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Higher education

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The University of Cambridge is one of the many institutes of higher learning in the U.K.
The University of Cambridge is one of the many institutes of higher learning in the U.K.

Higher education is education provided by universities, vocational universities (community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and technical colleges, etc.) and other collegial institutions that award academic degrees, such as career colleges.


[edit] Overview

Post-secondary or tertiary education, also referred to as third-stage, third level education, or higher education, is the non-compulsory educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education, such as a high school, secondary school, or gymnasium. Tertiary education is normally taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education, as well as vocational education and training. Colleges and universities are the main institutions that provide tertiary education (sometimes known collectively as tertiary institutions). Examples of institutions that provide post-secondary education are vocational schools, community colleges and universities in the United States, the TAFEs in Australia, CEGEPs in Quebec,and the IEKs in Greece. They are sometimes known collectively as tertiary institutions. Tertiary education generally results in the receipt of certificates, diplomas, or academic degrees.

Higher education includes teaching, research and social services activities of universities, and within the realm of teaching, it includes both the undergraduate level (sometimes referred to as tertiary education) and the graduate (or postgraduate) level (sometimes referred to as graduate school). In the United Kingdom post-secondary education below the level of higher education is referred to as further education. Higher education in that country generally involves work towards a degree-level or foundation degree qualification.

In most developed countries a high proportion of the population (up to 50%) now enter higher education at some time in their lives. Higher education is therefore very important to national economies, both as a significant industry in its own right, and as a source of trained and educated personnel for the rest of the economy.

There can be disagreement about what precisely constitutes post-secondary or tertiary education: "It is not always clear, though, what tertiary education includes. Is it only that which results in a formal qualification or might it include leisure classes? In the UK, are A-levels tertiary education as they are post-compulsory but taught in school settings as well as colleges? Is professional updating or on-the-job training part of tertiary education, even if it does not follow successful completion of secondary education?"[1]

There are two types of higher education in the UK: higher general education and higher vocational education. Higher education in the United States specifically refers to post-secondary institutions that offer associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees, master's degrees or Ph.D. degrees or equivalents. Such institutions may offer non-degree certificates which indicate completion of a set of courses comprising some body of knowledge, but the granting of such certificates is not the primary purpose of the institution. Tertiary education is not a term used in reference to post-secondary institutions in the United States.

[edit] Types

[edit] General

Main article: University

Higher general education and training generally takes place in a university and/or college. Such education is based on theoretical expertise. Higher general education might be contrasted with higher vocational education, which concentrate on both practice and theory. A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees; including Bachelor's degrees, Master's degrees and doctorates in a variety of subjects. However, most professional education is included within higher education, and many postgraduate qualifications are strongly vocationally or professionally oriented, for example in disciplines such as social work, law and medicine.

Deciding to further your education and attain a degree tends to improve many aspects of life. People with college degrees tend to earn more money and salary increases over the years are more substantial than for those that do not have a college degree or university degree. Additionally, people that have a college degree are less likely to go through long bouts of unemployment. In 2005 overall unemployment rates in the United States were about 7.1% for high school graduates and only 3.5% for college graduates. There are many technical and manual labor professions where acquiring a college degree may not seem as important as with other career fields. However, attaining certifications and / or degrees related to your field can yield better jobs and ongoing opportunities. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers there have been steady increases in college job placement and recruiting on college campuses throughout 2005 and on into 2006. This means that not only are college graduates more likely to find good jobs, but they have added resources to aid in the job search process during and after college. The United States Department of Labor publishes the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). The Occupational Outlook Handbook has up to date statistics about many areas of a given occupation, from training and education required, to expected earnings, long term job prospects, what the occupation typically involves on a daily basis as well as the working conditions you can expect to find. The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a wonderful tool that you can use in various ways. If you have narrowed down your career or college major choices, you can use the information found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook to find out what a future in each area looks like. You may be surprised to see the differences in seemingly similar career fields, whether in terms of salary, working conditions or longer term job prospects. You can access the Occupational Outlook Handbook by visiting the U.S. Department of Labor website at http://www.bls.gov/oco/. In addition to career and education statistics, there are also many useful tools for job searching and links to state specific job market information.

[edit] In arts and social sciences

Academic areas that may be included in the Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences category include:

[edit] In performing arts

The performing arts differ from the plastic arts or visual arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face, presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some art object.

Performing arts include:

[edit] In plastic or visual arts

The plastic arts or visual arts are a class of art forms, that involve the use of materials that can be moulded or modulated in some way, often in three dimensions. Examples are clay, paint and plaster. Arts that can be said to be Plastic Arts are therefore Painting, Sculpture, Drawing, etc.

The plastic arts may refer to:

[edit] Vocational

Main article: Vocational university

Higher vocational education and training takes place at the non-university tertiary level. Such education combines teaching of both practical skills and theoretical expertise. Higher education differs from other forms of post-secondary education such as that offered by institutions of vocational education, which are more colloquially known as trade schools. Higher vocational education might be contrasted with education in a usually broader scientific field, which might concentrate on theory and abstract conceptual knowledge. A Vocational university is an institution of higher education and sometime research, which grants Professional degrees like Professional Bachelor's degree, Professional Master's degree and Professional doctorates) in a variety of subjects.

There are vocational universities in Applied sciences and Applied arts

[edit] As employers

Universities are fairly large employers. Depending on the funding, a university typically has a teacher per 3-20 students. According to the ideal of research-university, the university teaching staff is actively involved in the research of the institution. In addition, the university usually also has dedicated research staff and a considerable support staff. Typically to work in higher education as a member of the academic faculty, one must first obtain a doctorate in an academic field, although some lower teaching positions require only master's degree. Member of the staff or administration usually have education that is necessary for the fulfilment of their duties. Depending on the university, the main administration is more or less centralized. Typically most of the administrative staff works in different administrative sections, such as Student Affairs. In addition, there may be central support units, such as a university library which have a dedicated staff.

The professional field involving the collection, analysis, and reporting of higher education data is called institutional research. Professionals in this field can be found, in addition to universities, in e.g. state educational departments.

[edit] By region

[edit] Africa

[edit] Asia

[edit] Europe

[edit] North America

[edit] Oceania

[edit] South America

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

[edit] References

Higher education in the United States
  • Davies, Antony and Thomas W. Cline (2005). The ROI on the MBA, BizEd.
  • El-Khawas, E. (1996). Campus trends. Washington, DC.: American Council on Education.
  • Ewell, P.T. (1999). Assessment of higher education and quality: Promise and politics. In S.J. Messick (Ed.), Assessment in higher education: Issues of access, quality, student development, and public policy. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Finn, C. E. (1988, Jul.-Aug.). Judgment time for higher education: In the court of public opinion. Change, 20(4), 34-39.
  • Green, Madeleine, F., ed. 1988. Leaders for a New Era: Strategies for Higher Education. New York: Macmillan.
  • Snyder, Benson R. (1970). The Hidden Curriculum. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Veblen, Thorstein (1918). The Higher Learning in America: A Memorandum on the Conduct of Universities by Businessmen. New York: Huebsch
  • Forest, James and Kevin Kinser (2002). Higher Education in the United States: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
  • Douglass, John A. and Todd Greenspan, eds. "The History of the California Master Plan for Higher Education."
  • Commission Reports: A National Dialogue: The Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education, United States Department of Education, 2006. [1]
  • Spellings, Margaret, "A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education", A Report of the Commission Appointed by Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, September 2006. (highlights of report)
  • Bakvis, Herman and David M. Cameron (2000), "Post-secondary education and the SUFA". IRPP.

[edit] External links

Preceded by
Twelfth Grade or Grade 13
Higher Education
No Specific
Succeeded by
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