University college

University college

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. A university college is often part of a larger university. Precise usage varies between countries.


In Australia, the term "university college" was used to refer to educational institutions that were like universities, but lacked full autonomy. The "Latrobe University College of Northern Victoria" was one such college. University colleges existing today generally cater for specific subjects (such as Theology, or the Arts). UNSW@ADFA was previously known as University College, ADFA, and provides the tertiary education component of officer cadet training at the Australian Defence Force Academy [] .

Additionally, some residential colleges associated with universities are named "University College". These halls of residence are common in Australian universities and primarily provide accommodation to students. They may also provide academic support (such as tutorials) and social activities to residents. University College, Melbourne, formerly University Women's College, is one such residential college. It is affiliated with the University of Melbourne.


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

"University college" can refer to institutions that offer both college diplomas and undergraduate degrees.

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.


In India several educational institutes bear the name University college. These institutes conducts bachelor, master and diploma programs. Some colleges among them include University College of Engineering, Thodupuzha,University College of Engineering, Kariavattom,etc.


The National University of Ireland and Queen's University Belfast were based on the UK 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. Queen's University Belfast 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.

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.

There is a specific university hall of residence named "University College" at Otago University.

Sweden and Norway

In Sweden and Norway, "University College" is the recognised translation into English of the Swedish term "högskola" or the Norwegian term "høgskole", 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 however 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" or "høgskole" 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 and Norwegian universities proper from the university colleges.

The term is also used by a number of specialised 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 specialised 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 became universities in September 2005 with others seeking to gain the status within the next couple of years.

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 when D. H. Lawrence 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:

*University College, Oxford is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford; founded in 1249, it claims to be the oldest Oxbridge college.
*University College, Durham is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Durham; founded in 1832, it is the foundation Durham college.
*University College London is the oldest of the constituent colleges of the federal University of London, and one of the largest institutions of higher education in the UK. Like the colleges within the University of Wales, it is to many intents and purposes an independent university, but in contrast has made no moves towards altering its name, and shares substantial academic and support resources with other colleges of the University.
*Wolfson College, Cambridge was named University College from its foundation in 1965 until its endowment by the Wolfson Foundation in 1972.

United States

Universities such as Washington University in Saint Louis, Arizona State University, California State University, Long Beach, the University of Denver, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of Maine, Syracuse University, and the University of Toledo use "University College" for the name of the division dedicated to continuing education and the needs of the non-traditional student. The University of Maryland University College is a separate institution dedicated to non-traditional education.

The University of Rhode Island enrolls all of its new students into its "University College", which does not grant degrees, but instead provides orientation, academic advising, and support for honors students, probationary students, student athletes, and students undecided in their choice of academic major.

See also

*Residential college

External links


* [ Overview of postsecondary education systems in Canada]
* [ CICIC website giving information on the status of particular institutions]
* [ Concordia University College of Alberta (Edmonton)]
* [ The King's University College (Edmonton)]
* [ Algoma University College (Sault Ste. Marie)]


* [ university college of engineering Thodupuzha]

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