10 March 2008


The Title of this post is an example of what I learned at work today. It would be a qualification for a certain degree course to be able to study at Aberdeen University (Undergrad, that is). I sat in on a meeting with two other Americans to learn the system of education here, specifically what the Uni is looking for when they look at applications. Many things I have heard repeatedly from someone else in my office who is talking on the phone to a prospective student. Now I have a better idea (though maybe not understanding) of what they are talking about!

I learned that Primary 1-6 (or was it 7?), also called P1-P6 is like our Elementary schooling. From there they go to Secondary 1-5 (S1-S5; like our Middle/Jr. High and first part of High School) with the option to go on to 6 (like 12th grade probably). They sit "Standard Grade" exams during S5 and can surprisingly enter Uni then...at age 16 or 17! Though most go on to S6 and many also then go on to do "Highers" or after that "Advanced Highers." The "AABB" would be an example of the marks received from the Highers exams.

To make it all a bit more confusing, the English have a separate Education system and I think Northern Ireland and Wales differ slightly as well. Then there are also EU students who come to study with even different qualifications. It's all a bit mind-boggling. Thankfully, I usually am just required to pass such qualification "queries" on to others who actually know what they mean and who probably won't lead the students astray like I would!

There is also a difference in the terminology for what a "school" is called. In the US "school" refers to anything related to education, no matter the type. Here, "school" specifically means lower grades--Primary or Secondary. "College" means Community College or Tech School or Associates-type degree programs (which I think is also the Highers/Advanced Highers schooling?). "University" is only used when talking about Undergraduate/Postgraduate programs. I am forever still using "school, college and university" to mean the same thing. I need to be careful, though, because here they all mean something different.

I hope you've all learned something new today too!


In other news, I was told today by AOL our broadband should be up and running tomorrow. Wouldn't that be a fantastic treat?!

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