British Universities: A Scottish Twist for EU Lycéens
For many London-resident parents, the backdrop of a Scottish university is a rugged landscape with dark winter days—one that places their children a very long way from London. However, three key features of Scottish universities are worth noting and may also serve to change some preconceived notions.
The first important feature of a Scottish higher education provider is that a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree typically takes four years to completion as opposed to three years for its English counterpart.
This is generally seen as a result of two divergent entry points: Scottish students enter university with Advanced Highers at 17, as opposed to English students who sit A-level exams and enter university at 18.
The four-year Scottish university gives rise to a second difference with the three-year English—namely, the Scottish requirement to take three subjects in the first two years of study called sub-honours, and specialisation in a single course only in the latter two years called honours.
The Scottish two-stage academic focus favours the student who may not be sure of his or her course of study on entering higher education, and differs from the traditional English course where a student specialises in a single honours (or a less common joint honours for a maximum of two subjects) from the start.
A third noteworthy feature of Scottish higher education is tuition, particularly for non-UK EU applicants.
Whereas all English students (rUK or Rest of the UK outside of Scotland) pay the published price somewhere in the region of £9,000—under European law, non-English EU students are entitled to pay the standard Scottish tuition of £1,820. Even with four years of university as opposed to three, the final cost of a Scottish university is an advantage over the English, especially when considering the additional accommodation and living expenses of more expensive cities like London.
Scottish education is founded on a framework of five lifelong learning skills: Literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing, employability, numeracy, enterprise and citizenship, and thinking skills.
Such goals of further education that feed a university vision that prioritises breadth, coupled with lower tuition may well explain the increase of English domiciled residents applying to Scottish universities in 2013 to 29,000—a 14% increase as compared to the previous year (www.universities-scotland.ac.uk/2014).
Findings from the latest (2014) edition of What Do Graduates Do? show that graduate unemployment fell from 8.5% to 7.3% year-on-year, marking the biggest drop in early graduate unemployment in 15 years.
An improved economic climate and the availability of Scottish universities with breadth and tuition advantages create welcome opportunities for all graduates but especially non-British EU Lycéens who may be granted similar tuition rights as local Scottish students.
Haru Yamada, 26 janvier 2015
Rencontre avec Claire pseudo Lilli Bé, illustratrice
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