Scotland also has a separate Scottish education system. The Act of Union guaranteed the rights of the Scottish universities, but more importantly, Scotland became the first country since Sparta in classical Greece to implement a system of general public education. This began with the Education Act of 1696 and became compulsory for children from the implementation of the Education Act of 1872 onwards. As a result, for over two hundred years Scotland had a higher percentage of its population educated at primary, secondary and tertiary levels than any other country in Europe. The differences in education have manifested themselves in different ways, but most noticeably in the number of Scots who went on to become leaders in their fields during the 18th and 19th centuries.
School students in Scotland sit Higher exams rather than the English A-Level system. Also, a Scottish university's honours degree takes four years of study as opposed to three in the rest of Britain.