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Text IV. Stanford University


Stanford University, famous as one of northern California’s several institutions of higher learning, is called “the Harvard of the West”. Its reputation is based on its location, its intelligent students, its distinguished faculty, its overseas programs, its substantial endowment, and its recent extensive growth.

The closeness of Stanford to San Francisco, a city thirty-two miles to the north, gives the university a decidedly cosmopolitan flavor. Equally cosmopolitan is the student body. Students enroll principally from the western United States. But most of the fifteen states send students to Stanford, and many foreign students study here, as well. Young men and women are selected for admission to the university from upper fifteen percent of their high school classes. Not only because of the high caliber of its students but also because of the desirable location and climate, Stanford has attracted to its faculty some of the world’s most respected scholars. Among them have been Dr. Rober North in Asiatic studies and Dr. Albert Guerrard in humanities. Stanford’s undergraduate school of engineering and its graduate schools of business, law, and medicine are particularly strong. Recently the university established overseas branch study centuries in Germany, Italy, France, and Japan for its third-year students. In addition to financial support from alumni, Stanford receives grants from the government and from private philanthropic foundations. In recent years, government grants have made possible advanced studies in the fields of history, psichology, education, and atomic energy. At present Stanford is carrying out an ambitious building program, financed in part by the Ford Foundation’s 25 million grant. Rising now on the campus are a new physics building, a new graduate school of business, a student union, and an undergraduate library.

Founded only in 1891, Stanford is now considered comparable in quality to such other longer established, major American universities as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia.


Notes to the text: faculty-профессорско-преподавательский состав.





Degree structure New undergraduates might wish to note that first degrees are made up of credits, a minimum of 16 for the General degree and a minimum of 22 for the Honours degree. A credit is achieved when a unit (one subject taken for 15 weeks, or one semester) is satisfactory completed, although some units are worth more or less than one credit, and credits may be awarded on admission in respect of previous study. Full-time undergraduates usually take 3 units per semester and part-time undergraduates usually take one or three; they may not take more than 2 per semester. Within the total of 16 credits for the General degree, there must be a minimum of 6 credits in the main subject, a minimum of 4 credits in a second subject.

A minimum of 22 credits must be achieved for the award of all Honours degrees. Some programms, which also lead to professional qualifications, require the completion of more than 22 credits, and for students following the Initial Teacher Education programm, the minimum requirement of 22 credits must be fulfilled before the final teaching practice is begun.

Students may apply to exit with a Diploma in Higher Education on completion of 11 credits, of which at least four and not more than six must be in one subject, or with a Certificate in Higher Education on completion of 6 credits of which at least two and not more than three must be in one subject. The University (Evening Programme) requires completion of 6 credits in one subject.

Attendance requirements. Undergraduate students are asked to note carefully that:”Students are expected to attend all prescribed classes. With good cause shown a student may be permitted to miss up to one third of prescribed classes but any further non-attendance at such prescribed classes will result in no grade being awarded for that unit or module.”Students should be aware that the University enforces this rule and it is in their interests to ascertain at the beginning of semester which classes are compulsory in respect of each unit students are taking.

Transfer between full-time and part-time undergraduate study is possible but requires the permission of the Board of the Faculty responsible for the student programme.

The Summer Academic Programme offers undergraduate degree study to full-time, part-time and visiting students during a seven week period from the beginning of July to the third week in August and provides opportunities for students to gain credits towards their degree programmes out with the normal semesters.

Undergraduate examinations. There are two main diets of examinations during the academic sessions, one at the end of each semester in December and May. A draft examination timetable is issued in October for the December diet and in March for the May diet. Students should check the draft timetable for time, date and place of their examinations. If they notice examination clashes, ieany two units they are registered for that have been timetabled for the same morning or afternoon session, students should inform the appropriate department. Students who require special examination conditions should contact the appropriate departmental Examinations Officer with documentary evidence well in advance of the examination period.

If a student is permitted to take a deffered examination he/she will be notified by the Faculty Office and Registry will subsequently send him/her a copy of the resit/deffered examination timetable. The Registry notifies students who are being offered a resit examination.

Notification of results is sent to student home address as held by the Student Record Office. The timescale between publication of the results of the December examinations and the beginning of the January resit period is very tight and if a student is in any doubt whether he/she may have failed an examination, he/she should contact the Student Record Office before the beginning of the resit period. January resit and deffered examination results are often available only before the beginning of the Spring semester and if a student is concerned about his/her academic progress following the January resit examinations, a student should contact his/her Faculty Officer for advice at the end of the first week in February.

Graduation and graduates’ association. Students in their final semester should expect to receive information about graduation from the Student Records Office before the mid-semester break. A student will be asked to complete and return a graduation form, indicating whether he/she wishes to graduate in person or in absentia. Graduating students are required to apy a graduation fee which varies according to whether he/she attends the graduation ceremony or not, and whether he/she wishes to have life membership of the Graduates’ Association.

When a student graduates with a degree, diploma or certificate he/she remains a member of the University and becomes a member of the University Graduates’ Association which was reformed in 1994. All graduates are automatically members of the Association, the membership fee for the first two years being included in the graduation fee.

In return, the Association publishes Bulletins of general interest to all graduates, maintains a database of names and addresses and will put graduates in touch with friends.

Academic appeals procedure. Although very few students ever have recourse to appeals in respect of their academic performance, it is important that all students are aware that there is a clear set of grounds for appeal and that appeals are only considered if students fall within the approved grounds. All students, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, who have been required to withdraw from the University because of unsatisfactory academic progress, have the right to make an appeal to be considered for readmission. However, there is no appeal against the professional judgement of examiners, therefore there are no appeals against grades awarded or against degree classification.


Notes to the text:

resit examination-пересдача письменного экзамена, переэкзаменовка

deferred examination-отсроченный, отложенный экзамен


Exercise 8. Read the text again and be ready to answer the following questions:


What is the difference between attendance requirements in Great Britain and in Russia?

Compare degree structure at University of Stirling and at ASTU. Which structure is better?


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