Great Britain is considered to be the home of many academic organizations, like schools, colleges, universities, and various academic societies. British academic traditions were established many centuries ago and they have been always connected with such popular universities as Oxbridge and the old Scottish universities.
The name "Oxbridge" denotes the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Both of them were founded in the medieval period. They are federations of semi-independent colleges. Each college has its own staff, known as "Fellows". Most colleges have their own dining hall, library and chapel and contain enough accommodation for at least half of their students. The Fellows teach the college students either one-to-one or in very small groups (known as 'tutorials' in Oxford and 'supervisions' in Cambridge). Lectures and laboratory work are organized at university level. As well as the college libraries, there are the two university libraries. They are legally entitled to a free copy of every book published in Britain. Before 1970 all Oxbridge colleges were single-sex (mostly for men). Now, the majority admit both sexes.
By 1600 Scotland boasted four universities. They were Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and St. Andrews. The last of these resembles Oxbridge in many ways. The other three are more like civic universities in which most of the students live at home or find their own rooms in town. At all of them the pattern of study is closer to the European tradition, than to the English one. There is less specialization than at Oxbridge.
to denote smth — означать что-либо; иметь значение
the medieval period — Средневековый период
semi-independent colleges — полунезависимые колледжи
a chapel — часовня
tutorials and supervisions — семинары и консультации
to be legally entitled to smth — полагаться по закону
to resemble smth — походить, быть похожим на что-то, кого-то
civic universities — общественный или государственный университет