There are about 90 universities in Britain. They are divided into three types: the old universities (Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities), the 19th century universities such as London and Manchester universities, and the new universities. Some years ago there were also polytechnics. After graduating from a polytechnic a student got a degree, but it was not a university degree. 31 former polytechnics were given university status in 1992.
Full courses of study offer the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Science. Most degree courses at universities last 3 years, language courses 4 years (including a year spent abroad). Medicine and dentistry courses are longer (5-7 years).
Students may receive grants from their Local Education Authority to help pay for books, accommodation, transport and food. This grant depends on the income of their parents.
Most students live away from home, in flats or halls of residence.
Students don't usually have a job during term time because the lessons, called lectures, seminars, classes or tutorials (small groups), are full time. However, many students now have to work in the evenings.
University life is considered "an experience". The exams are competitive but the social life and living away from home are also important. The social life is excellent with a lot of clubs, parties, concerts, bars.
There are not only universities in Britain but also colleges. Colleges offer courses in teacher training, courses in technology and. some professions connected with medicine.