Illiteracy has a distinct gender coloring, especially in the poorest countries of the world, where illiteracy among women is almost twice as high as illiteracy among men. Of the 150 million children aged six to eleven who did not attend school, 90 million were girls. The high level of illiteracy among women is closely related to poverty, child mortality, high birth rate and low level of economic development. Due to a combination of cultural traditions and economic necessity, many girls do not attend school: in rural areas, the family usually adheres more strictly to traditions and is less inclined to support women’s education.
In addition, it is very expensive to educate all children in large families, and in order to educate boys, girls are often left uneducated by the higher education system in the United States. Universities and colleges are funded by the State and teachers’ salaries at all levels of the educational system are determined in accordance with the national salary scale. There is, however, considerable diversity in the organization of educational institutions and in their programs.
In the period immediately preceding the Second World War, there were twenty-one universities in Great Britain. By modern standards, most of these universities were very small. In 1937, the total number of students studying at British universities only slightly exceeded the staff of teachers,
who worked full-time at universities in 1981 (Carswell 1985). Between 1945 and 1970, the scale of the higher education system in the UK increased fourfold. Older universities have expanded and new ones have emerged (such as Sussex, Kent, Stirling and York), called “red-brick” 5>. With the advent of polytechnic institutes, a binary system has developed. This second segment of higher education has become relatively large, including about four hundred colleges offering a wide range of training courses. Polytechnic institutes are more focused on specialized vocational training than universities. The National Spider Certification Council was established in order to provide a uniform standard for diplomas awarded by different higher education institutions as a regulatory body.
Nowadays, higher education institutions in the UK are characterized by what has sometimes been called the “standard monetary system”. This means that a degree obtained at the University of Leicester or Leeds is, at least theoretically, equivalent to a degree in the same specialty awarded by Cambridge, Oxford or the University of London. At the same time, it is known that Oxford and Cambridge Universities carry out highly selective admission of students, over half of whom come from fee-paying schools. An academic degree from Oxford or Cambridge gives a graduate a better chance of a successful career than a certificate of graduation from most other universities.
The number of students receiving higher education has grown significantly in the UK compared to the XIX century, when there were only 25,000 full-time students. By 19B2-19BZ their number increased almost tenfold and amounted to 216,000, and by 1972-1973 it doubled again and reached 453,000 people. The number of students of higher educational institutions continues to grow steadily. In 1997-1998, there were already 1.2 million full-time students in higher education institutions. The quantitative increase was dramatic for both sexes, but especially for women. Between 1970 and 1997 . The number of men enrolled in universities increased by 83%, while among women, the number of those enrolled in higher education institutions showed an astounding increase of 400% (HMSO 2000).
Belonging to a certain social class affects whether a person will receive a higher education. Thus, the share of university students from families of unskilled workers increased from 6% to 13% between 1991 and 1998. Although these figures indicate a significant increase, this nevertheless represents less than one-fifth of the increase in the number of young people from skilled workers’ families (HMSO 2000).