Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/01/03

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Subject: [Leica] British Educational System
From: Simon Stevens <>
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2000 11:43:45 -0500

Stuart is basically quite correct in this. With due respect to the
original poster, you can't make simple comparisons (especially not silly
loaded ones like "country A" is better than "country B") between such
vastly different education systems. I have some experience of this,
having attended the British system through the secondary level (A
Levels) and higher education in the US. The UK system is vastly more
selective, or to put it a different way, vastly more willing to turn its
back on students who maybe don't demonstrate the highest ability on a
given exam day. That skews the result for the few, which is fine if you
are one of them,  but it  leaves the many out in the cold.

In contrast the US system serves a broader cross section and gives lots
of second chances. I for one am benefiting from this having earned an
associates degree (a sub-undergraduate degree, for non-US readers) in
order to transfer into a good university to complete the degree. That
was an opportunity that I doubt would have been open to me if I was
still in the UK, given my so-so A level results.

Incidentally, I don't agree with Stuart's point about religious
instruction. Theology is not an uncommon requirement in US universities,
both public and private. I had to take one to get my associates from the
(state-run) community college, and my present school requires two
theology courses to graduate, regardless of major.

Yours multinationally, and grossly off-topic-ly,

Simon Stevens
The Walsh School of Foreign Service
Class of 2001
Georgetown University
Washington DC.

>Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 22:16:00 -0500
>From: "Stuart Phillips" <>
>Subject: [Leica] British Educational System

>While it is true that there are differences in the constitutional
>of each part of the United Kingdom, to say that there is no British
>educational system is misleading.  Education in England, Scotland,
Wales and
>Northern Ireland is practically identical (especially since the
>years when Scotland lost much of its local government). At all levels,
>especially the tertiary, it is very different from the US system:

>1. A much smaller percentage of the population go to university in the
>2. British Universities do not use the GPA system, but are more exam
>3. British schools teach religion, in the past Church of England, more
>recently a broader range.

>These are just a few examples where you can talk about a "British"
>Last but not least, life, even politics, is rarely talked about in
>constitutional terms in Britain, unlike the US.

>Stuart Phillips