The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Higher education

Higher education is education provided by universities and other institutions that award academic degrees, such as university colleges, and liberal arts colleges.

Higher education includes both the teaching and the research 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 quaternary education or graduate school). Higher education differs from other forms of post-secondary education such as vocational education. 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 law and medicine.

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; it is often argued that in a modern economy the quantity and quality of such human capital is the most important factor underlying economic growth.

Working in Higher Education

One can work in higher education either as member of the academic faculty, often by obtaining a doctorate in an academic field, or a member of the staff or administration. Some administrative work is performed in Student Affairs which supports students outside of the classroom.

Further reading

Higher education in the United States

  • 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.
  • Veblen, Thorstein (1918). The Higher Learning in America: A Memorendum on the Conduct of Universities by Businessmen. New York: Huebsch

Higher education in Canada

External links

Kindergarten Primary education Secondary education Post-secondary education Tertiary education Quaternary education

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