Comparison and Contrast of the Education Systems in the United Kingdom and the United States of America

Topics: High school, Education, College Pages: 9 (2862 words) Published: November 20, 2011
Comparison and contrast of the education systems in the United Kingdom and the United States of America

Table of Contents

Page No.


Section 1. Similarities and differences between the UK and the USA regarding types of schools2

Section 2. Similarities and differences between the UK and the USA regarding university entrance procedure5




Education is widely accepted to be an essential part of people's lives. It is generally agreed that education helps people to develop their own personalities, by acquiring new knowledge, using different sources. An American philosopher John Dewey (n.d) claimed: “Education is a social process. Education is growth. Education is, not a preparation for life; education is life itself”. It must therefore be recognised that education is a long process of learning, which starts from one’s birth. Every day a person gets to learn more and more new information. Society is considered to be an area of learning. It also plays a very important role in people’s education. A person receives knowledge from his surroundings and shares it with other people. Hence, it is very important to be educated in society. There is no doubt that education is the way to success, the more you study, the more chances you have to succeed in life.

Nowadays, every government tries to develop its educational system in the country. Therefore, a great deal of special educational facilities are open all over the world, such as kindergartens, schools, colleges. The government of any country strives to have an educated population, because it influences the development of the society and it promotes economic growth, as there will be many well qualified workers. Education is supposed to create competition at places of employment. That is why, more and more people try to get a higher education, subsequently to get good, well paid jobs. According to statistics, over the last two decades the number of people, who have university degrees, has increased from 11,5% (1997) to 19.3% (The New Zealand advisor on economic Treasury, 2006). Such a tendency is growing every year in all countries.

Each country has its own value of education. There are very few countries, which are popular for their strong educational bases. Let us compare and contrast two countries with a good reputation for their education. As an example, the USA and the UK will be considered in this assignment. It is generally agreed that the United States of America and the United Kingdom have proved that their systems of education are the most excellent all over the world, as world top five universities are situated in these two counties. Although there are a great amount of features of education, which might be discussed, two of them will be accurately examined. The first is high school system in both of these countries, and the second one is university entrance procedure.

Section 1. Similarities and differences between the USA and the UK regarding types of school.

High (secondary) school is the last stage of school education. It is generally agreed that high school is the most difficult and demanding phase of the whole school program. Since the most important exams are taken during the last years, that is why these years are the most stressful for students. The graduation of high school is a very important aspect for a student's future studies at university.

1.1 Differences
It is widely accepted that British high school system differs from the American one in many aspects. First of all, these two countries are dissimilar in their high school structures. Students in the United Kingdom start their secondary school education at the age of 11-12 years. There are three stages of secondary school: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. Key stage 3 includes year 7 to year 9, while Key Study 4, which is known also as GCSE, year 10 to year 11 and the last one Key...
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