Higher education | Wikipedia audio article

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. Often delivered at universities,
academies, colleges, seminaries, conservatories, 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.
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 education.
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. 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). Higher education includes teaching, research,
exacting applied work (e.g. in medical schools and dental schools), and social services activities
of universities. 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.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. 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. 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. 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.==History==The U.S. system of higher education was heavily
influenced by the Humboldtian model of higher education. Wilhelm von Humboldt’s educational
model goes beyond vocational training. In a letter to the Prussian king, he wrote: There are undeniably certain kinds of knowledge
that must be of a general nature and, more importantly, a certain cultivation of the
mind and character that nobody can afford to be without. People obviously cannot be
good craftworkers, merchants, soldiers or businessmen unless, regardless of their occupation,
they are good, upstanding and – according to their condition – well-informed human
beings and citizens. If this basis is laid through schooling, vocational skills are easily
acquired later on, and a person is always free to move from one occupation to another,
as so often happens in life. The philosopher Julian Nida-Rümelin criticized
discrepancies between Humboldt’s ideals and the contemporary European education policy,
which narrowly understands education as a preparation for the labor market, and argued
that we need to decide between McKinsey and Humboldt.==Entrance standards: reading, mathematics,
and writing==Demonstrated ability in reading, mathematics,
and writing, as typically measured in the United States by the SAT or similar tests
such as the ACT, have often replaced colleges’ individual entrance exams, and is often required
for admission to higher education. There is some question as to whether advanced mathematical
skills or talent are in fact necessary for fields such as history, English, philosophy,
or art.==Types=====General===
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. 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.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.====Liberal arts====Academic areas that are included within the
liberal arts include environmental science, great books, history, languages including
English, linguistics, literature, mathematics, music, philosophy, political science, psychology,
religious studies, science, sociology and theater.====Engineering====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 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.===Vocational===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.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.===Statistics===
A report titled ‘Education at a Glance 2014’ published by the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development on 9 September 2014, revealed 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.==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.==As employers==Universities may employ a number of people.
Depending on the funding, a university typically hires one teacher per 3–25 students. According
to the ideal of research-university, the university teaching staff is actively involved in the
research of the institution. In addition, the university usually also has dedicated
research staff and a considerable support staff. Typically to work in higher education
as a member of the academic faculty, a candidate must first obtain a doctorate in an academic
field, although some lower teaching positions require only a master’s degree.Most of the
administrative staff works in different administrative sections, such as Student Affairs. In addition,
there may be central support units, such as a university library which have a dedicated
staff.The professional field involving the collection, analysis, and reporting of higher
education data is called institutional research. Professionals in this field can be found at
locations in addition to universities, e.g. state educational departments.Post-secondary
institutions also employ graduate students in various assistantship roles. In the US,
close to 50% of graduate students are employed as graduate assistants at some point. These
apprenticeship-like positions provide opportunities for students to gain experience in, and exposure
to, professional roles in exchange for funding of their academic programs.==Recent controversy==
From the early 1950s to the present, more and more people in the United States have
gone on to pursue degrees or certificates of higher education. However this has sparked
some debate in recent years as some advocates say that a degree is not what it was once
worth to employers. To clarify some advocates say that the financial costs that universities
require from their students has gone up so dramatically that it is leaving many students
in debt of loans of an average of $37,172 compared to 2000, where the average debt students
graduated with was $16,928. In the United States there is an estimated 44 million Americans
with a combined $1.3 trillion student loan debt. Advocates advise parents to not send
their children to college unless these children are committed to pursuing their future education.
An increasing number of freshman every year drop out of their perspective programs or
do not possess the maturity to have a balanced life away from home.However statistics from
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the college educated are employed at
a rate nearly twice that of the national average when compared to high school graduates. The
type of degree one pursues will determine how safe and prosperous his/her career path
is. A study published by the Pew Charitable Trusts, shows that among Americans ages 21
to 24, the drop in employment and income was much steeper among people who lacked a college
degree. “Among those whose highest degree was a high school diploma, only 55% had jobs
even before the downturn, and that fell to 47% after it. For young people with an associates
degree, the employment rate fell from 64 to 57. Bachelor’s degree slipped from 69 to 65.”
Professor Lisa Kahn of Yale stated that people who graduated from college in the most recent
recession were in a position to gain better security than others.
Ultimately a survey, the Great Jobs and Great Lives Gallup-Purdue Index report found the
type of college that students attend and in some cases even majors they choose have very
little to do with their overall success and well-being later in life. What matters more,
the index found, is feeling supported and making emotional connections during school.==See also==Higher education by country
List of higher education associations and alliances
Governance in higher education Graduation
Higher education accreditation Higher education bubble
Higher education policy Higher Education Price Index
Institute UnCollege
Hochschule League of European Research Universities
Technical and Further Education (TAFE)==Notes====References==
Bakvis, Herman and David M. Cameron (2000), “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. [2]
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. (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==
Association for the Study of Higher Education American Educational Research Association
Center for Higher Education Policy Studies World Bank Tertiary Education
college.gov – U.S. Department of Education Accrediting Counsel for Independent Colleges
and Schools “College, Inc.”, PBS FRONTLINE documentary,
May 4, 2010 College Parents Matter (“Tools and scripts
to improve communication with your college student”)

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