The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Department for Employment and Learning
The Department for Employment and Learning, was a devolved Northern Ireland government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. The minister with overall responsibility for the department was the Minister for Employment and Learning; the department was known as the Department of Higher and Further Education and Employment, between 1999 and 2001. Following the Fresh Start Agreement, DEL was dissolved and its functions transferred to the Department for the Economy and Department for Communities, in order to reduce the size of the Northern Ireland Executive. DEL's overall aim was to "promote learning and skills, to prepare people for work and to support the economy"; the department's network of'job centres' and'jobs and benefits offices' advertised job opportunities for Northern Ireland residents. It was responsible for policy in the following areas: further education higher education skills and training employment rights and responsibilitiesThe Department of Education was responsible for all other levels of education in Northern Ireland.
DEL's main counterparts in the United Kingdom Government were: the Department for Business and Skills. In the Irish Government, its main counterparts were: the Department of Skills. Following a referendum on the Belfast Agreement on 23 May 1998 and the granting of royal assent to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 on 19 November 1998, a Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive were established by the United Kingdom Government under Prime Minister Tony Blair; the process was known as devolution and was set up to return devolved legislative powers to Northern Ireland. DEL is one of five new devolved Northern Ireland departments created in December 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and The Departments Order 1999; the department was named the Department of Higher and Further Education and Employment until 20 July 2001 but was changed to its current title as the initials DHEFETE were pronounced as "Defeat". A devolved minister first took office on 2 December 1999. Devolution was suspended for four periods, during which the department came under the responsibility of direct rule ministers from the Northern Ireland Office: between 12 February 2000 and 30 May 2000.
Since 8 May 2007, devolution has operated without interruption. The Independent Review of Economic Policy, which reported in September 2009, recommended a single economic policy department within the Northern Ireland Executive, which would result in the abolition of DEL. On 11 January 2012, the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness announced their intention to abolish the department; the department's functions would be "divided principally" between the Department of Education and the Department of Enterprise and Investment "in an agreed manner". The proposal was resisted by the Alliance Party, which viewed it as "power grab" by the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin, but was approved on 18 January 2012. No timescale for the abolition was outlined and the department remained in operation, as of February 2015. During the periods of suspension, the following ministers of the Northern Ireland Office were responsible for the department: Adam Ingram Jane Kennedy Barry Gardiner Angela Smith Maria Eagle Committee for Employment and Learning List of government ministers in Northern Ireland DEL "The Departments Order 1999".
"Department for Employment and Learning Act 2001"
Universities in the United Kingdom
Universities in the United Kingdom have been instituted by Royal Charter, Papal Bull, Act of Parliament, or an instrument of government under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 or the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. Degree awarding powers and university title are protected by law, although the precise arrangements for gaining these vary between the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. Institutions that hold degree awarding powers are termed recognised bodies, this list includes all universities, university colleges and colleges of the University of London, some higher education colleges, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Degree courses may be provided at listed bodies, leading to degrees validated by a recognised body. Undergraduate applications to all UK universities are managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. While legally,'university' refers to an institution, granted the right to use the title, in common usage it now includes colleges of the University of London, including in official documents such as the Dearing Report.
The representative bodies for higher education providers in the United Kingdom are Universities UK and GuildHE. Universities in Britain date back to the dawn of mediaeval studium generale, with Oxford and Cambridge taking their place among the world's oldest universities. No other universities were founded in England during this period. Medical schools in London, though not universities in their own right, were among the first to provide medical teachings in England. In Scotland, St Andrew's, Glasgow and King's College, Aberdeen were founded by Papal Bull. Post-Reformation, these were joined by Edinburgh, Marischal College and the short-lived Fraserburgh University. In England, Henry VIII's plan to found a university in Durham came to nothing and a attempt to found a university at Durham during the Commonwealth was opposed by Oxford and Cambridge. Gresham College was, established in London in the late 16th century, despite concerns expressed by Cambridge. In Ireland, Trinity College Dublin was founded as "the mother of a University" by a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth.
The 18th century saw the establishment of medical schools at Edinburgh and Glasgow universities and at hospitals in London. A number of dissenting academies were established, but the next attempt to found a university did not come until the Andersonian Institute was established in Glasgow in 1798. The French Revolution and the ensuing Napoleonic wars led to over 40% of universities in Europe closing. From 153 universities in 1789, numbers fell to only 83 in 1815; the next quarter century saw a rebound, with 15 new universities founded, bringing numbers back to 98 by 1840. In England, the late 18th and early 19th centuries saw the arrival of Catholic seminaries driven from the continent by the French Revolution and the establishment of the St Bees Theological College to train Anglican priests in 1816; the first Anglican college to move beyond specialist training to provide a more general university education in Arts was in Wales: St David's College, Lampeter was founded in 1822, opened in 1827, gained a royal charter in 1828.
By the higher education revolution was well under way. Between 1824 and 1834 ten medical schools were established in provincial cities; this would, have required government support. The opinion of Robert Peel – cabinet minister and MP for Oxford University – was sought, he advised against proceeding; this period saw the establishment of Mechanics Institutes in a number of cities. The first of these, established in Edinburgh in 1821, would become Heriot-Watt University, while the London Mechanics Institute, established in 1823, developed into Birkbeck, University of London. Many others would become polytechnics and in 1992, universities; the Polytechnic Institution opened at 309 Regent Street, London, in August 1838, to provide "practical knowledge of the various arts and branches of science connected with manufacturers, mining operations and rural economy". Soon after news of the York scheme broke, Thomas Campbell wrote to The Times proposing a university be founded in London; this would become UCL, founded in 1826 as a joint stock company under the name of London University.
Due to its lack of theology teaching, its willingness to grant degrees to non-Anglicans, its unauthorised assumption of the title of "university", this inspired calls in 1827 for the foundation of a'true and genuine "London University"' by royal charter, to be known as "The College of King George IV in London". This became King's College London, granted a royal charter in 1829 – but as a college rather than a university. UCL was revolutionary not just in admitting non-Anglicans. Neither of the Colleges was residential – a break from the two ancient English un
Skills Funding Agency
The Skills Funding Agency was one of two successor organisations that emerged from the closure in 2010 of the Learning and Skills Council. The agency was in turn replaced by the Education and Skills Funding Agency in 2017; the restructuring of the English skills system was announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown shortly after he took office in 2007. The office of the Chief Executive of Skills Funding was established in law by the Apprenticeships, Skills and Learning Act 2009; the office was a corporation sole, employees were appointed by the Chief Executive as Crown servants, collectively referred to as the Skills Funding Agency. The Chief Executive was appointed by the Secretary of State for Business and Skills. Further legislation was passed in 2012, with the Agency becoming an Executive Agency of the Department for Business and Skills; the agency funded skills training for further education in England. Its scope included apprenticeships and adult education; the agency supported over 1,000 colleges, private training organisations, employers with more than £4 billion of funding each year.
The SFA's mission was to ensure that people and businesses could access the skills training they needed to succeed in playing their part in society and in growing England’s economy. This was done in the context of policy set by government and informed by the needs of businesses and regions, sector and industry bodies; the SFA employed around 925 staff at its head office in offices around England. It ran the National Careers Service. In January 2012, Chief Executive Geoff Russell announced his resignation, on 30 May 2012, it was announced by Skills Minister, John Hayes that Kim Thorneywork had been appointed as interim Chief Executive. In November 2014, Peter Lauener was appointed as Chief Executive. Following machinery of Government changes, the Skills Funding Agency became an executive agency of the Department for Education in 2016; the Skills Funding Agency was abolished on 31 March 2017. Its former functions, together with those of the former Education Funding Agency, were transferred to the Education and Skills Funding Agency, created on 1 April 2017.
Higher Education Funding Council for England Office for Students Skills Funding Agency
Scottish Funding Council
The Scottish Funding Council, referred to more formally as the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council, is the non-departmental public body charged with funding Scotland's further and higher education institutions, including its 25 colleges and 19 universities. The council was established by the Further and Higher Education Act 2005, it supersedes the two separate funding councils, the Scottish Further Education Funding Council and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, which were established by the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. On its formation, the SFC acquired all assets of those councils; the SFEFC and SHEFC were defined by the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The Act made further education institutions independent from local authorities, a side effect of, the shifting of funding responsibility from those authorities to the Scottish Office of HM Government; this Act formed a "higher education sector" in Scotland, transferring various powers and duties related to HE institutions to the funding councils.
The 1992 Act, paralleled by an Act applying only to England and Wales, was not brought into force immediately. Instead, the SHEFC was established by commencement order on 1 June 1992, the SFEFC was established by a further commencement order on 1 January 1999; as part of Scottish devolution under the Scotland Act 1998, powers and responsibilities related to the councils and education institutions were, in June 1999, transferred from the Scottish Office to the then-Scottish Executive. In April 2004, the Scottish Executive published a consultation paper requesting comment on a possible merger of the SFEFC and SHEFC; the paper cited concerns about the overlapping remits of the two councils – some FE institutions provided HE courses, but funding was allocated based on institution type and not on courses taught – and made the case that a single council would be able to fund collaboration between institutions to a greater degree than two separate councils. On 20 April 2005, the Scottish Parliament passed the Further and Higher Education 2005 Act.
The Act received royal assent on 1 June 2005. This Act established the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council, set out its role and functions, made provision for the dissolution of the SFEFC and SHEFC; the SFC's establishment was brought into force on 3 October 2005, the SFEFC and SHEFC were dissolved on 8 September 2005. The SFC was established as a non-departmental public body, meaning it operates with partial autonomy from the Scottish Ministers and may act in an advisory role; the council receives a letter of guidance from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning each year. These letters detail the priorities and recommendations of the Scottish Ministers with regard to Scottish colleges and universities. Under schedule 1 of the 2005 Act, the SFC was transferred all staff and liabilities of the SFEFC and SHEFC merging the two councils; this schedule explicitly did not grant the SFC status as a Crown servant or agency, but some resources published by the SFC are still covered by Crown copyright and the Open Government Licence.
Schedule 2 of the Act identified "fundable bodies" – further and higher education bodies that are eligible for funding from the SFC – by listing those bodies covered separately by the SFEFC and SHEFC. Since the establishment of the SFC, this schedule has been amended numerous times to reflect the current state of eligibility for SFC funding; the Scottish Parliament passed, on 26 June 2013, the Post-16 Education Act 2013. The Act makes various provisions regarding the governance and review of FE and HE institutions; the Act defines regional strategic bodies, makes them fundable by the SFC. Before the introduction of this Act, the SFC had only funded HE institutions. A regional strategic body is a body corporate created under the Act to ensure that the colleges in its assigned region provide high-quality education and to make and oversee the carrying out of plans for its colleges to deliver further and higher education; the Act allows such bodies to provide grants, loans, or other payments to its colleges to fund the provision of further or higher education, to fund research by those colleges, to fund the provision of related facilities and services by those colleges.
Effective 1 April 2014, the Office for National Statistics reclassified Scotland's further education colleges to the public sector. The effects of this change were that funds held by the college would now count as the Scottish Government's funds, that college spending from its reserves would count towards annual budget limits, it meant that a college would only be permitted to maintain as much working capital as necessary for the college's operation. In addition to its main function of funding Scotland's HE and FE institutions, the SFC has other roles and carries out other tasks related to Scotland's education sectors. In Scotland and universities are registered charities. However, unlike its English counterpart HEFCE, the SFC does not act as the charities regulator for colleges and universities. Instead, this role is retained by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. OSCR and the SFC operate under a memorandum of understanding; the SFC provides advice to the Scottish Ministers relating to Scotland's FE sectors.
It provides advice regarding how education is being provided, regarding the research undertaken at HE and FE institutions funded by the SFC. The council is afforded the right to directly advise and a
Higher education is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion of secondary education. Delivered at universities, colleges, seminaries and institutes of technology, higher education is available through certain college-level institutions, including vocational schools, trade schools, other career colleges that award academic degrees or professional certifications. Tertiary education at non-degree level is sometimes referred to as further education or continuing education as distinct from higher education; the right of access to higher education is mentioned in a number of international human rights instruments. The UN International Covenant on Economic and Cultural Rights of 1966 declares, in Article 13, that "higher education shall be made accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, in particular by the progressive introduction of free education". In Europe, Article 2 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, adopted in 1950, obliges all signatory parties to guarantee the right to education.
In the days when few pupils progressed beyond primary education or basic education, the term "higher education" was used to refer to secondary education, which can create some confusion. This is the origin of the term high school for various schools for children between the ages of 14 and 18 or 11 and 18. Higher education includes teaching, exacting applied work, social services activities of universities. Within the realm of teaching, it includes both the undergraduate level, beyond that, graduate-level; the latter level of education is referred to as graduate school in North America. In addition to the skills that are specific to any particular degree, potential employers in any profession are looking for evidence of critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills, teamworking skills, information literacy, ethical judgment, decision-making skills, fluency in speaking and writing, problem solving skills, a wide knowledge of liberal arts and sciences. Since World War II, developed and many developing countries have increased the participation of the age group who studies higher education from the elite rate, of up to 15 per cent, to the mass rate of 16 to 50 per cent.
In many developed countries, participation in higher education has continued to increase towards universal or, what Trow called, open access, where over half of the relevant age group participate in higher education. Higher education is important to national economies, both as an industry, in its own right, as a source of trained and educated personnel for the rest of the economy. College educated workers have commanded a measurable wage premium and are much less to become unemployed than less educated workers. However, the admission of so many students of only average ability to higher education requires a decline in academic standards, facilitated by grade inflation; the supply of graduates in many fields of study is exceeding the demand for their skills, which aggravates graduate unemployment, underemployment and educational inflation. The U. S. system of higher education was influenced by the Humboldtian model of higher education. Wilhelm von Humboldt's educational model goes beyond vocational training.
In a letter to the Prussian king, he wrote: There are undeniably certain kinds of knowledge that must be of a general nature and, more a certain cultivation of the mind and character that nobody can afford to be without. People cannot be good craftworkers, soldiers or businessmen unless, regardless of their occupation, they are good, upstanding and – according to their condition – well-informed human beings and citizens. If this basis is laid through schooling, vocational skills are acquired on, a person is always free to move from one occupation to another, as so happens in life; the philosopher Julian Nida-Rümelin criticized discrepancies between Humboldt's ideals and the contemporary European education policy, which narrowly understands education as a preparation for the labor market, argued that we need to decide between McKinsey and Humboldt. Demonstrated ability in reading and writing, as measured in the United States by the SAT or similar tests such as the ACT, have replaced colleges' individual entrance exams, is required for admission to higher education.
There is some question as to whether advanced mathematical skills or talent are in fact necessary for fields such as history, philosophy, or art. The general higher education and training that takes place in a university, college, or Institute of technology includes significant theoretical and abstract elements, as well as applied aspects. In contrast, the vocational higher education and training that takes place at vocational universities and schools concentrates on practical applications, with little theory. In addition, professional-level education is always included within Higher Education, in graduate schools since many postgraduate academic disciplines are both vocationally and theoretically/research oriented, such as in the law, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. A basic requirement for entry into these graduate-level programs is always a bachelor's degree, although alternative means of obtaining entry into such programs may be available at some universiti