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Text A


Exercise 1
Before reading the passage, think over the questions.

1. How much do you spend at college per month on an average?
2. Are your total expenses at college a burden on your parents? Why or why not?

Now read the passage to know more about the same problem in Britain.

School Costs Are Rising in Britain, Too

1 Asked recently why the British spend less lavishly on luxuries than the Italians or the French, Philippe Leopold-Metzger, who was then the London head of the French jeweller Cartier, had a ready reply: House prices and school fees.
2 The cost of housing in southeast England has fallen sharply in recent years, but school fees continue to rise. Over the past decade, school fees have consistently outstripped the British rate of inflation.
3 This is not only bad news to British parents. British private schools, known confusingly as "public schools", attract pupils from around the world. The English language accounts for part of their drawing power, prestige for much of the remainder. Well over a century after the Duke of Wellington asserted that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, British schools retain their reputation for offering a first-class education.
4 But privately educating a child in Britain does not come cheap. According to the London-based Independent Schools Information Service, or Isis, senior boarding schools cost up to £12 000 ($18 000) a year. And fees are continuing to rise, although the rate is slowing.
5 Average fees for both boarding and day schools rose about 4 percent in the year ending in September 1993, after increases of 8.5 percent the previous year and more than 12 percent in each of the previous two years, said the information service's deputy director, Richard Davison. Estimates for the current year are about 3 percent, he said.
6 "Fees are rising at a slower rate now because schools have learned very rapidly that they cannot charge more than the market can bear," said Mr Davison. But the resilience of the market may owe more to the willingness of parents to make huge sacrifices for their children's education than to the forbearance of schools in raising fees.
7 Financial advisers say that parents are also starting to worry about university education in Britain. In Britain, unlike the United States, university students cover most of their higher-education expenses through government grants. But grants have not kept pace with inflation and British government ministers have argued that students and their families should bear more of the load.
8 So how do parents finance private education in Britain? According to a recent Isis survey, only about 30 percent make any advance plans. Most struggle to pay fees directly from their salary and other personal income. But this has become increasingly difficult as costs rise and families are starting to acknowledge that some planning is necessary.
9 Parents with the foresight to plan 10 years in advance should invest on a monthly basis in a series of endowment policies, suggests Isis. A policy will mature in each year the child is at school. The benefits from these policies will usually be exempt from personal income and capital-gains tax, unless they are discontinued.
10 Particularly fortunate are parents with lump sums to invest. They can cut fees by as much as two-thirds through bank savings or investment trusts, according to Isis. A capital sum can also be invested in an educational trust, currently tax-free in Britain, or in advance to an individual school. The latter approach, known as school composition fees, provides a future discount on fees.
11 "A lump sum put down at the time of the pupil's entry to cover all or part of the likely fees might attract a reduction of some 15 percent of the fess covered." according to Isis, "A lump sum put down four years in advance could reduce fees by as much as 50 percent."
12 Mr Davison warned that education trusts and composition payments may be difficult to transfer if parents choose another school or leave the country. "But most plans allow you to use the money for anything you like if your plans change," he said.
13 Fewer options are available to parents who have not been able to save in advance. Most attempt to pay fees directly out of their income, others turn to grandparents for help and some arrange for school fees to be paid out of loans secured on their property.

New Words

ad. 过度地,过分地

n. 奢侈品,奢华

n. a precious stone 宝石

n. 1. 珠宝行
2. a person who sells jewels; a trader in jewels 珠宝商

n. the act or action of providing a place to live 住房供给

n.& a. 东南方(的)

a. regular 一贯的

ad. regularly 常常,一直

v. to become larger in amount or more successful 超过

n. 通货膨胀

n. power or influence coming from respect 威信,影响力

v. to declare 声明,宣称

n. the general opinion about a person or thing 名声,名誉

a. 1. 地位或级别较高的,资格较老的
2. old or older 年长的

a. coming earlier in time or order 先前的,早先的

n. 1. 复原力,适应力
2. 弹性
n. patience; self-control 耐心,自制

n. (usu.pl) money used or needed for sth. (常用复数)费用

n. money given by the state, usu. for educational purposes 拨款,助学金

n. rate or speed 速度

n. an amount being carried, esp. heavy 负荷,(喻)负担
v. to put a full load on something 装载

n. the ability to see future needs 先见,远见

v. to put (money in) 投资,投资于

a. done or happening once a month 每月一次的

n. 1. 资助,捐赠
2. 天赋,才能

n. 保险单

v. to come or bring to full development (使)成熟
a. 1. fully grown or developed 成熟的
2. careful 慎重的

a. free 免除的,被免除(义务、责任、税等)的

n. the profit made from the sale of investment 资本收益

v. to put an end to; give up 中止,放弃

a. lucky 幸运的

a. 整个的,总共的
n. (不成形的)块,团

n. an amount of money 金额

n. 1. the part of which something is made up 组成,成分
2. 写作,作文

n. an amount of money which may be taken off the full price 折扣

n. coming or going in 进入

n. the amount taken off 减少(量),削减(数)

n. 1.the right or power of choosing 选择权
2. a thing that is chosen (供)选择的事物

n. that which is owned (and has some value)财产

Phrases and Expressions

account for

owe to

make sacrifices for

keep pace with

on a...basis

invest in

(be) known as

put down

Proper Names

Philippe Leopold-Metzger


the Duke of Wellington



私立学校信息社(=Independent Schools Information Service)

Richard Davison

Text B


Exercise 1
The passage you are going to read is entitled "Budget Puts Students in More Debt". Think over the questions before reading the passage

1. What do you think the budget as mentioned in the title may probably refer to?
A. The rise of schools fees.
B. The cut of grants.
C. The cut in income tax.
D. The lower savings interest.
2. Which of the following may be the possible effect of "More Debt"?
A. Being unable to pay for the school fees.
B. A heavy burden to the parents.
C. A harm to the higher education.
D. The increase of drop-out rates.

Now read the passage and compare your answers with the author's.

Budget Puts Students in More Debt

1 On hearing the budget announcement that student grants were to be cut by ten percent, Acting University Secretary John Halstead and Students' Union General Secretary, Emily Lomax issued the following joint statement.
2 It does seem very shortsighted to make life so very much harder for students on whom the country's future prosperity depends.
3 The proposed ten percent cut in grants and corresponding increase in student debt will make many question the value of coming to university at all. It comes at a time when students can rarely obtain vacation work to supplement their grants nor find work when they graduate.
4 The four percent increase in 1994/95 in overall funds available to students (grant plus loan) applies only to those studying in London, for Lancaster and everywhere else outside London the figure is 2.9%. Of students' total income (grant and loan) of £3155 next session, 35% will be loan compared with this session's £3065 of which 26% is loan.
5 Lancaster graduates are more successful at obtaining jobs than most (our unemployment rate is twelve percent against the national rate of sixteen). But many graduates have to take work which does not fully utilise their training. For example, six of our recent graduates have taken up fulltime employment in the restaurant, bar and reception areas of one local hotel.
6 The university that the budget proposals seem set to reduce access to higher education. Particularly hard hit will be mature students and students whose parents are out of work and unable to supplement the students' income. They find it especially hard to help throughout vacations when students have no benefit entitlement and little chance of employment. Such a reduction in access to higher education may prove to be very shortsighted as demand for skilled people increases as the country (hopefully) moves out of recession.
7 John Halstead, Acting University Secretary, said, "Yesterday's announcement makes matters worse, not better. I am very worried about the increasing burden of debt carried by a majority of students. Their stress levels are now such that a growing number is leaving and those who remain find that their constant financial difficulties mean that their academic work suffers."
8 Emily Lomax, General Secretary of the Lancaster Students' Union, was shocked by the proposals and said, " Students are genuinely shocked at the ten percent cut in the level of grants. They cannot afford it. Already, in general, students are demoralised by the debt that they are in and by the prospect of graduate unemployment. The decision to reduce grants serves only to make this situation worse.
9 "Drop-out rates due to financial difficulty are on the up and a cut in maintenance grants will restrict access to higher education. Currently students are making the choice between financial hardship now, or debt later, and usually end up facing both.
10 "Furthermore, students over the age of 50 are not eligible for student loans and so this decision hits them perhaps even harder than the school leavers. The decision to cut back even further the slim financial support given to students will not be easily accepted."

New Words

n. a plan of how to spend money 预算
v. to make a plan about how to spend money 造预算

n. 1.(大学学生的)学生会,俱乐部
2. 联合,合并

a. not considering the likely future effects of present action 眼光短浅的

a. matching; related 相应的,相关的

a. including everything 全部的

v. to make use of 使有用,利用

n. 1. an act of receiving 接待
2. the office or department that receives visitors to a hotel 接待处

n. a plan or suggestion offered 提议,建议

n. means or right of using, reaching or entering 享用权,进入的机会

v. 1. to give right to 给…权利(或资格)
2. 给(书、文章等)题名

n. 1. that which entitles 应得的权利
2. 津贴,补贴

a. giving hope 有希望的

ad. 有希望地

n. a period of reduced activity of trade 不景气,衰败

a. of teaching, studying; of schools, colleges, etc. 学术的,学校的

v. 1. to weaken the courage, confidence, etc. (使)泄气
2. to hurt (使)腐化

n. a person who stops attending school or college without completing the course 退学者

a. suitable to be chosen 合适的

a. 1. small; insufficient 不足的
2. attractively thin, not fat 苗条的

Phrases and Expressions

compare with

take up

such that

cut back

Proper Names

John Halstead

Emily Lomax