Study Abroad England.
education is provided by three main types of institutions: universities,
colleges and institutions of higher education and art and music colleges.
All universities are autonomous institutions, particularly in matters relating
to courses. They are empowered by a Royal Charter or an Act of Parliament.
As a result of the Further and Higher Education Act of 1992, the binary
line separating universities and polytechnics was abolished and polytechnics
were given university status (i.e., the right to award their own degrees)
and took university titles. The Council for National Academic Awards was
abolished, leaving most institutions to confer their own degrees. Higher
Education Funding Councils were created for England, Scotland and Wales,
replacing the Universities Funding Council and the Polytechnics and Colleges
Funding Council. Most universities are divided into faculties which may
be subdivided into departments. Universities UK examines matters of concern
to all universities. Many colleges and institutions of higher education
are the result of mergers of teacher training colleges and other colleges.
The Department for Education and Skills is responsible for all universities.
Students have to pay a maximum fee of £1,075 a year (2002-2003). Non-university
higher education institutions also provide degree courses, various non-degree
courses and postgraduate qualifications. Some may offer Higher Degrees and
other qualifications offered by most non-university higher education institutions
are validated by external bodies such as a local university or the Open
University. An institution can also apply for the authority to award its
own degrees but it must be able to demonstrate a good record of running
degree courses validated by other universities. Institutions can apply for
university status but must satisfy a number of criteria, including the power
to award its own first and higher degrees. Some higher education is also
provided in further education institutions. This provision is funded by
the Higher Education Funding Councils and the Department of Education Northern
Ireland. The Further and Higher Education Act 1992 allows for the transfer
of further education institutions to the higher education sector, if 'the
full-time enrolment number of the institution concerned…for courses of higher
education exceeds 55% of its total full-time equivalent enrolment number'.
A new national body, the Institute of Learning and Teaching, is being established
in 1999 to set up an accreditation scheme for higher education teachers
and to encourage innovation in teaching and learning.