Education in the UK

The education system in the UK is one of the most comprehensive ever. Being the world’s leading super power for a very long period of time, before the US took over, UK’s education pattern is a superior one and is followed by many countries across the world including the Indian Subcontinents.Different StagesThe different stages of education in the UK is categorized into primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education. Children are supposed to study their primary education and secondary education which is about 5 years to 16 years.This system has 4 key stages. Stage one education is generally between 5-7 years, stage two between 7-11 years, stage three between 11-14 years and stage four between 14 to 16 years. Stage one and two are taken care by the primary school while three and four are taken care by secondary schools.Each student is evaluated on the basis of their performance by the end of these stages. The most important evaluation is at the time, a student completes his secondary schooling. After this stage, at the age of 16, a student is allowed to choose further education or start his job.After completion of GCSE’s, students of UK have few options to choose from where students complete their A-levels. A student of UK planning to take up higher education in a college or university must complete further education before they proceed to their A levels, BTEC’s, GNVQ’s and other qualifications (of which many are called as Vocational courses).With 100 universities offering a wide range of degree programs for UK and abroad students, the country offers great opportunities both for and after education. Most of the courses in the UK run as long as three years while these days the sandwich course that runs as long as four years are gaining in popularity. Professional degrees such as medicine, law and veterinary takes as much as five years.Entry RequirementsEach level or stage of education has different entry requirements that is to be fulfilled by a student in order to be eligible. The first and foremost requirement, especially in the case of a foreign student is the English language. Undertaking TOEFL, IELTS and UCLES tests and passing out in any one of them would be good enough.Entrance for the GSCE, that you take up, depends on the school that you choose as you generally have to register with these schools. The A-level entry requirement too depends upon the school that you choose as independent private schools have different norms. Vocational courses entry requirements are simply being strong in your English proficiency. Here again some schools might have special requirements.The University entry requirement depends on the courses that you undertake. Most degree programs requires a pass in the A-levels with some universities requiring a certain grade for eligibility. An international student may enter a university without passing the A-level or attaining the UK system of education but should have certain level of credential points as required by the course or university.The UCAS (University and Colleges Admission Services) looks after all the application services for universities and will detail on the eligibility criteria, date of openings, fee structures, duration and other details on each of the courses offered.The education system in Scotland is different and does not necessarily have all the information given above.”Upon the education of the people of this country, the fate of this country depends – Benjamin Disraeli”. Taking up education in a glorious nation like the UK is as great as trying to visit the Moon for a picnic.

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5 Ways to Fund Your Child’s College Education

Did you know that the cost of a 4 year degree program is around $20,000 dollars per year.The cost of a college education is probably the most expensive item in bringing up children today. When you take into account tuition fees, exam fees, living expenses, accommodation, books and computers it’s not surprising that the average cost of college education is over $20,000 per year and that’s before the social side of college life.Today we live in a world where only the best educated and most prepared can succeed. The Job market is probably the most crucial and competitive element of our society and having a college education and degree goes a long way towards succeeding in it.When our children are ready to enter the world of work it will be even more difficult and a college education will be essential to succeed. Here are 5 ways to fund your child’s college education.1. The usual method of parental funding of college education is out of current income, that is out of your weekly or monthly salary.Whilst this is the most common method of funding college education it is one that only the very rich or highly paid can afford to do with ease. Even if there are 2 salaries most families find it difficult and will require sacrifices, even more so if you have more than 1 child. At best most parents can only afford to contribute part of the costs of college education out of current income. Additional sources of income will be required.2. Your child can work his or her way through college.Many students have to work whilst studying but many find the experience of juggling a job, lectures and a social life very difficult. Often the result is that students drop out of college education, fail their exams or don’t do as well as they could.3. Your child may have the opportunity to take out student loans to fund their college education.Today the vast majority of students are forced to take out student loans to fund all or part of their college education. Usually to subsidize parental contributions, student loans are the most common way of students funding their own college education. Many students however, leave college with substantial debt and even with interest rates at historically low levels today’s students can expect to have to pay substantial monthly repayments for many years.4. Your child may obtain a scholarship or be entitled to grants from either federal or local funds towards the cost of their college education.There are many sources of student scholarships or grants and with a bit of research most students today can find some grant funding. These sources however cannot be guaranteed for the future. Whilst scholarships and grants do not have to be repaid and as such are preferable to loans they are not guaranteed or predictable and therefore relying on them for our children is a risk.5. Take out an education savings plan to fund college education.An education savings plan is a regular saving plan into which you and your children can contribute. The plans are administered by colleges or state authorities and can be taken out for any child including a newborn babies. Because of the effects of long term compound interest the earlier you take out your plan the easier it will be and the lower your contributions will be. Because the funds are built up prior to going to college students do not have to rely on scholarships, grants or loans and they can concentrate on their studies.There are a number of options to fund your child’s college education but the only way funds can be guaranteed is by you taking out an education savings plan. With the education savings plan you decide what you can invest and your child can also contribute to his or her college education. With luck scholarships and grants will still be available as will loans to top up if necessary. If your child does not go to college the fund can be cashed in.Taking out an education savings plan early will give your child the real opportunity of a college education and the best prospects for a job when they leave college.