Harvard University, an Ivy League university in the United States, routinely ranks as one of the best institutions of higher learning in the world.[1]
Harvard University, an Ivy League university in the United States, routinely ranks as one of the best institutions of higher learning in the world.[1]

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 a 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

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 education.

Definition

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. This consists of Universities, Colleges and Polytechnics that offer formal degrees beyond high school or secondary school 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.[2]

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.[note 1] 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).[3]

Providers

Deakin University, one of Australia's 43 universities
Deakin University, one of Australia's 43 universities

In the US, higher education is provided by universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, conservatories, and institutes of technology, and certain college-level institutions, including vocational schools, universities of applied sciences, trade schools, and other career-based 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.[4][5]

Higher education includes teaching, research, exacting applied work (e.g. in medical schools and dental schools), and social services activities of universities.[6]

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.[7]

History

pranxpr
House of Life
"library"
Egyptian hieroglyphs

The oldest known institutions of higher education are credited to Dynastic Egypt, with Pr-Anx (houses of life) built as libraries and scriptorium, containing works on law, architecture, mathematics, and medicine, and involved in the training of "swnw" and "swnwt" (male and female Doctors); extant Egyptian papyri from the 3rd millennia BC, are in several collections.[8]

In the Greek world, Plato's Academy (c. 387 - 86 BC), Aristotle's Lycaeum (c. 334 - 86 BC) and other philosophical-mathematical schools became models for other establishments, particularly in Alexandria of Egypt, under the Ptolemies.

In South Asia, the city of Takṣaśilā[when?], later the great Buddhist monastery of Nālandā (c. 427 - 1197 CE), attracted students and professors even from distant regions.[9]

In China, the Han dynasty established chairs to teach the Five Confucean Classics, in the Grand School, Taixue (c. 3 - 1905 CE), to train cadres for the imperial administration.[10][11] All these higher-learning institutions became models for other schools within their sphere of cultural influence.[citation needed]

In 425 CE, the Byzantine emperor Theodosius II innovated as he established the Pandidakterion, with a faculty of 31 professors, to train public servants. In the 7th and 8th centuries, "cathedral schools" were created in Western Europe. Meanwhile, the first Medresahs were founded in the Moslem empire – initially mere primary schools in the premises of major mosques, which gradually evolved toward secondary, later higher education. However high the intellectual level of these schools could be, it would be anachronistic to call them "universities". Their organization and purposes were markedly different from the corporations of students and teachers, independent from both the Church and the State, which established themselves from the 12th century in Western Europe as Universitas Studiorum.[citation needed]

Bologna University, Italy, established in AD 1088, is the world's oldest university in continuous operation.

According to UNESCO and Guinness World Records, the University of al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco is the oldest existing continually operating higher educational institution in the world.[12][13] and is occasionally referred to as the oldest university by scholars.[14] Undoubtedly, there are older institutions of higher education, for example, the University of Ez-Zitouna in Montfleury, Tunis, was first established in 737. Bologna University, Italy, founded in 1088, is the world's oldest university in continuous operation,[15][16][17][18][19] and the first university in the sense of a higher-learning and degree-awarding institute, as the word universitas was coined at its foundation.[18][20][21][17]

20th century

Since 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.[22][23][24] 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.[25] 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.[26][27]

21st century

In recent years, universities have been criticized for permitting or actively encouraging grade inflation.[28][29] Also, the supply of graduates in many fields of study is exceeding the demand for their skills, aggravating graduate unemployment, underemployment, overqualification, credentialism and educational inflation.[30][31] Some commentators have suggested that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education is rapidly making certain aspects of the traditional higher education system obsolete.[32]

Statistics

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.[33]

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.[34]

See also

Higher education by country

Notes

  1. ^ 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.

References

  1. ^ Harvard University Archived 2022-05-25 at the Wayback Machine at "Best Colleges, U.S. News & World Report, 2022
  2. ^ Revision of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) Archived 2017-05-25 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  3. ^ "high school". dictionary.cambridge.org.
  4. ^ "The Difference Between Continuing Education and Professional Development". www.columbiasouthern.edu. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  5. ^ "6 Reasons Why Continuing Education Is Important". Western Governors University. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  6. ^ Pucciarelli F., Kaplan Andreas M. (2016) Competition and Strategy in Higher Education: Managing Complexity and Uncertainty Archived 2019-01-10 at the Wayback Machine, Business Horizons, Volume 59
  7. ^ "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" (Press release). Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities. 20 January 2015. Archived from the original on 12 April 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  8. ^ Gordan, Andrew H.; Shwabe, Calvin W. (2004). The Quick and the Dead: Biomedical Theory in Ancient Egypt. Egyptological Memoirs. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers. p. 154. ISBN 978-90-04-12391-5.
  9. ^ Radha Kumud Mookerji, Ancient Indian education: Brahmanical and Buddhist (2nd ed.). Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1989
  10. ^ Étienne Balazs, La Bureaucratie céleste (recherches sur l’économie et la société de la Chine traditionnelle), Paris, Gallimard, 1968
  11. ^ Peter Tze Ming Ng, « Paradigm Shift and the State of the Field in the Study of Christian Higher Education in China », in Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie, 2001, n° 12, pp. 127-140
  12. ^ "Oldest higher-learning institution, oldest university". Guinness World Records.
  13. ^ "Medina of Fez". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. UNESCO. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  14. ^ 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)
  15. ^ Top Universities Archived 17 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine World University Rankings Retrieved 6 January 2010
  16. ^ Paul L. Gaston (2010). The Challenge of Bologna. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-57922-366-3. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  17. ^ a b Hunt Janin: "The university in medieval life, 1179–1499", McFarland, 2008, ISBN 0-7864-3462-7, p. 55f.
  18. ^ a b de Ridder-Symoens, Hilde: A History of the University in Europe: Volume 1, Universities in the Middle Ages Archived 2022-11-24 at the Wayback Machine, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-36105-2, pp. 47–55
  19. ^ mondial, UNESCO Centre du patrimoine. "The Porticoes of Bologna - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO Centre du patrimoine mondial (in French). Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  20. ^ Top Universities Archived 17 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine World University Rankings Retrieved 6 January 2010
  21. ^ Paul L. Gaston (2010). The Challenge of Bologna. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-57922-366-3. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  22. ^ Trow, Martin (1973) Problems in the transition from elite to mass higher education Archived 2019-04-11 at the Wayback Machine. Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, Berkeley, http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED091983&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED091983 Archived 2012-06-03 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 1 August 2013
  23. ^ Brennan, John (2004) The social role of the contemporary university: contradictions, boundaries and change, in Center for Higher Education Research and Information (ed.)
  24. ^ Ten years on: changing education in a changing world (Buckingham: The Open University Press), https://www.open.ac.uk/cheri/documents/ten-years-on.pdf Archived 25 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 9 February 2014
  25. ^ 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 Archived 2019-04-11 at the Wayback Machine, Springer International Handbooks of Education volume 18, 2007, 243-280
  26. ^ Simkovic, Michael (5 September 2011). "Risk-Based Student Loans". SSRN 1941070. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  27. ^ OECD, Education at a Glance (2011)
  28. ^ Gunn, Andrew; Kapade, Priya (25 May 2018), "The university grade inflation debate is going global", University World News, retrieved 23 June 2019, 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.
  29. ^ Baker, Simon (28 June 2018), "Is grade inflation a worldwide trend?", The World University Rankings, Times Higher Education, retrieved 23 June 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.
  30. ^ Coates, Ken; Morrison, Bill (2016), Dream Factories: Why Universities Won't Solve the Youth Jobs Crisis, Toronto: Dundurn Books, p. 232, ISBN 9781459733770
  31. ^ Brown, Phillip; Lauder, Hugh; Ashton, David (2012), The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes, Oxford University Press, p. 208, ISBN 9780199926442
  32. ^ Kaplan, Andreas (2021), Higher education at the crossroads of disruption: the university of the 21st century, Emerald Publishing, ISBN 9781800715042
  33. ^ Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (September 2014). "Higher levels of education paying off for young, says OECD". Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  34. ^ "Lisbon Recognition Convention". coe.int. Retrieved 28 May 2019.

Further reading

Preceded byGrade 13 Higher education age varies (usually 18-22) Succeeded byGraduate school