The UK – education in four different countries!
Isn’t it strange that, for the Olympic Games, the UK seems to be one country, but for football, it’s four? Within the UK, the four parts – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – are regarded as ‘countries’ or as ‘home nations’. Much to the annoyance of people from the smaller countries, many people outside the UK call all of us ‘English’ and think we all come from England! But we are in fact from… (nine words follow…) ‘the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’.
There are lots of differences between the four countries and the way they’re governed. And there are also differences in the educational systems, particularly between that of Scotland and the rest. KE programmes which include St. Andrews introduce students to the Scottish university system. The main points about the Scottish system are:
- Most degree courses run for four years
- The first year or two tend to be quite general
- At present, there are no fees to study at a Scottish university if you are from Scotland or another EU country (but students from the rest of the UK do have to pay!)
And did you know that, for more than two hundred years, Scotland had four universities whereas England only had two?