University college

From Academic Kids

The term university college is used in a number of countries to denote institutions that provide tertiary education but do not have full or independent university status. Precise usage varies between countries.



In Canada, "university college" has three meanings: a degree-granting institution; an institution that offers university-level coursework; or a University of Toronto college.

"University college" can refer to institutions that offer both college diplomas and undergraduate degrees. In British Columbia, many university colleges serve as both universities and vocational or technical colleges; some grant graduate degrees and operate research programs and institutes.

The title "university college" is extensively used by institutions that do not have full university status, but which do extensive teaching at degree level. The title "university" is protected by federal law in Canada, but the title "college" is only regulated in some Canadian provinces. Some Canadian university colleges are public institutions, some are private; some are regulated by government agencies, others are not. Information about the status of particular institutions can be found at the CICIC web site listed below. Institutions that are members of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) can be generally be accepted as providing university-level programs.

"University College" is also the name of a Canadian educational institution. University College is the name of a constituent college of the University of Toronto.

External links relevant to Canada

New Zealand

Nearly all New Zealand universities were originally described as University colleges, and were constituent parts of a federal body, the University of New Zealand. All are now fully independent: thus the former Canterbury University College is now the University of Canterbury.


In Sweden, University College is the recognised translation into English of the Swedish term högskola, which denotes an independent institution that provides tertiary but not quaternary education. In contrast to universities they do not themselves conduct research or generally grant degrees above Bachelor. They can how ever participate in research projects which are under the supervisory authority of a university. Under special dispensation they may also award a limited number of Master's degrees.

University college is the proper terminology to use, since a literal translation of the term högskola would be "high school", and as such misleading. However, as many of the university colleges aspire to full university status, several have chosen to omit the word college when translating their names to English. This can make it difficult to distinguish the Swedish universities proper from the university colleges.

The term högskola is also used by a number of specialized universities, especially the technical universities, which provide both tertiary and quaternary education, as well as conduct research. These are not considered as university colleges, but rather as specialized universities.

United Kingdom

In the UK, the term university college is used to denote an institution that teaches degree programmes, and may carry out research, but is not recognised as a university. All university colleges must have independent taught degree awarding powers (though some still choose to have their degrees awarded by other institutions). Like "University", the title "University College" is legally protected, and to use it requires government approval. However, it is generally speaking seen as carrying less prestige than "University", and many university colleges are currently (2004) seeking full university status.

Many well established British universities started out as university colleges, teaching external degrees of the University of London. Examples include the University of Nottingham (which was University College Nottingham at the time when characters in the novels of D. H. Lawrence, like Lawrence himself, attended it) and the University of Exeter, which until 1955 was the University College of the South West of England. This was the recognised route for establishing new universities in the UK during the first half of the twentieth century.

A related but slightly different use of the term used to exist in the federal University of Wales; some of its constituent colleges took titles such as "University College Swansea". These colleges were to all intents and purposes independent universities (the federal university's powers being largely restricted to the formal awarding of degrees). In 1996, the University of Wales was reorganised to admit two former higher education institutions and the older members became 'Constituent Institutions' rather than colleges and were renamed along the lines of "University of Wales, Swansea".

Finally, there are several specific UK institutions named "University College", including but not limited to:

The National University of Ireland and Queen's University of Belfast were based on the university college system both set up in 1908 before the establishment of the Republic of Ireland and having roots in the earlier Queen's University of Ireland which was also a university college-type system. The university colleges of the National University have since been raised to the status of universities - as they were considered for many years before statute recognition - but the system still maintains its overall federal status. The Queen's University initially had no university colleges and the first university college was created in 1985 (St Mary's) and second in 1999 (Stranmillis), these two institutions previously were associated with the university, offering its degrees since 1968.


In Australia, the term "university college" or "residential college" is used to denote an institution which provides accommodation, academic support (such as tutorials) and social activities to students of its affiliated university, but usually does not form a fundamental part of any university course.

There are several specific Australian institutions named "University College", including but not limited to:

See also


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