked among the top universities in the world. Institutions such as the University of Cambridge, the University of OxfordImperial College, London, and UCL consistently rank among the world’s top ten universities.

Source: Wikipedia

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