Differences in UK and US Higher Education


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The main difference between US and UK universities is in their manner of facilitating the academic learning experience and the aspect where they focus. UK universities focus more on how knowledge is applied and US universities emphasise more on laying the foundation knowledge.

Frame of Mind

UK universities prioritise imparting to their students the knowledge and skills on how to think how to apply what they are learning. On the other hand, US universities generally concentrate on providing their students the general and foundation knowledge about their subject matter. Corresponding to this difference is the fitting contrast of how students’ knowledge, skills and abilities are assessed.


US universities assess the knowledge of their students in a continual frequency while UK universities evaluate their students’ ability to apply to real life and realistic industry situations their knowledge and skills. Fittingly so, the latter is done in bigger intervals which is usually at the end of school terms. In short, the American institutions can be associated with general knowledge while British schools are well identified with reasoning using the knowledge.

Theory and Practice

Theory is given more weight by most US schools. Students in the American institutions show in creative and imaginative ways their learnings and intelligence on how they can apply their education. On the other hand, students in British institutions churn out what they have learned using their intellect. Again, as a result, good students in the US get relatively high marks compared with the relatively less volume of knowledge.


British universities provide more well rounded education and graduates from whatever course can qualify for any jobs because of this standard. Because the application of knowledge is the bigger emphasis in UK universities, most first two years in their degree courses provide students with opportunities to develop this. Students who have finished their A-level with good grades from top universities in the UK can relatively find it easy to qualify to be second year students when they apply in US colleges. Even when the mentioned characteristic of general education of the UK brand lead to mismatches, students coming from these institutions who go to the US to study do not need to worry because they are equipped with the knowledge and skills in writing well, reasoning their arguments and sufficient numerical literacy.


In the US higher education system, flexible general liberal arts and sciences courses can be taken which give students more flexibility when they need to change specialisation studies. The UK admission system focuses more on screening aspirants to degree courses. Shifting to another course is not a flexibility that can be found in the UK system. A student who wants to transfer to another discipline will need to do more studies and make more expenses. Applicants need to show that they are truly interested in the discipline and fit for the studies and the career in the future. They need to show these elements in personal statement writing.

The Value of a Degree in Finding a Job

the-value-of-a-degree-in-finding-a-jobWith the rising costs of tuition fees and the lack of guaranteed jobs after higher education, parents and students can’t help but scrutinise its value. Whatever of it is left, students would like to know if it will bring them somewhere closer to the job they desire.

In some cases, even just a job that could pay them decently is fine. How was it, indeed, to find a job with that degree in tow?

It depends in one’s degree. Perhaps, it can’t be helped. Some degrees provide a much linear path towards career. Then of course, it is up to the fresh grad to follow suit that straight path. Combining the degree with some worthwhile internship, students of specialised degrees inch close to their job. The trouble lies in the competition – and how long students persist into getting thru.

Some degrees don’t supply any of those linear paths. Graduates from these degrees are commonly referred to as the generalists – jack of all trades, master of none. Their opportunity to master is found in the job itself.

It depends in one’s skills. Now, every kind of degree gives way to a set of skills. Again, there’s that variable about students optimising the chance, the avenue to actually work on those skills. But the point is, each degree allows you to hone them – the rest is yours.

Assuming that you did well in setting the motion for developing both soft and hard skills, you’d be able to match it with specific jobs. Having a good match – as in skills parallel to needed skills or potentials (at the least) – increases your chance to get the job.

In most cases, fresh grads should be opting for transferable skills. The rave for such skill is high as this can permit you to immerse into a kind of job that you might not typically think of actually doing. And in these hard times, it’s just an edge to own skills that can be readily retrofitted to fit today’s current bill.

It depends in your expectations. Now, some expectations are harboured out from home. But after graduating, a big bulk of it is admittedly generated at universities. For instance, some degrees and/or universities feed students with unnecessary or unrealistic expectations.

And it’s obvious where this erroneous assumption could take you: depression amidst the real thing that is the labour market.

Make it useful. A degree is only as good as the student bearing it. If they fail to demonstrate and market their strengths, they won’t have an easy time finding a job. On the other hand, forsaking their degree won’t sound good, either.

Because, frankly, it’s not just about the degree; it’s also about the prospecting employee.