Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Higher education

In relation to universities, the term college normally refers to a part of the university which does not have degree-awarding powers in itself. Degrees are always awarded by universities whereas colleges are institutions or organizations which prepare students for the degree. Most universities do not have colleges; those that do are referred to as collegiate universities.

In the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of London and University of the Arts London (and formerly in the University of Wales), colleges prepare students for the degree of the university of which the college is a part (although the colleges of London are now de facto universities in their own right). In the other collegiate universities, including the University of Lancaster, University of York, University of Kent, University of St Andrews and University of Durham, the colleges only provide accommodation and pastoral care.

A college may also be an independent institution which prepares students to sit as external candidates at other universities or has the authority to run courses that lead to the degrees of those universities. A university college is now an independent higher education institution that has the power to award degrees, but does not have university status, although it is usually working towards it. The term used to refer to colleges set up by universities in other towns, all of which have now been chartered as universities in their own right (e.g. the University of Newcastle, which was originally a university college of the University of Durham).

"College" may also be a name given to large groupings of faculties or departments, notably in the University of Edinburgh, and after recent restructuring, the University of Birmingham.