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  1. VIP Member
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    "College" or "university"?

    I have just read some information that may interest some people.

    A college in Los Angeles has just changed its name to a university.

    1. The college says that it decided on the name change because it is generally agreed in academic circles that any school that awards at least 50 master's or doctoral degrees in a year can be considered a "university."

    2. Another reason for the name change: To prevent confusion among potential students in other countries.

    a. It seems that in Asia, Latin America, etc., the word "college" often refers to what Americans call "high school." (My note: With the name "university," maybe some of those foreign students will choose to attend it. Foreign students are a big source of income for American universities.)

    Source: Los Angeles Times, Februrary 17, 2015.
    Last edited by TheParser; 18-Feb-2015 at 13:38. Reason: spelling error

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    English Teacher
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    Re: "College" or "university"?

    There is some ambiguity in the UK. When I was still in full-time education, college referred to Sixth Form College, which we attended from the ages of 16 to 18 to take optional exams ('A' Levels). Students could attend for the two years between ending obligatory full-time education at the age of 16 and starting university at the age of 18. However, in recent years, the use of the word "college" has come to mean "university" to some people. I think this has been gradually adopted from American English. When we see American films here, it always seems that when people talk about things like "Where did you go to college?", they actually mean "Which university did you attend?"

    However, there are/were institutions in the UK for students aged 18 and over which used to call themselves "colleges". Generally, they provided vocational courses, as opposed to academic courses provided by universities. Those vocational courses did not result in a qualification called a degree but university courses did. Many of those colleges have changed their names to "university" because they now offer degree courses.

    For example, when I was a student, there was an educational institution in my town called "Brighton Technical College". In the last ten years or so, it has split into two institutions - Brighton City College (vocational courses) and The University of Brighton (degree courses and equivalent). This is in addition to Sussex University which has its base in Brighton.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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