Higher education, post-secondary education, or third level education is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after secondary education.
Formal learning, normally delivered by trained teachers in a systematic intentional way within a school, academyinstitute or university, is one of three forms of learning as defined by the OECD, the others being informal learning, which typically takes place naturally as part of some other activity, and non-formal learning, which includes everything else, such as sports instruction provided by non-trained educators without a formal curriculum.
Secondary education normally takes place in secondary schools, taking place after primary education and may be followed by higher education or vocational training.
Higher Education by BarackObama.com
Often delivered at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology, higher education is also available through certain college-level institutions, including vocational schools, trade schools, and other career colleges that award academic degrees or professional certifications.
A vocational school, sometimes called a trade school or vocational college, is a post-secondary educational institution designed to provide vocational education, or technical skills required to perform the tasks of a particular and specific job.
Professional certification, trade certification, or professional designation, often called simply certification or qualification, is a designation earned by a person to assure qualification to perform a job or task.
An academic degree is a qualification awarded on successful completion of a course of study in higher education, normally at a college or university.
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Tertiary education at non-degree level is sometimes referred to as further education or continuing education as distinct from higher education.
Further education in the United Kingdom and Ireland, similar to continuing education in the United States, is a term used to refer to education, that is distinct from the higher education offered in universities.
Continuing education is an all-encompassing term within a broad list of post-secondary learning activities and programs.
The right of access to higher education is mentioned in a number of international human rights instruments.
International human rights instruments are treaties and other international documents relevant to international human rights law and the protection of human rights in general.
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".
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966, and in force from 3 January 1976.
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.
Europe is a continent that comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
In the days when few pupils progressed beyond primary education, the term "higher education" was often used to refer to secondary education, which can create some confusion.
Primary education or elementary education often in primary school or elementary school is typically the first stage of compulsory education, coming between early childhood education and secondary education.
Higher education includes teaching, research, exacting applied work, and social services activities of universities.
Within the realm of teaching, it includes both the undergraduate level, and beyond that, graduate-level.
The latter level of education is often referred to as graduate school, especially in North America.
A graduate school is a school that awards advanced academic degrees with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate degree with a high grade point average.
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.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier.
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.
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.
An economy is an area of the production, distribution, or trade, and consumption of goods and services by different agents in a given geographical location.
College educated workers have commanded a measurable wage premium and are much less likely to become unemployed than less educated workers.
However, the admission of so many students of only average ability to higher education inevitably requires a decline in academic standards, facilitated by grade inflation.
Academic standards are the benchmarks of quality and excellence in education such as the rigour of curricula and the difficulty of examinations.
Grade inflation is the tendency to award progressively higher academic grades for work that would have received lower grades in the past.
Also, the supply of graduates in many fields of study is exceeding the demand for their skills, which aggravates graduate unemployment and underemployment, as well as credentialism and educational inflation.
Credentialism and educational inflation are any of a number of related processes involving increased demands for formal educational qualifications, and the devaluation of these qualifications.
Graduate unemployment, or educated unemployment, is unemployment among people with an academic degree.
For the television series, see Underemployed