To what extent do institutions in the UK both reflect and shape the culture of the country?
Hodgson (2006:2) defined institutions as “Institutions are the kinds of structures that matter most in the social realm: they make up the stuff of social life”, the institutions in the UK include Parliament, a legal system which enforces the rule of law, an educational system of good quality, the Anglican Church, the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange and the BBC. Culture could be described the various ways of life, it also contains the meanings and values in arts, academic sector, institution and common habits. Communications in the society between the members are formed by the characteristic of the culture (Giles and Middleton, 2008). Therefore, the institutions involve in every aspect of people’s life, human beings are parts of society, and most of important events happen are under the control of institutions. The institutions not only are the result of the influence of culture, but also shape the culture. This essay will discuss how the institutions reflect and shape the culture of the UK by the education system and BBC.
UK education system can be divided into five aspects to be analyzed: higher education, the wealth gap division, church school and influence employment and crime rate. Firstly, higher education is one of the pillar industries of the UK. The government support the university to enroll oversea students, not only can increase revenues, but also can help international students develop academic skills which bring a lot of benefits for their careers. In 2008/09, the value of UK education exports was estimated to be £14.1 billion, plus relative educational domains are attracting an amount of £9.6 million Foreign Direct Investment (Conlon et al., 2011: 9).
On the other hand, universities and the students also need cultural coexist. The method of teaching should be adopted as the appropriate way for students. International students prefer to do study and research in their own ways, but that might not be effective and efficient for studying in UK. They bring their custom and culture to this country, it is inevitable to produce multi-culture, successful cooperation shows that residents could admit each other and also show respect to each other’s culture. As Vita and Case (2003: 394) suggested the teachers also should change their teaching style and the recognition to adapt the cultural conditioning individuals from diverse backgrounds. For instance, the principle of plagiarism and critical thinking in UK universities is different from their home country. Vita and Case (2003: 394) also claimed that effective comprehensive pedagogy must unravel these differences and explain the profound diversity what we learn.
Secondly, UK education system divides the wealth gap in UK society. There are two kinds of school for children before they go to university: state school and private school. State schools began at 1870, the local governments began to have permission to support the elementary schools because of Forster’s Education Act which claims the free education for the children between 5 and 13. At that time the state school are established. Private schools are provided by wealthy individuals. Private schools are always connected with outstanding education quality and cultivated elites. Annual fees range from £12,000 - £20,000 each year in the private school. Only a few of families could afford such a large amount of tuition fees, but the advantage is that there are small classes, rich experience teachers and complete facilities. Therefore, children in private school or state school in this country stand for the status of the families. In other words, the private school is representative of high status, and the state school represents the low the status. Students meet their classmates are also from wealthy family, in that circumstance could have more opportunities to make friends from the upper class. After they...
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