- What are you going to do after
finishing secondary school?
- After finishing secondary school I
shall go on to further education. I shall become an applicant for entry. And as
all applicants for entry I shall take competitive examinations. The entrance
examinations I am reading for are held in July. I hope to pass them
- What are your friends going to do
after finishing secondary school?
- Alice wants to become a
professional pianist. But first, she is going to spend a year learning French.
Peter's dream is to train as a pilot.
- What are your career prospects?
- Today a school-leaver can choose
any career he or she likes. A school-leaver can become a journalist, a dentist,
a surgeon, a designer, an economist, a manager and the like. I feel that things
that will happen in my life will be wonderful. I think my classmates have the
same feeling too. I hope that I'll be what I want to be.
- Where do you want to study?
- I want to study at Moscow State
University named after Michael Lomonosov.
- What do you know about this
- Moscow State University is the
largest university of Russia. It was founded in 1755. At that time there were
only three faculties there.
- Who initiated the foundation of
- The foundation of Moscow
University was inspired by the radical philosophical and political views of
Michael Lomonosov. The University was established by the order of Elizabeth,
the Russian Empress. In the late 18th century Moscow University became the
centre of advanced Russian science and social thought.
- What makes Moscow State University
- Moscow State University is known
world-wide for its academic excellence. Today it is one of the best
universities in the world. Here students can learn skills which fit them for a
better career. Moscow State University reputation stays with its graduates -
and their achievements in turn glorify it.
- What faculty are you going to
- At first I wanted to become a
biologist and study at the Biology Faculty. Until recently I had an idea that
my interests lie in biology. I am fond of the recent discoveries in biology,
especially in the field of cloning. The achievements of the past decades are
startling. They have surpassed the most challenging dreams of the fantastic
writers. But recently I have changed my mind. I want to be a historian.
- Is it your own choice?
- Of course, this is my own choice.
But I want to say that it is not easy or simple to decide what career to
choose. As is known the success or failure of adult life depends upon the
choice made early in life. It should be said that I've discussed this problem
with my parents and teachers. We also have spoken a lot with my friends about
our career prospects.
- Why have you chosen history as
your future speciality?
- I have chosen History as my future
profession because I like it. Historians have tried to understand past human
lives and societies. All serious historians have been engaged in collecting and
recording historical facts. History gives not only an immense base of
historical facts but it helps to understand the global historical processes. It
gives historians an opportunity to interpret the processes of the past, explain
the processes of the present and foresee the processes of the future.
Historians respect facts, they try to avoid errors, and create their convincing
- What do you know about the system
of higher education in Russia?
- The Russian educational policy is
a combination of economic and social objectives. In the terms of the ration of
students to the total population Russia ranks among the top ten countries in
the world. There are a lot universities and colleges in Russia. They teach
almost in all subject areas: Arts, Sciences, Law, Engineering, etc. The staff
are knowledgeable in their subjects. Higher educational institutions are headed
by Rectors. Vice-rectors are in charge of the academic and scientific work. The
Departments are headed by the Deans. There are subdivisions within Departments.
Higher educational institutions train undergraduates and postgraduate students
in one specialization. Usually after completing five years of study students
receive a university degree. For five years at the end of each year students
have oral examinations. Moreover, they write a graduate paper for a university
degree. They write dissertations for advanced degrees. After three years of
post-graduate work and the writing of the dissertation it is possible to obtain
a candidate degree.
- Is higher education compulsory in
- Higher education is not compulsory
in Russia. School is compulsory and free for all. If applicants for entry pass
their entrance exams successfully they are admitted to the University free of
charge, otherwise they must pay a tuition fee. Institutions of higher education
include: technical training colleges, teachers training colleges, universities
which offer bachelor's and master's degrees programmes.
- What can you say about school
education in Russia?
- Russian children start school at
the age of six. But most of them have learnt letters in kindergarten which is
now part of primary school. Primary and secondary schools consist of eleven
years of classes which meet for about nine months a year, five days a week and
five hours a day. Every school has a 'core curriculum' of Russian, mathematics,
science and PT. A variety of subjects are taught at lyceums and gymnasiums. In
Russia there is a nine-year compulsory education, but to enter a university one
has to study two years more. All Russian schools until recently have been
- When do school children have
- Russian pupils have four holidays
a year. The academic year is split into four terms. Autumn vacation and spring
vacation are very short. They last only a week each. Winter vacation lasts two
weeks. Summer vacation is the longest one. It lasts from two to three months.
- Do Russian students have holidays?
- Students have holidays twice a
year. They take a fortnight rest after winter exams, and they are holidaying
for four weeks after summer exams.
- What problems does Russian
educational system face?
- The systems of secondary and
higher education in Russia are going through a transitional period. As for
secondary education, the idea of replacing eleven years of classes by twelve
years of classes is being discussed now. I doubt that it will be welcomed by
school children. They prefer to finish school as early as possible. Some of
them finish school at the age of fifteen and enter different universities. Too
young students is one of the recent problems of Russian universities. Other
problems concern the reforms within universities. The main objectives of higher
education reform are: decentralization of the higher education system,
development of the autonomy of higher educational institutions, expansion of
academic freedoms of faculties and students, development of new financial
- What do you know about British
- There are 46 universities in
Britain. But not all universities are equal. They differ from one another in
history, tradition, academic organization. Oxford and Cambridge are the oldest
world-known universities. The University of London is one of the best UK's
- What does a British university
usually consist of?
- A British university usually
consists of colleges. The departments of the colleges are organized into
- Does University teaching in the UK
differ from that in other countries?
- Yes, it does. University teaching
in the UK differs greatly at both under-graduate and postgraduate levels from
that in many other countries.
- What does an undergraduate
programme consist of?
- An undergraduate programme
consists of a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory classes
which in total account for about 15 hours per week. Following a particular
programme students take series of lecture courses which may last one academic
term or the whole year. Associated with each lecture course are seminars,
tutorials, laboratory classes which illustrate the topics presented in the
lectures. Lectures are given to large groups of students (from 20 to 200).
Seminars and tutorials are much smaller than lecture classes and in some
departments can be on a one-to-one basis - one member of staff and one student.
- Do students in Britain prepare
work in advance?
- Yes, as far as I know, students in
Britain prepare work in advance for seminars and tutorials. And this can take
the form of researching a topic for discussion by writing essays or by solving
- How long do seminars and tutorials
- Lectures, seminars and tutorials
are all one hour in length, laboratory classes last two or three hours.
- Do students in Britain have
- In Britain much emphasis is put on
the private study nature of a degree. Each student has a tutor whom he can
consult on any matter whether academic or personal. The teaching encourages
students to learn in the most effective way.
- What terms is the academic year
- The academic year is split into
three terms. Formal teaching takes place in the first two terms which last for
twenty four weeks in total. The third term is reserved for classes and
examinations and lasts for six weeks.
- How long must a student study to
take a UK degree!
- University degree courses extend
from three to four years. After three years of study a university graduate will
leave with the Degree of Bachelor of Arts or Science. He can continue to take
his Master's Degree and then the Doctor's Degree.
- Do many British go on to higher
- Several important social
developments that occurred in the decades after World War II renewed the vigour
of the young to study at the universities. The rising standard of education
became especially evident, as the number of pupils going on to higher education
increased dramatically after World War II and was matched by a major expansion
in the number of universities and other institutions of higher education.
- Is education important for
- Americans place a high value on
education. Universal access to quality education has been one of the nation's
- When did Americans start to place
emphasis upon education?
- From the first years of their
colonial life Americans placed great emphasis upon education. In the
seventeenth century the colonies made elementary schooling compulsory. Grammar
schools and academies flourished. America's first college, Harvard was founded
in 1636. Harvard with a library of five thousand volumes, and good scientific
apparatus, and the classics lagged little behind the best European universities
in the 18th century. A number of colleges were founded in the middle and lower
colonies -which trained Thomas Jefferson and many other public figures. The
College of Philadelphia was set up by Benjamin Franklin in 1755. In 1865
education was becoming available to all.
- What is a peculiar feature of
- The peculiar feature of American
education is the absence of national administration. Each of the 50 states
controls and directs its own schools. Most states require that children attend
schools from the time they reach six or seven years old until they are sixteen
- Is there any uniform school
organization or curriculum throughout the nation?
- There is no uniform school
organization or curriculum throughout the nation. But certain common features
- What are they?
- Pre-school education is part of.
the elementary schools. Elementary and secondary schools consist of twelve
years of classes. Almost every elementary school curriculum includes English,
mathematics, science, social studies, music, art and physical education. Many
schools include classes teaching basic computer skills.
- What do Americans do after
finishing secondary school?
- As far as I know, they enter
colleges or universities. There are a lot of technical training schools,
community colleges; colleges offering four-year bachelor degree programmes; and
universities which contain one or more colleges and graduate schools offering
master's or doctoral degree programmes in the USA.
- What factors determine the college
or university prestige?
- The factors determining an
institution's prestige are the quality of the teaching faculty; quality of
research facilities; the number and competence of applicants for admission.
- What do you know about University
education in the USA?
- There is no National University in
the USA. Each state controls and supports at least one University. The National
Government gives no direct financial aid to them.
- Do Americans go to the University
free of charge?
- The students do not go to the
University free of charge. Everyone must pay a tuition fee. The amount varies
from state to state. Students' total expenses throughout the year are very
high. And though each University offers a number of scholarships many students
have to work to pay their expenses.
- Do most of the US Universities
have a campus?
- Most of the US Universities have a
central campus. Colleges of Law, Business, Medicine, Engineering, Music,
Journalism can be found on one campus.
- Do the US students take the same
- No, they do not. The students do
not take the same courses. They attend courses at various colleges. During the
first two years they follow a basic programme. It means that every student must
select at least one course from each of the basic fields of study: English,
science, modern languages, history or physical education. After the first two
years every student majors in one subject and minors in another. A student can
major in history and minor in sociality. In addition to these major and minor
courses he can select other subjects according to his professional interest.
- When do the US students receive
- After completing four years of
study the students receive a Bachelor's Degree (either BA or B.Sc.). With an
additional year of study one may get a Master's Degree and after two or three
years of graduate work and writing of the dissertation it is possible to obtain
a Doctoral degree.
- When do the US students take their
- Over four years at the end of each
year students have a final written examination. They take oral exams and write
a dissertation only for advanced degrees.
- Is learning important for society?
- Certainly. The idea that a
well-schooled society is a prosperous and stable society, and therefore that
educated people is a desirable goal for a nation, dates back to the year 2500
BC. In his "Great Learning" Confucius wrote: "When knowledge is
extended, the will becomes sincere. When the will is sincere, the mind is
correct. When the mind is correct, the self is cultivated. When the self is
cultivated the clan is harmonized. When the clan is harmonized the country is
well governed. When the country is well governed there will be peace throughout
the land." Thus education is the pledge of peace. Peace is important for
people to be happy.
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