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British university

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Most British universities can be classified into 5 categories,

The vast majority of British universities are state financed, though a few private universities do exist, most prominently the University of Buckingham[?]. Most British students have to pay a proportion of their university fees up to a maximum of approximately 1,000 UKP; this is assessed on the basis of the income of the student and of the student's family. Students are partially supported by a state-provided loan, a portion of which is also means-tested. International students are not subsidised by the state and so have to pay much higher fees similar to those paid at Ivy League universities in the USA.

The University of London is unique in that its colleges are effectively universities in their own right.

Applications to UK state universities are managed by UCAS[?].

Reputations

British universities tend to have a strong reputation internationally, although this is limited to a small amount of internationally known universities (principally Oxford and Cambridge). Within Britain a university's reputation is often proportional to its age. However this distinction is becoming blurred with the top red brick universities challenging Oxbridge, a development accelerated by the introduction of league tables ranking university teaching and research in which Oxford and Cambridge are often matched or beaten by other universities. Despite this, there is still a clear two-tier system in operation, with less well-considered universities often struggling to attract able students, staff and funding.

Many of the less highly regarded universities have had to expand into new areas (such as media studies and sports science[?]) in order to compete.

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