higher education

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higher education
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{{other uses|Higher Education (disambiguation)}}{{redirect|Higher learning||Higher Learning (disambiguation)}}{{short description|Academic tertiary education, such as from colleges and universities}}{{Broader|Tertiary education}}(File:20160512 GCC Graduation (26887523562).jpg|thumb|right|200px|A post-secondary graduate receives a diploma during a graduation ceremony.)Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion of secondary education. It represents levels 6, 7 and 8 of the 2011 version of the International Standard Classification of Education structure. Tertiary education at non-degree level is sometimes referred to as further education or continuing education as distinct from higher education.The right of access to higher education is mentioned in a number of international human rights instruments. The UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966 declares, in Article 13, that "higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education". In Europe, Article 2 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, adopted in 1950, obliges all signatory parties to guarantee the right to educationSince World War II, developed and many developing countries have increased the participation of the age group who mostly studies higher education from the elite rate, of up to 15 per cent, to the mass rate of 16 to 50 per cent.Trow, Martin (1973) Problems in the transition from elite to mass higher education. Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, Berkeley,weblink accessed 1 August 2013Brennan, John (2004) The social role of the contemporary university: contradictions, boundaries and change, in Center for Higher Education Research and Information (ed.)Ten years on: changing education in a changing world (Buckingham: The Open University Press),weblink accessed 9 February 2014 In many developed countries, participation in higher education has continued to increase towards universal or, what Trow later called, open access, where over half of the relevant age group participate in higher education.Trow, Martin (2007) [2005] Reflections on the transition from elite to mass to universal access: forms and phases of higher education in modern societies since WWII, Springer International Handbooks of Education volume 18, 2007, 243-280 Higher education is important to national economies, both as an industry, in its own right, and as a source of trained and educated personnel for the rest of the economy. College educated workers have commanded a measurable wage premium and are much less likely to become unemployed than less educated workers.JOURNAL, 1941070, Risk-Based Student Loans, 2011-09-05, OECD, Education at a Glance (2011)


Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion of secondary education. It is delivered at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, conservatories, and institutes of technology, and through certain college-level institutions, including vocational schools, trade schools, and other career colleges that award degrees. Tertiary education at non-degree level is sometimes referred to as further education or continuing education as distinct from higher education.The International Standard Classification of Education in 1997 initially classified all tertiary education together in 1997 version of its schema. They were referred to as level 5 and doctoral studies at level 6. In 2011, this was refined and expanded 2011 version of the structure. Higher education at undergraduate level, masters and doctoral level became levels 6, 7 and 8. Non-degree level Tertiary education, sometimes referred to as further education or continuing education was reordered ISCED 2011 level 4, with level 5 for some higher courses.Revision of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), retrieved 05-04-2012.In the days when few pupils progressed beyond primary education or basic education, the term "higher education" was often used to refer to secondary education, which can create some confusion.For example, Higher Education: General and Technical, a 1933 National Union of Teachers pamphlet by Lord Eustace Percy, which is actually about secondary education and uses the two terms interchangeably. This is the origin of the term high school for various schools for children between the ages of 14 and 18 (United States) or 11 and 18 (UK and Australia).weblinkHigher education includes teaching, research, exacting applied work (e.g. in medical schools and dental schools), and social services activities of universities.Pucciarelli F., Kaplan Andreas M. (2016) Competition and Strategy in Higher Education: Managing Complexity and Uncertainty, Business Horizons, Volume 59 Within the realm of teaching, it includes both the undergraduate level, and beyond that, graduate-level (or postgraduate level). The latter level of education is often referred to as graduate school, especially in North America. In addition to the skills that are specific to any particular degree, potential employers in any profession are looking for evidence of critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills, teamworking skills, information literacy, ethical judgment, decision-making skills, fluency in speaking and writing, problem solving skills, and a wide knowledge of liberal arts and sciences.PRESS RELEASE, 20 January 2015, Employers Judge Recent Graduates Ill-Prepared for Today’s Workplace, Endorse Broad and Project-Based Learning as Best Preparation for Career Opportunity and Long-Term Success,weblink Washington, DC, Association of American Colleges and Universities, 11 April 2017,


The University of al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco is the oldest existing, continually operating higher educational institution in the world according to UNESCO and Guinness World RecordsOldest UniversityWEB, Medina of Fez,weblink UNESCO World Heritage Centre, UNESCO, 7 April 2016, and is occasionally referred to as the oldest university by scholars.Verger, Jacques: "Patterns", in: Ridder-Symoens, Hilde de (ed.): A History of the University in Europe. Vol. I: Universities in the Middle Ages, Cambridge University Press, 2003, {{ISBN|978-0-521-54113-8}}, pp. 35–76 (35)But there are older institutions of higher education. For example, the University of Ez-Zitouna in Montfleury, Tunis, was first established in 737.



The general higher education and training that takes place in a university, college, or Institute of technology usually includes significant theoretical and abstract elements, as well as applied aspects (although limited offerings of internships or SURF programs attempt to provide practical applications). In contrast, the vocational higher education and training that takes place at vocational universities and schools usually concentrates on practical applications, with very little theory.In addition, professional-level education is always included within Higher Education, and usually in graduate schools since many postgraduate academic disciplines are both vocationally, professionally, and theoretically/research oriented, such as in the law, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and veterinary medicine. A basic requirement for entry into these graduate-level programs is almost always a bachelor's degree, although alternative means of obtaining entry into such programs may be available at some universities. Requirements for admission to such high-level graduate programs is extremely competitive, and admitted students are expected to perform well.(File:US household wealth by education.png|thumb|Mean financial wealth of U.S. families by education of the head of household, 1989-2010)(File:US household income by education.png|thumb|Mean income of U.S. families by education of the head of household, 1989-2010)When employers in any profession consider hiring a college graduate, they are looking for evidence of critical thinking, analytical reasoning skills, teamworking skills, information literacy, ethical judgment, decision-making skills, communication skills (using both text and speech), problem solving skills, and a wide knowledge of liberal arts and sciences. However, most employers consider the average graduate to be more or less deficient in all of these areas.PRESS RELEASE, 20 January 2015, Employers Judge Recent Graduates Ill-Prepared for Today’s Workplace, Endorse Broad and Project-Based Learning as Best Preparation for Career Opportunity and Long-Term Success,weblink Washington, DC, Association of American Colleges and Universities, 11 April 2017, In the United States, there are large differences in wages and employment associated with different degrees. Medical doctors and lawyers are generally the highest paid workers, and have among the lowest unemployment rates. Among undergraduate fields of study, science, technology, engineering, math, and business generally offer the highest wages and best chances of employment, while education, communication, and liberal arts degrees generally offer lower wages and a lower likelihood of employment.PRESS RELEASE, The Economic Value of College Majors, Georgetown University, May 2015,weblink 17 August 2016,

Liberal arts

Academic areas that are included within the liberal arts include great books, history, languages including English, linguistics, literature, mathematics, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies, science, environmental science, sociology and theater.


Teaching engineering is teaching the application of scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge in order to design, build, maintain, and improve structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes. It may encompass using insights to conceive, model and scale an appropriate solution to a problem or objective. The discipline of engineering is extremely broad, and encompasses a range of more specialized fields of engineering, each with a more specific emphasis on particular areas of technology and types of application. Engineering disciplines include aerospace, biological, civil, chemical, computer, electrical, industrial, and mechanical.

Performing arts

The performing arts differ from the plastic arts or visual arts, insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face and presence as a medium; the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint, which can be molded or transformed to create a work of art.Performing arts institutions include (:Category:Circus schools|circus schools), dance schools, drama schools and music schools.

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 painting, sculpture, and drawing.Higher educational institutions in these arts include film schools and art schools.


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.

Professional higher education

This describes a distinct form of higher education that offers a particularly intense integration with the world of work in all its aspects (including teaching, learning, research and governance) and at all levels of the overarching Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area. Its function is to diversify learning opportunities, enhance employability, offer qualifications and stimulate innovation, for the benefit of learners and society.The intensity of integration with the world of work (which includes enterprise, civil society and the public sector) is manifested by a strong focus on application of learning. This approach involves combining phases of work and study, a concern for employability, cooperation with employers, the use of practice-relevant knowledge and use-inspired research.WEB,weblink Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe, 2013, 2014-10-17, Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe, EURASHE, Examples of providers of professional higher education may include graduate colleges of architecture, business, journalism, law, library science, optometry, pharmacy, public policy, human medicine, professional engineering, podiatric medicine, scientific dentistry, K-12 education, and veterinary medicine.


A 2014 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development states that by 2014, 84 percent of young people were completing upper secondary education over their lifetimes, in high-income countries. Tertiary-educated individuals were earning twice as much as median workers. In contrast to historical trends in education, young women were more likely to complete upper secondary education than young men. Additionally, access to education was expanding and growth in the number of people receiving university education was rising sharply. By 2014, close to 40 percent of people aged 25–34 (and around 25 percent of those aged 55–64), were being educated at university.NEWS, Higher levels of education paying off for young, says OECD,weblink September 2014, September 11, 2014, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development,

Recognition of studies

The Lisbon Recognition Convention stipulates that degrees and periods of study must be recognised in all of the Signatory Parties of the Convention.WEB, Lisbon Recognition Convention,weblink, 28 May 2019,

Problems associated with growing enrollments

Universities worldwide have permitted or actively encouraged grade inflation as they compete with each other for students.{{Citation
| last =Gunn
| first =Andrew
| last2 =Kapade
| first2 =Priya
| title =The university grade inflation debate is going global
| publisher =University World News
| date =25 May 2018
| url =
| access-date =23 June 2019
| quote =The grading process has been compromised as universities are incentivised to meet the demands of their customers and graduate more students with top grades to boost their institutional ranking. }}WEB
, Is grade inflation a worldwide trend?
, Baker
, Simon
, June 28, 2018
, The World University Rankings
, Times Higher Education
, June 23, 2019
, Departments where enrollments were falling felt under pressure to relax their grading practices to make their courses more attractive, leading to an “arms race” in grade inflation.,
Also, the supply of graduates in many fields of study is exceeding the demand for their skills, which aggravates graduate unemployment, underemployment, credentialism and educational inflation.{{Citation
| last =Coates
| first =Ken
| last2 =Morrison
| first2 =Bill
| author2-link =
| title =Dream Factories: Why Universities Won't Solve the Youth Jobs Crisis
| place =Toronto
| publisher =Dundurn Books
| year =2016
| pages =232
| url =
| isbn =9781459733770 }}{{Citation
| last =Brown
| first =Phillip
| last2 =Lauder
| first2 =Hugh
| last3 =Ashton
| first3 =David
| title =The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes
| publisher =Oxford University Press
| year =2012
| pages =208
| url =
| isbn =9780199926442 }}

See also

{{Wikipedia books|Education}}


File:Var 132.jpg|Courtyard, Al-Qarawiyyin University, Fes, MoroccoFile:Bologna-vista02.jpg|University of Bologna, located in Bologna, Italy, is the oldest institution of higher education in the Western world.Top Universities World University Rankings Retrieved 2010-1-6Our History - Università di BolognaBOOK, The Challenge of Bologna, Paul L. Gaston, 2010, 18, 978-1-57922-366-3, File:Templo y Ex Convento, Santiago Tlatelolco.jpg|Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco, located in Mexico City, Mexico, was the first and oldest European school of higher learning in the AmericasBOOK,weblink The first college in America: Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco., Washington DC, 1936, Steck, Francis Borgia, and the first and oldest major school of interpreters and translators in the New World.BOOK,weblink The Imperial College of Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco, Lourdes Arencibia Rodriguez, File:College Hall U Penn.JPG|The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the first institution in the United States of America to use the term "university" in its name.File:KingsCollegeChapelWest.jpg|The University of Cambridge is an institution of higher learning in Cambridge, United Kingdom.File:McGill University Arts Building2.JPG|McGill University is an institution of higher learning in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and one of two Canadian members of the Association of American Universities.File:Moskva MGU 3.jpg|The Moscow State University is an institution of higher learning in Moscow, Russia.File:Tsinghua University - Grand auditorium.JPG|The Jeffersonian architecture of Tsinghua University, an institution of higher learning in Beijing, China.File:University of Tokyo - Gogetsusai 2010.JPG|The University of Tokyo is an institution of higher learning in Tokyo, Japan.File:Faculdade de Direito da USP 01.jpg|The University of São Paulo is an institution of higher learning in São Paulo, Brazil.




  • Bakvis, Herman and David M. Cameron (2000), weblink" title="">"Post-secondary education and the SUFA". IRPP.
  • Commission Reports: A National Dialogue: The Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education, United States Department of Education, 2006. weblink
  • Davies, Antony and Thomas W. Cline (2005). The ROI on the MBA, BizEd.
  • Douglass, John A. and Todd Greenspan, eds. "The History of the California Master Plan for Higher Education."
  • 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.
  • Forest, James and Kinser, Kevin. (2002). Higher Education in the United States: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
  • Green, Madeleine, F., ed. 1988. Leaders for a New Era: Strategies for Higher Education. New York: Macmillan.
  • Miller, Patrick L. (1979). Choosing a College. Madison, Wis.: Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. p. 43. Briefly considers the criteria by which a student might select a college or university for study. {{ISBN|0-87784-172-1}}
  • Roszak, Theodore, ed. (1968). The Dissenting Academy. New York: Pantheon Books. x, 304 p.
  • Snyder, Benson R. (1970). The Hidden Curriculum. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • 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. weblink" title="">(highlights of report)
  • Veblen, Thorstein (1918). The Higher Learning in America: A Memorandum on the Conduct of Universities by Businessmen. New York: Huebsch

External links

{{Commons category|Higher education}}{{Wiktionary}} {{Academic degrees}}{{Navboxes| title = Higher education by region| list ={{Africa topic|Higher education in}}{{Asia topic|Higher education in}}{{Europe topic|Higher education in}}{{North America topic|Higher education in}}{{Oceania topic|Higher education in}}{{South America topic|Higher education in}}}}{{Schools}}{{Education stages}}{{Authority control}}

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