Higher education

Higher education


Higher education refers to an optional last stage in the process of formal learning. One goes through higher education upon completion of secondary school education. It is delivered in institutions such as universities, colleges, seminaries and technological institutions. The world’s university rankings which are brought together by Times Higher Education indicate that a number amounting to more than half of top 200 universities in the world are found either in the United States or England. Both of them have a rich tradition in providing higher education of good quality, good facilities for researchers and great culture that gives a chance to intellectualism as well as freedom in academics. However, as much as both of them create a good learning environment, differences are exhibited. The funding and quality of both education systems experience some differences. The preferable system of education is the system applied in the United Kingdom.

Looking into the quality of Higher education in England, colleges and universities focus on teaching in small groups. Much of undergraduate education takes place in groups of 20 students or less (boud, 2014). The seminar sessions are handled by staff who are on full time and are experts in the various fields they trained for. In the United States higher learning, much emphasis, and focus are put on lectures until a student completes the course they are undertaking. The size of the class being taught can go up to 400 students. Discussion in groups accompanies some of the lecture sessions and in, most cases, the staff employed for full-time operation do not lead the students. In cases where students are being taught in small groups, postgraduates are in charge. Usually, the postgraduates have very little knowledge of the content being taught, and they do not have special training. Marking of exams is carried out by the same postgraduate students. The advantage is that senior staff is given a chance to carry out research. The disadvantage is that the learning experiences the students are supposed to be equipped with are not considered important.

The expected level of critical thinking and analysis about a specific field is found to be lower within institutions in the United States as compared to students in England.  Assessments in the United States require that student familiarity with material be tested using multiple choice formats and giving short answers (Chowdry, 2013). This is provided as a reflection that will see to it that students are enrolled in modules within the spectrums in academics on a termly basis. The case is a continuous process until a student completes their fourth-year studies. In England, the opposite of what happens in the United States happens. From the time a student enrolls for the first year, their focus is directed to one discipline. This enhances expertise and the ability of a student to be critically engaged in the field they choose to specialize in.

In funding, an important difference should be noted between that United States and England regarding appropriations related to higher education. United States institutions have very diverse funding opportunities while England falls under similar criteria for budgeting and distribution.  The United States has many government grant schemes some of which are need-based grants and state student incentive grants. The government in England ensures that it distributes its grants on an equal competitive basis (Diamond, 2015). It is important to note that the grants provided are portable and go hand in hand with the school a student ends up choosing. Universities and institutions of higher learning often compete for such students.

A large amount of funding in England is found to come from the tuition fees a student pays. However, the government of England gives a limit to the number of fees an institution of higher learning is supposed to charge. In the United States, however, a decline in appropriations provided by the government led to the introduction of funding by the universities, as an alternative source. Another difference of funding between the United States and England is that the United States relies on private funding, and the most emphasis is given to the endowments by alumni of higher institutions (Clotfelter, 2003).They are expected to give donations. Unlike the United States, England has placed less emphasis on getting donations from alumni students.


In conclusion, the quality of higher education provided in England is of a much higher quality when compared to that of the United States. Students who graduate from institutions of higher education in England are likely to be greater performers in their careers because their foundation is based on receiving more attention from trained lecturers. Different ways of funding higher education are exhibited within the two countries which are meant to help get students through an education system, reducing levels of illiterac


Boud, D., Cohen, R., and Sampson, J. eds., 2014. Peer learning in higher education: Learning from and with each other. Routledge.

Chowdry, H., Crawford, C., Dearden, L., Goodman, A., and Vignoles, A., 2013. Widening participation in higher education: analysis using linked administrative data. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 176(2), pp.431-457.

Clotfelter, C. T. (2003). Alumni are giving to elite private colleges and universities. Economics of Education Review, 22, 109-120.

Diamond, A., Evans, J., and Sheen, J., 2015. UK review of information about higher education: information mapping study.


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