College Educaiton

Higher education refers to a level of education that is provided by universities, vocational universities, community colleges, liberal arts colleges, institutes of technology and other collegiate level institutions, such as vocational schools, trade schools and career colleges, that award academic degrees or professional certifications. Since 1950, Article 2 of the first Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights obliges all signatory parties to guarantee the right to education. At the world level, the United Nations' International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, guarantees this right under its Article 13, which states 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"

Post-secondary or tertiary education, also referred to as third-stage, third level 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?" 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.
 


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