View Full Version : UK universities likely to follow US model


Admin Khan
10-07-2010, 07:39 PM
UK universities likely to follow US model, says leading vice-chancellor

http://http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Users/Help/screenshots/2010/10/7/1286464743733/Keith-ONions-rector-of-Im-006.jpg
Professor Sir Keith O'Nions says the 'clarity of the stratified US system, in terms of teaching and research, has always had appeal'. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian


British universities are likely to become far more similar to their American counterparts, a leading vice-chancellor predicted yesterday, with some institutions focusing solely on teaching rather than research.

As Lord Browne prepares to unveil his blueprint for universities, Professor Sir Keith O'Nions, rector of Imperial College London, urged the government to lift the cap on tuition fees, describing this as "the most forward-looking option".

Next week Lord Browne, the former chief executive of BP, is expected to publish a review recommending that fees currently capped at 3,290 a year should be at least doubled. Shortly after the review is published the government will announce its comprehensive spending review, which will remove billions of pounds of Whitehall money from university coffers.

O'Nions, whose university is ranked 26th in the world, said the changes would mean our higher education system ends up "looking more like the US model".

The US has a highly stratified higher education system. Two-year colleges focus on teaching courses below degree level, four-year colleges offer degrees, while universities focus more on research and offer degree and postgraduate courses. Each of the three tiers is held in high esteem and acknowledged for the different role it plays within the system.

O'Nions said the "clarity of the stratified US system, in terms of teaching and research, has always had appeal" and its results "speak for themselves". All but three of the world's top 20 universities are in the US.

He said universities in the UK had, in recent years, recognised their different purposes or "differentiated themselves" and that this had been "to the benefit of higher education". He said that further differentiation in the future was likely in response to the funding climate.

This week the influential education charity the Sutton Trust warned that top universities such as Imperial would price out poorer students with a huge increase in tuition fees if ministers gave them free rein over what they could charge. One option being considered by Browne's review is to remove the cap on fees. Some courses could end up charging students as much as 20,000.

O'Nions said removing the cap was "a sustainable solution". But fees should only rise if there were generous bursaries available to help low-income students.

"We will need to position fees for UK students with real consideration as to the extent to which our ability to provide bursaries can offset those [fees]," he said. "That will be our aim."

O'Nions warned Browne and the government not to seek a short-term fix. "Universities have to pay the bills and costs of educating students, in particular in lab-intensive areas such as we have at Imperial. If we don't recover the proper costs we will revert to the years of under-investment in the 1980s and much of the 1990s. The basic infrastructure will suffer."

Last week Cambridge University's new vice-chancellor said he wanted to move towards a US-style system of lavish bursaries so that students from the poorest homes were not deterred from studying for fear of debt.

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz said Cambridge should aspire to build up its endowment so that it was as close as possible to that of the Ivy League universities.

O'Nions said he hoped that in a decade or two Imperial would be able to "move into a position where we have bursaries that cover all fees".

Universities UK (UUK), the umbrella group for vice-chancellors, warned that the government planned to strip British higher education of between 4.1bn and 6.6bn by 2015.

UUK calculated the effect on higher education of cuts of between 25% and 40% to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The Treasury has asked government departments to model scenarios for cuts on this scale. UUK said this would mean universities suffered a dramatic loss of income.

In 2008-09 UK universities received an estimated 14bn from public sources in the UK and the European Union.

UK universities likely to follow US model, says leading vice-chancellor | Education | The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/oct/08/university-funding-us-model)

Admin Khan
10-07-2010, 07:41 PM
O'Nions said the "clarity of the stratified US system, in terms of teaching and research, has always had appeal" and its results "speak for themselves". All but three of the world's top 20 universities are in the US.

All I have to say is wow.

pekhawar
10-07-2010, 07:54 PM
Pakistani schools also based on British system its horrible.

Laila
10-09-2010, 09:00 PM
The US has the best universities in the world. But the best school system is in Finland.

So how is it that our school system is in the lower rank compared to other countries, but we have the best universities? does anyone know why .....

Admin Khan
10-09-2010, 09:07 PM
The USA has better higher education. Do you have any clue how many prestigious Universities the US has? The American high school system might not be that competitive[they are working on reforms] but no nation in the world can compete with American higher education. Finland is not on the same level as American higher education. No nation is.

Laila
10-09-2010, 09:09 PM
And what do you mean by higher education? Yes, i did say that US has the best universities, but not the best educational system. So why is that?

Admin Khan
10-09-2010, 09:16 PM
And what do you mean by higher education? Yes, i did say that US has the best universities, but not the best educational system. So why is that?
By higher education I mean American colleges/Universities.

After you graduate from high school, the best place in the world to study for a college degree is the USA. The fact that 17 of the worlds top 20 universities appear to be in the USA helps us conclude that the USA has the best higher educational system in the world. They prove to be effective and it makes you think. No cramming is necessary, its all about learning and performing research. Many Finnish and British students wish to study in American Universities like MIT,Harvard,Stanford,Yale,NYU,Columbia,PolyTech,Du ke,DeVry etc.

Laila
10-09-2010, 09:27 PM
By higher education I mean American colleges/Universities.

After you graduate from high school, the best place in the world to study for a college degree is the USA. The fact that 17 of the worlds top 20 universities appear to be in the USA helps us conclude that the USA has the best higher educational system in the world.

LOL wrora, i totally agree with you. I am fully aware that we have the best univerisities. My university is in list of the top rank :)

But my question is, why do we not have a successful educational system?:elementary schools, high schools, etc. I dont mean higher education system. I am talking about such as high school. Which in high school, you are preparing yourself for the real world, the work field, and/or college.

I believe it was about 2 months ago, i read an article that the US is in desperate need to change its education reforms, since its in one of the lower ranks. This is where i am trying to get at :)

I will try to find the article for you, i dont remember where i saw it

Laila
10-09-2010, 09:31 PM
What else do yo mean by successful? The US has the best Universities in the world. College is what shapes you and there is nothing wrong with High Schools either they just need some more help and programs, nothing big at all. Universities are what develop and we have the best.

Read the article Admin Khan posted even the Brits, as arrogant as they are admit that Americans have a better educational system.

LOL I know :pullinghair:

But I would have thought best universities come from the best high school preparation or something of that sort.

Admin Khan
10-09-2010, 09:39 PM
Laila, what is wrong with high school preparation? I think the system is pretty decent but it needs some slight reforms. I guess it differs state by state but I have no complains. The state I reside in has a Regents system that works flawlessly.

Laila
10-09-2010, 09:42 PM
Two months ago, i read an article how as a nation, the US needs to change education: elementary schools, high schools, continuation schools. So i am not making this up out of the blue.


I will try to find the article.

I dont need to go to NYC just to see how that city has their high schools when it has been said that its a nation's problem :)

Laila
10-09-2010, 09:48 PM
It needs reforms so HIGH SCHOOLERS CAN COMPETE WITH OTHER HIGH SCHOOLERS. But the minute we begin Universities, we get the best education in the world and we become like Steve Jobs and his likes. Who only went to school for a few years and became a genius.

DO YOU GET IT MISS? American schools are the best in the world.


WHERE IS PALWASHA NOW? SHE WAS CRYING MONTHS AGO TELLING ME HOW HER BRITISH SCHOOLS ARE BETTER AND NOW EVEN THE TOP BRITISH UNIS ARE CRYING SAYING THEY NEED TO BE LIKE US AMERICANS. EYELINER, READ THIS ARTICLE CAREFULLY AND ASK YOUR PROFESSOR WHY YOUR UNIVERSITY CANT BE LIKE MINE.

LOL! i said that we have the best univeristies! once again, i go to one of the top 100 university in the US :pullinghair:

My overall point is, as much focus we have on our universities and how its the best, we should do that with our overall education system as a nation

Thats all i am saying :pullinghair:


Now Shlombay, can you glue my hair back on?

PFgulalai
10-09-2010, 10:13 PM
Yayyyyyyyy USA!!!!!:wub:
And UK should ALSO think about increasing the science budget.They cut 25% of the budget for the scientific research last month which is INSANE!!On the basis of my personal bias,I would have to admit that American education system is far better than the UK.The amount of funding that goes to the research is more than the total amount of EU and Asia according to statistics that I can't recall now due to my de-caffeinated state.Furthermore, there is no restriction on the type of courses you want to take and I absolutely love this. Last year I took a course in Egyptology for fun and this semester I am taking a course in International Media and Communications which is amazing because my sister does all my homeworks!!!
The USA students have to study subjects outside their intended field of study whereas in UK one has to narrow-down to one field of study from an early stage.I also like the fact that there is no age/time limit on the degree programs in USA.You can go to med-school at the age of 45 even!!
And the American social scene also plays an important role in its education system (social development in classes vs outside the class). Also, the influx of immigrants from across the globe enriches the gene pool of brains resulting in a much vigorous, intellectually eliciting ethos that serves as a great platform for the development of new ideas.

Admin Khan
10-09-2010, 11:03 PM
Qrratugai,

There has been a huge change in the last 5 years in American high schools. Are you aware that if a high school is now consistenty underperforming they end up simply closing down the high school? Where I live, high schools that were open before the American independence are now being closed. What they are doing instead is constructing smaller high schools which they think would be better and no where near as overcrowded. Reforms are on the rise but each state has its own regulations and laws they must adhere too. I can only speak on behalf of the state I reside in and I must say I am impressed with the constant changes and improvements that are being made. We arguably have the best of everything. I am sure Gulalai knows what I am talking about ;). We should with all due respect cut some slack to the education authorities and respect the fact that they are working on bringing constant changes. I wish to see Swat be on the same level of a American high schools. That would be an amazing day and one of my dreams come true. However, as of now, they are rapidly switching the tables around. The requirements to graduate are changing every few years to remain competitive. I studied in an American high school, I currently have an almost perfect GPA in college. So it depends on the student as well. There are hundreds of examples that I can give you of programs they have started to remain competitive with their counterparts in other parts of the world.

I remember an Urdu saying now "Parney walay bachay, har jaga mein parh sakhtay hain".


P.S
This is coming from someone who has experienced education in Europe, Asia and the USA.

Talal
10-09-2010, 11:08 PM
eh looks like the brits are feeling the pinch too..those corporate bast@rds

Laila
10-09-2010, 11:48 PM
While this could clearly be a debate itself (the ranking of American education compared to others), enough studies have been conducted to show America's failures at providing good (public) education to students below the college level.

Just to confirm my views on this, I looked some stuff up just now, seeing how so many of us disagree that American education is really bad below college level. And my view were confirmed: America has received among the lowest rankings in mathematics and science not just on the high school level but on the primary school level as well!

I'm more than sure it's trying to improve the system, and some amendments must have been made during the last five years (think of the "No Child Left Behind" program initiated by Bush. Why do you think it was ever created? Because it was highly needed! It still is, but I don't trust anyone's actually taking it seriously) -- but as of yet, it remains far behind countries like China, Japan, some in Europe, North/South Korea, and so on. The saddest thing is, from my experiences, it even falls behinds Swat! (Okay, you can't compare the public education of one society to the private of another, but either way.)

Interestingly enough, friends of mine who've had education in both Pakistan and the U.S. -- high school -- tell me they wish they'd never come to the U.S. during high school because they fell behind their peers in Pakistan. And I completely agree, as the same happened to me.

But, as I said, this isn't simply based on experiences; this is something that research, too, tells us. Look up something like "Academic failure in the U.S." or "American education compared to other countries" or "The Failure/Success of America's education vs other countries." Reports, some of which are written by academic scholars, also give reasons for the failure and propose some suggestions for enhancing he situation. Look into it when time permits.

I didn't realize this personally until I wrote a paper on it in 2006 and saw what the hell I had missed out on in high school.
OMG! Thank you...this is exactly what i was trying to say, but in shorter words ;)