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The Social Role of Higher Education in UK

The Social Role of Higher Education in UK
History of higher education in UK
British higher education has a long history with abundant education resources and experience, and UK is considered to the first country to conduct higher education in the world (Ward, Ogbonna and Altan, 2008). Both Oxford and Cambridge are founded about 800 years ago. As the First World War broke out, science education was stimulated by setting up many new science subjects, such as engineering, aviation, chemistry and so on (Chambers, 2009). And then after Second World War, the Primer Minister Eden stated that victory belongs to those countries who own most advanced education system, but not who have large population (Chambers, 2009) So he insisted to develop higher education deeply and cultivate more scientists, engineers and technicians. Followed by quick development, it came to the gradual perfection stage.
Higher education in UK is a formal shape of education and it has its unique features. Studying on the social role of UK’s higher education is meaningful in understanding its positive functions (Knoll, 2009). It makes senses to make a research based on this topic, search some relevant materials to make an analysis of how higher education advances the society. Some advantages and threats could be learnt from the research, so it is advisable to carry out measures to keep the superiority and avoid defects of higher education. Besides, it is different from primary education, and it focuses on a high level of teaching and learning (Knoll, 2009). It sets up different subjects to meet the needs of different talents cultivation. Also, it seems to be more comprehensive than primary education, because students in colleges could courses they interest in. In this way, they may develop themselves more diversely and become professional in more fields. Most importantly, society requires more inter-disciplinary talents, who may influence the society to a profound extent. In such a case, followed by a brief history of higher education in UK, this essay will begin with its current situation and then it is mainly aimed to make some points on the social role that higher education plays and then some measures could be taken under the new circumstances. Finally, coupled with suggestions, a conclusion will be drawn out.

Current situation
Talents and professionals cultivation
New knowledge and technology provision
Impeller of the enhancement of national population quality
Challenges and Improvements
Bartholomew, H. Osborne, J. and Ratcliffe, M. (2004). Teaching students “ideas-about-science”: Five dimensions of effective practice. Science Education, vol.88, pp. 655-682
Brereton, OP. Lees, S. Bedson, R. Boldyreff, C. Drummond, S. Layzell, P.J. Macaulay, L.A. Young, R.(2000).Student group working across universities: A case study in software engineering. IEEE Transactions on Education, vol.43, pp. 394-399

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