It is well known that education hasn't always been available to all social strata, but instead, for the most part of history, was reserved for those whose families could afford it. That was the case in Kent for centuries, as it was in the whole of England. Throughout the Middle Ages and after the Industrial Revolution, the vast majority of children remained illiterate as they did not have the social status or the finances to aspire to a better future. The Victorian era is known for astonishing figures of child exploitation and before 1870, when the Education Act was passed, very little changed. A great number of schools were run by unpaid volunteers and did not receive support from local authorities. The situation improved only formally throughout the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, as education remained extremely underfunded. During the 20th century, education in Kent was marked by the two World Wars, which brought about material destruction as well as a shortage of teachers. Legislation changed again in 1944 and the number of schools and related institutions increased dramatically, yet there was still insufficient funding and deficient conditions in partially damaged buildings. However, the system diversified and schools with specific profiles, such as technological or artistic ones were created. Attendance also increased significantly. Although the situation is not excellent at the moment either, there are a number of remarkable vocational institutions and four universities with a fairly long tradition.
Hartsdown Technology College. Located in Margate, the school, which has got a technological profile, provides secondary education to pupils aged 11 to 19. Although overall county Kent hasn't got the best reputation with regards to eminent schools, the performance of Hartsdown Technology College has been well above average for the last few years, which has gained the institution nationwide reputation.
Brockhill Park Performing Arts College. This institution is located in Hythe and provides education to pupils aged 11 to 18, in a number of very diverse fields such as art, music, vocational sciences, media, languages, rural science, mathematics, humanities and many more. What distinguished the college grounds is the encompassment of a theatre and working farm, which provide a unique opportunity for practical experience. The performance obtained by this college has been very high and considerably higher compared to other similar establishments.
1. Canterbury Christ Church University. Founded in 1962, this institution was originally Canterbury Christ Church College and was awarded university status in 2005. Its religious connotation derives from the fact that it was created by the Church of England at a time of intense struggle for the national educational system, when there was a scarcity of teachers and higher teaching institutions in the area. Its headquarters is located in Canterbury, yet throughout the years four more campuses were opened, in Tunbridge Wells, Medway, Folkestone and Broadstairs. Today its curriculum is centred on preparing students for employment in the public sector. The university has developed five faculties, those of Health and Social Care, Social and Applied Sciences, Business and Management, Arts and Humanities and Education.
2. University of Kent. With its headquarters located in Canterbury and two other national sites in Tonbridge and Medway, the University of Kent was founded in 1965. It is a commended institution, highly sought after by prospective students and over the years having produced impressive results. Due to its modern architecture, which was common at the time, it is classed as a plate glass university, a term by which all similarly built universities are identified. The university has also established two sites in mainland Europe (for post-graduates only), in Paris and Brussels, which are also renowned as busy learning centres. The Canterbury campus is structured into five colleges (Keynes, Darwin, Rutherford, Eliot and Woolf), to which two associate colleges can be added (Wye and Chaucer). The University of Kent encompasses three faculties, namely Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences.
3. University of Greenwich. Originally based in London, the University of Greenwich dates back to 1890, when it was founded as a technically profiled institution, an orientation which it has maintained to this day. During the 20th century a number of affiliated colleges were established in Kent, namely Canterbury College, West Kent College, North West Kent College, Hadlow College and Bird College, the latter being specialised on performing arts. Over the years, the university has focused on natural science, engineering and mathematics.
4. University of Creative Arts. The University of Creative Arts goes back to 1866, when Farnham School of Art was founded, and attained its present configuration in 2005, through the association of many similar institutions. It currently comprises five colleges, at Rochester, Farnham, Maidstone, Epsom and Canterbury. Its curriculum is diversified in order to offer a training platform for a number of artistic as well as public sector fields of activity such as Art, Graphics, Design, Media, Fashion and Architecture.