Systems of higher education

Higher education, also called tertiary, third stage, or post secondary education, is the non-compulsory educational level that follows the completion of a school providing a secondary education, such as a high school or secondary school. Tertiary education is normally taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education, as well as vocational education and training. Colleges and universities are the main institutions that provide tertiary education. Collectively, these are sometimes known as tertiary institutions. Tertiary education generally results in the receipt of certificates, diplomas, or academic degrees. Higher education generally involves work towards a degree-level or foundation degree qualification. In most developed countries a high proportion of the population (up to 50%) now enter higher education at some time in their lives. Higher education is therefore very important to national economies, both as a significant industry in its own right, and as a source of trained and educated personnel for the rest of the economy.

University systems Lecture at the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, CTU in Prague. University education includes teaching, research, and social services activities, and it includes both the undergraduate level (sometimes referred to as tertiary education) and the graduate (or postgraduate) level (sometimes referred to as graduate school). Universities are generally composed of several colleges. In the United States, universities can be private and independent, like Yale University, they can be public and State governed, like the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, or they can be independent but State funded, like the University of Virginia. [edit]Open Higher education in particular is currently undergoing a transition towards open education, elearning alone is currently growing at 14x the rate of traditional learning.[10] Open education is fast growing to become the domiment form of education, for many reasons such as it's superior efficiency and results compared to traditionalist methods.[11] Cost of education has been an issue throughout history, and a major political issue in most countries today. Open education is generally significantly cheaper than traditional campus based learning and in many cases even free. Many large university institutions are now starting to offer free or almost free full courses such as Harvard, MIT and Berkeley teaming up to form edX Other universities offering open education are Stanford, Princeton, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Edinburgh, U.Penn, U. Michigan, U. Virginia, U. Washington, Caltech. It has been called the biggest change in the way we learn since the printing press.[12] Many people despite favorable studies on effectivness may still desire to choose traditional campus education for social and cultural reasons.[13] The conventional merit system degree is currently not as common in open education as it is in campus universities. Although some open universities do already offer conventional degrees such as the Open University in the United Kingdom. Currently many of the major open education sources offer their own form of certificate. Due to the popularity of open education these new kind of academic certificates are gaining more respect and equal "academic value" to traditional degrees.[14] Many open universities are working to have the ability to offer students standardized testing and traditional degrees and credentials.[citation needed] There has been a culture forming around distance learning for people who are looking to enjoy the shared social aspects that many people value in traditional on campus education that is not often directly offered from open education.[citation needed] Examples of this are people in open education forming study groups, meetups and movements such as UnCollege. Liberal arts colleges Saint Anselm College, a traditional New England liberal arts college. A liberal arts institution can be defined as a "college or university curriculum aimed at imparting broad general knowledge and developing general intellectual capacities, in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical curriculum."[15] Although what is known today as the liberal arts college began in Europe,[16] the term is more commonly associated with Universities in the United States[citation needed]. Examples include St. John's College, Reed College, Carleton College, and Smith College.

Technology Main article: Educational technology One of the most substantial uses in education is the use of technology. Also technology is an increasingly influential factor in education. Computers and mobile phones are used in developed countries both to complement established education practices and develop new ways of learning such as online education (a type of distance education). This gives students the opportunity to choose what they are interested in learning. The proliferation of computers also means the increase of programming and blogging. Technology offers powerful learning tools that demand new skills and understandings of students, including Multimedia, and provides new ways to engage students, such as Virtual learning environments. One such tool are virtual manipulatives, which are an "interactive, Web-based visual representation of a dynamic object that presents opportunities for constructing mathematical knowledge" (Moyer, Bolyard, & Spikell, 2002). In short, virtual manipulatives are dynamic visual/pictorial replicas of physical mathematical manipulatives, which have long been used to demonstrate and teach various mathematical concepts. Virtual manipulatives can be easily accessed on the Internet as stand-alone applets, allowing for easy access and use in a variety of educational settings. Emerging research into the effectiveness of virtual manipulatives as a teaching tool have yielded promising results, suggesting comparable, and in many cases superior overall concept-teaching effectiveness compared to standard teaching methods.[citation needed] Technology is being used more not only in administrative duties in education but also in the instruction of students. The use of technologies such as PowerPoint and interactive whiteboard is capturing the attention of students in the classroom. Technology is also being used in the assessment of students. One example is the Audience Response System (ARS), which allows immediate feedback tests and classroom discussions.[17] American students in 2001, in a computer fundamentals class taking a computer-based test Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are a “diverse set of tools and resources used to communicate, create, disseminate, store, and manage information.”[18] These technologies include computers, the Internet, broadcasting technologies (radio and television), and telephony. There is increasing interest in how computers and the Internet can improve education at all levels, in both formal and non-formal settings.[19] Older ICT technologies, such as radio and television, have for over forty years been used for open and distance learning, although print remains the cheapest, most accessible and therefore most dominant delivery mechanism in both developed and developing countries.[20] In addition to classroom application and growth of e-learning opportunities for knowledge attainment, educators involved in student affairs programming have recognized the increasing importance of computer usage with data generation for and about students. Motivation and retention counselors, along with faculty and administrators, can impact the potential academic success of students by provision of technology based experiences in the University setting.[21] The use of computers and the Internet is in its infancy in developing countries, if these are used at all, due to limited infrastructure and the attendant high costs of access. Usually, various technologies are used in combination rather than as the sole delivery mechanism. For example, the Kothmale Community Radio Internet uses both radio broadcasts and computer and Internet technologies to facilitate the sharing of information and provide educational opportunities in a rural community in Sri Lanka.[22] The Open University of the United Kingdom (UKOU), established in 1969 as the first educational institution in the world wholly dedicated to open and distance learning, still relies heavily on print-based materials supplemented by radio, television and, in recent years, online programming.[23] Similarly, the Indira Gandhi National Open University in India combines the use of print, recorded audio and video, broadcast radio and television, and audio conferencing technologies.[24] The term "computer-assisted learning" (CAL) has been increasingly used to describe the use of technology in teaching. Classrooms of the 21st century contain interactive white boards, tablets, mp3 players, laptops, etc. Wiki sites are another tool teachers can implement into CAL curriculums for students to understand communication and collaboration efforts of group work through electronic means.[citation needed] Teachers are encouraged to embed these technological devices and services in the curriculum in order to enhance students learning and meet the needs of various types of learners.