РАЗДЕЛ 1: «ОБРАЗОВАНИЕ И ПОИСК РАБОТЫ»
THE NATIONAL EDUCATION SYSTEM
There are the following educational levels in the Russia Federation:
1. Pre-school education;
2. Basic (primary, general, and secondary) education;
3. Secondary vocational education and training;
4. Higher professional education: bachelor, specialist, master and post graduate qualifications.
According to Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation” 29.12.2012 № 273-FL the following stages of higher education are identified:
− Bachelor - total study duration no less than 4 years;
− Master - total study duration 2 years (the program is available after the completion of the Bachelor degree);
− Specialist - total study duration no less than 5 years;
− Post - graduate studies.
Russian HEIs offer academic programmes at the Bachelor’s, Specialist’s and Master’s levels. Bachelor degree programmes focus on basic training and courses relevant to the degree programme and the fundamentals of the subject. Bachelor programmes are offered virtually in all fields of study with few exceptions, for example, medicine. Bachelor degree programmes are of general scientific and professional character. Bachelor programmes offered in Russia have a standard duration of four years. Bachelor’s degrees are awarded to students upon successful completion of undergraduate studies. Graduates obtain the Certificate of Bachelor in a related field of study: for example, Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Law, etc. Bachelor’s degree holders may enter the workforce immediately and take up jobs requiring applicants to have higher education. Bachelor programme graduates may also pursue a Master’s degree in their major or related study field, or apply to a Master’s degree programme in a different discipline from that of their Bachelor’s degree. Master degree follows the Bachelor degree level. The length of Master degree programmes delivered by Russian HEIs is two years. Master level programmes offer students a deeper and a wider perspective on related fields of study, and in-depth specialization in their majors. Bachelor level programmes are more practice-oriented; Master programmes provide students with competencies they will need for their future research or teaching activities. In spite of the fact that the transition to two-cycle system has been a subject of much controversy in Russia, it is now a fait accompli. A thorough, informal multifaceted preparation of HEIs for the transition is an essential precondition of its efficient implementation and positive outcomes. For example, the new flexible structure of Bachelor level programmes allows rather quick modulating and upgrading as adequate reaction to the rapidly changing production technologies and, consequently, employers’ demands. Master degree programmes are characterized by an even higher degree of flexibility which is aimed at the development of students’ research potential. Therefore, graduates of Bachelor and Master programmes are expected to be well prepared for the changing contemporary labor market or research sector demands and have highly developed professional competencies and adaptive abilities. Of primary importance is the fact that the “Bachelor-Master” system of higher education is widely accepted throughout the world which promotes professional mobility of graduates on the international labor market.
It should be noted that the two-cycle system is not used with regard to approximately one hundred specialties which are listed on a special Register adopted by the Federal Government of Russia. Academic studies in the specified majors lead to the Specialist’s Diploma. A Specialist Diploma programme is a traditional form of Russian higher education, which comprises basic education with in-depth specialist training in the chosen area. Regular duration of a full-time programme is 5 years, of a distance programme – 6 years.
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Higher education in Russia
If you would reward honesty, if you would give encouragement to good, if you would stimulate the idle, eradicate evil, or correct what is bad, education - comprehensive liberal education - is the one thing needful, and the one effective end
The system of higher education in Russia has undergone several changes in recent years.
During the Soviet period, universities were established on the European or ‘continental’ model. The students were trained for 5-6 years and at the end of their education they received a professional degree. The students received higher education once in their lifetime and the state was responsible for providing employment to these graduates. This system was being implemented for many years without any development while the market demanded life-long education along with updating of qualifications and skills from the alumni. To keep in pace with the economic and technological development, the concept of ‘infinite education’ was gradually evolved in which additional education became essential for graduates of any stream.
The American model of higher education was adopted as the solution. In this model, the student first decides on the stream of education, gets the basic knowledge and skills and then narrows down the specialization within this stream of education. In this system, the state does not participate in the process of providing higher education to the students and the competition between the universities to attract the students leads to continuous improvement of the educational program. To ensure compatibility in the standards and quality of higher education due to the existence of European and American systems of education, a common education space was created as a result of intergovernmental cooperation and agreements between European countries. This process came to be known as ‘Bologna’ as the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) was adopted in Bologna on June 19, 1999. At present, the Bologna Process unites 47 countries in Europe and Asia, including Russia and are committed to the goals of the European Higher Education Area The Bologna Process involves a two-tier education system. The graduation in the education system was divided into Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree. This two-tier system allows the students to work while pursuing higher education and at the same time remain competitive in the market. At the same time, Russia has not abandoned the old model of education. Thus, at the moment in Russia, there are three stages of Higher Professional Education:
Bachelor’s Degree (4 years)
Specialty (5 years)
Master's Degree (2 years).
Under the new system (Bachelor + Master) of education, mainly students from humanitarian sciences, medical, military and technical universities maintain continuous education for 5-6 years. Here is little more information on each of the stages. For the bachelor degree, undergraduate students are educated in the educational stream of their choice without specialization. Despite the fact that many employers believe that Bachelor Degree holders have incomplete higher education, the Bachelor’s Degree is an academic degree awarded to students who have mastered the appropriate educational program and meet the standards expected of them in the countries participating in the Bologna Process. Master’s is a stage of higher education after the completion of Bachelor’s Degree to provide the students with specialization in a particular stream of education.
As per the education system prevalent during the Soviet period in Russia, a degree in a Specialty is awarded to a student on successfully presenting a degree project or thesis to the State Attestation Commission and qualifies to be enrolled in a Master’s or Doctorate program. For a number of medical specialties like general medicine, pharmacy, medical and preventive medicine, pediatrics, and dentistry etc a successful completion of the internship is required to hold certain positions in state and municipal organizations. According to the bill on amendments to the Laws on Higher Education, a qualification of ‘Specialist’ will cease to exist in Russia in the near future. On receiving a Master’s Degree, the student can study further to get a PhD in his chosen stream of education. It has to be noted that in the United States and the European Union, most of the Bachelor Degree holders do not study further for a Master’s Degree as a Bachelor’s Degree is considered as a confirmation of higher education. Mainly those students who plan to pursue research or teaching activities in Universities continue to study for a Master’s Degree in these countries. The higher education institutions are divided into colleges, universities, academies and institutes depending upon the number of streams of education. At present, in addition to the participation in the Bologna Process, the following trends exist in the changes in higher education in Russia:
Increase in the share of students opting for paid education
Growth in the number of students wishing to enroll into Universities despite stringent requirements for admission
Many large universities are opening branches in other cities of Russia to meet the rights of citizens to higher education
At present, for every 10,000 of the population, there are over 300 students pursuing higher education and this figure is at its highest in the history of higher education in Russia
Higher education in technical courses is most sought after followed by teaching in the second place and natural and human sciences in the third place.
Why choose UK higher education?
Gain a world-class education: UK higher education offers you inspiring teaching, excellent facilities and a world-class research environment. Did you know that…
Four of the world’s top six universities are in the UK (World Rankings, QS)
Over 88% of international graduates are satisfied with their UK learning experience (Tracking International Graduate Outcomes, BIS)
93% of postgraduate students rated the UK's quality of teaching positively (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, HE Academy)
The UK is a world-leading research nation (International Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base, BIS)
54% of the research conducted by UK universities and colleges is either 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' (Research Assessment Exercise).
UK education is all about giving you the inspiration to help you develop your skills, the freedom to be creative, and the support you need to achieve your best. UK universities and colleges invest in excellent facilities – from libraries, computer and science labs to sports centres, theatres and art studios. Class sizes are restricted to ensure that you have access to equipment and enough time to talk to your tutors and lecturers.
Achieve an internationally recognized qualification: UK higher education qualifications are recognized and respected by employers and academics worldwide.
Prepare for the career of your dreams: UK qualifications are a great boost to your CV and to your earnings. According to the Tracking International Graduate Outcomes survey by BIS, UK-educated international graduates achieve markedly higher average salaries than if they had been educated at home.
Employers are increasingly looking for multilingual graduates with multicultural experience. UK higher education gives you the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, providing an excellent introduction to global business environments. As a result, the QS World University Rankings found that UK graduates are among the most 'employable', with employers ranking five UK universities in the global top 10. UK universities and colleges have strong links with industry. Many courses offer you the option of a year in industry too, which is an excellent way to prepare you for the world of work.
Perfect your English language skills: English is widely regarded as the language of international business. Studying on a UK course helps you learn the language through your study, friends and everyday life. You will find that your skills improve rapidly, and you might even start dreaming in English after a few days! If you need any additional support, there are lots of English language classes on offer across the UK.
Study what, when and where you want: With thousands of UK higher education courses on offer, you can follow your passions and choose a course that matches your goals and interests. You can choose to study online or on campus, in the UK or even at an overseas campus!
Save time and money: UK undergraduate and postgraduate courses are generally shorter than in other countries, helping to keep the cost of tuition fees and living expenses down.
A unique cultural adventure: Studying in the UK is an opportunity to discover the UK’s unique culture, countryside and cities. There’s also lots of adventure on offer, from music festivals and football matches to ancient castles and vibrant nightlife.
Join an international community: In 2012, over 420,000 international students from over 200 nations came to the UK for their higher education, joining over two million local students. The UK is a truly multicultural society, with a great mix of people from different backgrounds. As a student, you'll get to know people from all over the world and be inspired by many cultures. Many universities and colleges provide international offices and advisers to ensure you feel welcome and are supported throughout your time in UK higher education.
Quality assured: UK universities and colleges are regularly reviewed to ensure high standards of academic education, teaching, accommodation, welfare support and facilities.
AN overview of the higher education sector
Were are the UK's colleges and universities located? Which universities are in which regions?
What are the main activities of UK universities?
What's the difference between a university and a (higher education) college?
What are the different groups of universities?
Who is in charge of a university?
Where are the UK's colleges and universities located? Which universities are in which regions?
A map of UK universities and colleges that provide higher education is available on the website of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). This University and College map (opens new window) also includes a breakdown of universities by region.
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What are the main activities of UK universities?
All UK universities undertake research and teaching, although the mission focus and balance of activities varies. Some institutions concentrate primarily on teaching while others are more research intensive. Universities also increasingly transfer knowledge out to businesses and other organizations. This process is known as knowledge transfer. Universities also seek to use their expertise and facilities to develop thriving social and business communities in their region.
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What's the difference between a university and a (higher education) college?
Institutions have to meet certain criteria to be awarded the title 'university'. These are assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency on behalf of the Privy Council. The Privy Council is responsible, under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, for approving the use of the word 'university' (including 'university college') in the title of a higher education institution.
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What are the different groups of universities?
The universities in the UK are diverse in their missions and location. A number of these have formed groups with common interests. These include the various regional university associations and also the so-called 'mission groups'.
The mission groups include the following: Million+ (formerly Campaigning for Mainstream Universities [CMU]) is a university think-tank. They work to help solve complex problems in higher education and to ensure that policy reflects the potential of the UK's world-class university system. It mainly comprises post-1992 universities.
The Russell Group is an association of 20 major research-intensive universities of the United Kingdom. The group is so-called because it traditionally met at the Russell Hotel, London.
The University Alliance was formally launched in 2007. Its member institutions have a balanced portfolio of research, teaching, enterprise and innovation as integral to their missions. Not a mission group as such but an association of universities and colleges with church foundations, the Cathedrals Group А consists of 15 UK members that support the church's continuing role in higher education. It has close links with the Anglican Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Methodist Church. However, a large number of universities do not belong to any of these groups but do belong to Universities UK.
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Who is in charge of a university?
The vice-chancellor – sometimes known as the principal – is the executive head of a university or college. The equivalent in a company would be the chief executive. They provide strategic leadership and management and are also the principal representative of the university in the wider world.
The chancellor is the non-executive head of a university. The role varies from institution to institution – in some the chancellor is largely a figurehead; in others they have more hands-on involvement. Duties might include awarding degrees at graduation ceremonies and supporting fundraising efforts. Chancellors are usually well-respected public figures, often with a strong prior link to the university or its region.
The governing body is usually known as the university council or board of governors and is responsible for the effective management and future development of the affairs of the institution. More information is available from the Committee of University Chairs (CUC)), the representative body that brings together chairs of governing bodies of all universities in the UK.
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A brief history of the University
As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is a unique and historic institution. There is no clear date of foundation, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.
In 1188, the historian, Gerald of Wales, gave a public reading to the assembled Oxford dons and in 1190 the arrival of Emo of Friesland, the first known overseas student, set in motion the University's tradition of international scholarly links. By 1201, the University was headed by a magister scolarum Oxonie, on whom the title of Chancellor was conferred in 1214, and in 1231 the masters were recognized as a universitas or corporation.
In the 13th century, rioting between town and gown (townspeople and students) hastened the establishment of primitive halls of residence. These were succeeded by the first of Oxford's colleges, which began as medieval 'halls of residence' or endowed houses under the supervision of a Master. University, Balliol and Merton Colleges, which were established between 1249 and 1264, are the oldest.
Less than a century later, Oxford had achieved eminence above every other seat of learning, and won the praises of popes, kings and sages by virtue of its antiquity, curriculum, doctrine and privileges. In 1355, Edward III paid tribute to the University for its invaluable contribution to learning; he also commented on the services rendered to the state by distinguished Oxford graduates.
From its early days, Oxford was a centre for lively controversy, with scholars involved in religious and political disputes. John Wyclif, a 14th-century Master of Balliol, campaigned for a bible in the vernacular, against the wishes of the papacy. In 1530, Henry VIII forced the University to accept his divorce from Catherine of Aragon, and during the Reformation in the 16th century, the Anglican churchmen Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley were tried for heresy and burnt at the stake in Oxford.
The University was Royalist in the Civil War, and Charles I held a counter-Parliament in Convocation House, and in the late 17th century, the Oxford philosopher John Locke, suspected of treason, was forced to flee the country.
The 18th century, when Oxford was said to have forsaken port for politics, was also an era of scientific discovery and religious revival. Edmund Halley, Professor of Geometry, predicted the return of the comet that bears his name; John and Charles Wesley's prayer meetings laid the foundations of the Methodist Society.
The University assumed a leading role in the Victorian era, especially in religious controversy. From 1833 onwards The Oxford Movement sought to revitalise the Catholic aspects of the Anglican Church. One of its leaders, John Henry Newman, became a Roman Catholic in 1845 and was later made a Cardinal. In 1860 the new University Museum was the scene of a famous debate between Thomas Huxley, champion of evolution, and Bishop Wilberforce.
From 1878, academic halls were established for women and they were admitted to full membership of the University in 1920. Five all-male colleges first admitted women in 1974 and, since then, all colleges have changed their statutes to admit both women and men. St Hilda's College, which was originally for women only, was the last of Oxford's single sex colleges. It has admitted both men and women since 2008.
During the 20th and early 21st centuries, Oxford added to its humanistic core a major new research capacity in the natural and applied sciences, including medicine. In so doing, it has enhanced and strengthened its traditional role as an international focus for learning and a forum for intellectual debate.
How to Protect Your Privacy When Job Hunting (The Wall Street Journal)
In the early days of digital job hunting, many job seekers’ biggest concern was whether their current employers would get wind of what they were doing. But identity theft and fraud have entered the mix in recent years.
Some experts’ first piece of advice is to avoid openly posting their resumes job boards. “It’s hunting season, and you are the game,” says one privacy analyst.
A safer alternative is to apply directly to employers throughout their company Web sites or, if possible, by sending your resume via email to the hiring manager for the position
These days, with the ease of identity theft, it’s also a bad idea to include your home address on your resume. Consider renting a post office box for the duration of your search. You can also get a temporary cell phone number and email address dedicated to your job search. You don’t want to give up information that you’ll later regret passing along, such as your Social Security number.
On the flip side, by making your job search too private, you could inadvertently limit your exposure to legitimate sources for potential jobs.
One way around this problem is to take advantage of the privacy features that many job sites offer. On Monster.com, for example, users can limit the amount of exposure their resumes receive to just TK to TK. They can also hide certain identifying information, such as their name, contact information and current employer. If they do, employers can only contact those job seekers through a confidential Monster email address.
It’s also important to consider your level of privacy on sites other than just job boards. With the explosion of social media like Facebook and Twitter comes a whole new host of challenges to the digital job search. If you have public profiles on these or other sites, make sure they don’t feature any content that might offend or alienate a potential employer.
РАЗДЕЛ 2: «МЕЖДУНАРОДНАЯ И РЕГИОНАЛЬНАЯ ЭКОНОМИКА»
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Major Sectors of Economy
The economy of the Republic of Tatarstan is based on industry and agriculture. Traditionally, the industrial sectors make up the bulk of the gross regional product (about 40%).
In 2009, the Republic produced 32,4 mln tones of oil; the volume of industrial production adding up to 860 mln rub. The balanced finance result of the industrial companies operating in RT amounted to 90 bln rub., 12% higher than that of the previous year. The maximum positive result is demonstrated by the companies specializing in mining operation with the total revenue running up to 83 bln. rub. As summed up at the end of 2009, the leading position in the structure of industrial production was retained by processing manufacture (57,9%), followed by the mining operation industry (33,1%) and energy, water and gas production and distribution. The biggest contribution in the volume of factory shipments of the processing industries is traditionally the one made by the production of vehicles and equipment (21,2%), chemical production (20,6%), petrochemical production (16,2%), and food production (12,3%).
As estimated at the end of 2009, the volume of investing in the capital stock of the industry in the Republic of Tatarstan amounted to 145 bln. rub., which is 11% more than in the previous year: “Tatneft”; the group of companies “TAIF” and “KAMAZ” being the leading investors. Tatarstan’s agricultural industry is primarily based on growing grain-crops, sugar beet and potato, production of meat, milk and eggs therefore the volume of agricultural production of Tatarstan is 5% of that of Russia. As of the end of 2009 the livestock sector was estimated to be prevalent (51%) over the crop sector (49%). Volumes of agricultural products of all the three major agricultural manufacturers of RT (agricultural organizations, population, private farming) in 2009 added up to about 119,1 bln rub, or 100.1% as compared to the level of 2008 (that’s including the inflation rate). In 2009, the volume of agricultural production made by the population made 42,1%, private farming - 4,8%, agricultural companies - 53,1%. As estimated by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Tatarstan, The gross regional product per employee amounted to 480,3 thousand rub, 232,9 thousand rub. per citizen. The bulk of the value added is due to companies specializing in mining operations 39,7%, processing industry companies - 21,4%, transport and communication enterprises - 9,3%, real estate rent service companies - 8,6%. In the Republic of Tatarstan, the average salary per citizen in 2009 added up to the approximate number of 15.5 thousand rubles. The average monthly salary in the industrial sector per citizen made 16000 rubles.
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REGIONS IN RUSSIA: 10 FACTS ABOUT TATARSTAN
1. General Information: The Republic of Tatarstan is a democratic constitutional state of the Russian Federation located in the Volga district. While Tatarstan has traditionally been known for its wealth in natural resources, the region is also highly developed in automotive and other industrial sectors and is quickly becoming a haven for high tech development The region has a population of more than 3.7 million people and its key cities include Kazan (capital), Alabuga (Special Economic Zone) and Naberezhnye Chelny.
2. Government support for innovation: Tatarstan’s government developed a comprehensive proposal through 2015 aimed at making the region a center for innovation and investment. Part of the proposal focused on the development of a wide range of technoparks that have sprung up during the past decade. Now, with 14 technoparks, Tatarstan is a driving force in the scientific sector throughout Russia.
3. Innovative Technopark Idea, which opened in Kazan in February 2004, is a business incubation technopark dedicated to cultivating small and start-up businesses in Tatarstan. The business incubator offers a range of detailed support for these nascent businesses, including offices and production areas, consulting support, project monitoring and investment services.
4. The Technopolis Chimgrad was set up in 2006 with the express purpose of providing full support to small-and medium-sized companies in the chemical and polymer conversion industries. In 2010, Technopolis Chimgrad housed 70 companies and employed more than 2,500 people. At the end of 2009, Chimgrad companies reported a collective profit of 3 billion rubles ($95.8 million).
5. IT Park, based in Kazan and set up in collaboration with Cisco, has been a driving technology powerhouse in the region and throughout the country. The IT Park functions as a business incubator and aims to consolidate the region’s profound IT talent and potential. Firms based in the IT Park are primary developers of GLONASS and infomats, electronic machines that allow citizens to easily access a variety of government services (e.g. applying for a passport, paying a parking ticket).
6. Investment opportunities: Tatarstan has transformed into one of Russia’s foremost centers for foreign investment. In 2008, more than $2.5 billion in foreign capital was invested in Tatarstan’s economy. Some of the things fueling this transformation include:
• The Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan (IVF RT): The IVF RT was established by a Cabinet of Ministers Resolution in November 2004 with the express purpose of situating the region as a center for investment, innovation and production within the Russian Federation. The fund also promotes the overall image of Tatarstan in foreign markets. IVF RT identifies its main priorities as:
− To manufacture top-of-the-line products with the most export potential
− To find financing for local companies
− To focus on industries with the highest potential for investment and economic growth, including petrochemical, chemical, building materials, light, furniture manufacturing and food
• The Alabuga Special Economic Zone (SEZ): Created in December 2005, Alabuga is Russia’s largest SEZ focused on industrial production. Companies who invest in Alabuga SEZ get various tax privileges, including:
− 20 percent profit tax
− 2.2 percent property tax; SEZ residents living in the region for 10 years pay no property tax
− No land or transport taxes
• The Automotive Industry: Tatarstan is one of the centers of Russia’s automotive industry. The recent Ford-Sollers joint venture includes plans for a plant in Tatarstan. Isuzu has invested in Alabuga and Kamaz, while Russia’s largest truck manufacturer, is located in Naberezhnye Chelny.
7. Foreign companies in Tatarstan:
• Automotive Sector: Ford, Isuzu
• IT Sector: Intel, IBM, Cisco
•Other: IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, Marriott, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young Raytech, Sisecam, Air Liquide, Foster Wheeler
8. Educational Infrastructure: Due to its highly developed network of educational institutions, Tatarstan has on average a more educated labor pool than many other regions in Russia. It is home to more than 50 higher education institutions and 73 scientific research institutes and design centers. Kazan was also chosen as the site for the 2013 Universiade, an international university athletic event similar to the Olympics. Around 60 percent of university athletes who compete in the Universiade go on to compete in the Olympic Games.
9. Interesting Government Programs: According to Information and Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov, Tatarstan launched its “Electronic Education” program in 2011. The program will purchase more than 20,000 laptops for teachers, 6,000 computers for schools, and set up 6,700 Wi-Fi hotspots in schools throughout the region. Tatarstan’s continued focus on education and students’ technological literacy is a marker of the region’s overall modernization drive in recent years.
10. Culture: Tatarstan has a thriving Muslim population. The Qolsharif Mosque in Kazan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the region’s geography is home to scenic mountains and rivers, as well as a host of archaeological sites and architectural attractions, making the region an attractive tourist destination.
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United Kingdom - Economic development
Like many other industrialized nations of the West, the United Kingdom has sought to combine steady economic growth with a high level of employment, increased productivity, and continuing improvement in living standards. Attainment of these basic objectives, however, has been hindered since World War II by recurrent deficits in the balance of payments and by severe inflationary pressures. As a result, economic policy has chiefly had to be directed toward correcting these two underlying weaknesses in the economy. When crises have arisen, emergency measures have often conflicted with long-term objectives. In 1967, for example, the government devalued the pound by 14% in order to improve the balance-of-payments position, but simultaneously increased taxes and reduced the growth rate of public expenditures in order to restrain home demand in both public and private sectors. Since the almost uninterrupted upward trend in prices resulted principally from the tendency for money income to rise faster than the volume of production, the government sought to institute a policy designed to align the rise in money income with increases in productivity.
Various bodies have been set up to foster economic development and improve industrial efficiency, notably the National Economic Development Council, established in 1962, which is responsible for the coordination of industry. Another important body, created in 1974, the National Enterprise Board, was set up to help plan industrial investment, particularly in manufacturing and export industries. Subsequently, the Labour government began to de-emphasize increased social services and government participation in the economy and to stress increased incentives for private investment. (A notable exception was in the exploitation of North Sea oil resources.) General investment incentives included tax allowances on new buildings, plants, and machinery. The Conservative government elected in 1979 sought to reduce the role of government in the economy by improving incentives, removing controls, reducing taxes, moderating the money supply, and privatizing several large state-owned companies. This policy was continued by succeeding Conservative governments into the 1990s. The election of a Labour government in 1997 did not reverse this trend. Indeed, privatization is now widely accepted by most of the Labour Party (with the exception of the dwindling numbers of the wing of the party with strong ties to trade unions).
The United Kingdom has long been a major source of both bilateral aid (direct loans and grants) and multilateral aid (contributions to international agencies) to developing countries. To coordinate the overall aid program and its proportions of bilateral and multilateral aid, capital aid, and technical assistance, the Ministry of Overseas Development was set up in 1962. Since 1958, the terms for development loans have progressively softened, and a policy of interest-free loans for the poorest developing countries was introduced in 1965. About 70% of the UK's direct, official bilateraldevelopment assistance goes to Commonwealth countries. In 2000, the United Kingdom donated approximately $4.5 billion in economic aid to developing countries. The United Kingdom made a commitment to increase its official development assistance (ODA) from 0.26% of GNP in 1997 to 0.33% in 2003–04 (the UN's target for donor countries' development aid is 0.7% of GNP).
The most important issue facing Britain in the early 2000s was membership in the European Monetary Union (EMU). Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair decided to opt out of EMU at its inception in 1998 and has promised a referendum on British membership. The opposition Conservatives oppose abandoning the pound and have the support of a majority of the British population on the issue. In June 2003, the chancellor of the exchequer stated that Britain was not yet ready to enter the euro zone, which made a referendum in the current parliament unlikely, at least until a new government would be seated in 2005. The government in 2003 devoted its attention on the domestic front to improving such public services as health, education, and transportation
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The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is the third largest economy in Europe after Germany and France. Over the past two decades, the government has greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil resources, but its oil and natural gas reserves are declining and the UK became a net importer of energy in 2005.
Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance. After emerging from recession in 1992, Britain's economy enjoyed the longest period of expansion on record during which time growth outpaced most of Western Europe. In 2008, however, the global financial crisis hit the economy particularly hard, due to the importance of its financial sector.
Sharply declining home prices, high consumer debt, and the global economic slowdown compounded Britain's economic problems, pushing the economy into recession in the latter half of 2008 and prompting the then BROWN (Labour) government to implement a number of measures to stimulate the economy and stabilize the financial markets; these include nationalizing parts of the banking system, temporarily cutting taxes, suspending public sector borrowing rules, and moving forward public spending on capital projects.
Facing burgeoning public deficits and debt levels, in 2010 the CAMERON-led coalition government (between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) initiated a five-year austerity program, which aimed to lower London's budget deficit from over 10% of GDP in 2010 to nearly 1% by 2015. In November 2009, Chancellor of the Exchequer George OSBORNE announced additional austerity measures through 2017 because of slower-than-expected economic growth and the impact of the euro-zone debt crisis. The CAMERON government raised the value added tax from 17.5% to 20% in 2009. It has pledged to reduce the corporation tax rate to 21% by 2014.
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United States - Economic development
By the end of the 19th century, regulation rather than subsidy had become the characteristic form of government intervention in US economic life. The abuses of the railroads with respect to rates and services gave rise to the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887, which was subsequently strengthened by numerous acts that now stringently regulate all aspects of US railroad operations.
The growth of large-scale corporate enterprises, capable of exercising monopolistic or near-monopolistic control of given segments of the economy, resulted in federal legislation designed to control trusts. The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, reinforced by the Clayton Act of 1914 and subsequent acts, established the federal government as regulator of large-scale business. This tradition of government intervention in the economy was reinforced during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Labor Relations Board were established. The expansion of regulatory programs accelerated during the 1960s and early 1970s with the creation of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Consumer Product Safety Commission, among other bodies. Subsidy programs were not entirely abandoned, however. Federal price supports and production subsidies remained a major force in stabilizing US agriculture. Moreover, the federal government stepped in to arrange for guaranteed loans for two large private firms—Lockheed in 1971 and Chrysler in 1980—where thousands of jobs would have been lost in the event of bankruptcy
During this period, a general consensus emerged that, at least in some areas, government regulation was contributing to inefficiency and higher prices. The Carter administration moved to deregulate the airline, trucking, and communications industries; subsequently, the Reagan administration relaxed government regulation of bank savings accounts and automobile manufacture as it decontrolled oil and gas prices. The Reagan administration also sought to slow the growth of social-welfare spending and attempted, with only partial success, to transfer control over certain federal social programs to the states and to reduce or eliminate some programs entirely. Ironically, it was a Democrat, Bill Clinton, who, in 1996, signed legislation that replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a system of block grants that would enable the states to design and run their own welfare programs.
Some areas of federal involvement in social welfare, however, seem safely entrenched. Old age and survivors' insurance, unemployment insurance, and other aspects of the Social Security program have been accepted areas of governmental responsibility for decades. With the start of the 21st century, the government faced the challenge of keeping the Medicare program solvent as the postwar baby-boomer generation reached retirement age. Federal responsibility has also been extended to insurance of bank deposits, to mortgage insurance, and to regulation of stock transactions. The government fulfills a supervisory and regulatory role in labor-management relations. Labor and management customarily disagree on what the role should be, but neither side advocates total removal of government from this field.
Since the Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act of 1934, government regulation of foreign trade has tended toward decreased levels of protection, a trend maintained by the 1945 Trade Agreements Extension Act, the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, and the 1974 Trade Act. The goals of free trade have also been furthered since World War II by US participation in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). With the formation in 1995 of the World Trade Organization (WTO), most-favored-nation policies were expanded to trade in services and other areas. In 1993, Congress approved the North American Free Trade Agreement, which extended the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the United States to include Mexico. NAFTA, by eliminating tariffs and other trade barriers, created a free trade zone with a combined market size of $6.5 trillion and 370 million consumers. The effect on employment was uncertain—estimates varied from a loss of 150,000 jobs over the next ten years to a net gain of 200,000. Labor intensive goods-producing industries, such as apparel and textiles, were expected to suffer, while it was predicted that capital goods industries would benefit. It was anticipated that US automakers would benefit in the short run by taking advantage of the low wages in Mexico and that US grain farmers and the US banking, financial, and telecommunications sectors would gain enormous new markets. As of 2003, the pros and cons of NAFTA were still being hotly debated. Spokespersons for organized labor claimed in 2000 that the agreement had resulted in a net loss of 420,000 jobs, while advocates of free trade insisted that 311,000 new jobs had been created to support record US exports to Canada and Mexico, with only 116,000 workers displaced—a net gain of 195,000 jobs.
In 2003, President George W. Bush introduced, and Congress passed a tax cut of $350 billion designed to stimulate the economy, which was in a period of slow growth. This came on the heels of a $1.35 trillion tax cut passed in 2001 and a $96 billion stimulus package in 2002. Democrats cited the loss of 2.7 million private sector jobs during the first three years of the Bush administration as evidence that the president did not have control over the economy. In 1998, for the first time since 1969, the federal budget closed the fiscal year with a surplus. In 2000, the government was running a surplus of $236 billion, or a projected $5.6 trillion over 10 years. By mid-2003, the federal budget had fallen into deficit; the deficit stood at $455 billion, which was4.2% of gross domestic product (GDP). Congress was debating an overhaul of the Medicare program, to provide prescription drug coverage for the elderly and disabled.
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