Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 22 September, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


Novel Recipes



Academic year

core definition

The academic year is:

1. the duration of a specific programme of study (which may not last a complete 12 months and is divided into terms, semesters or quarters).

 2. the start and finish dates of the annual cycle of a university or national higher education system.

explanatory context

In the UK, for example, the academic year goes from September to August and many degrees programmes start in October and finish the ‘year’ in June.

analytical review

Higher Education Authority (HEA) [of Ireland] (2004) defines it as:

Academic year: The annual period in which the work of higher education takes place. It is divided into three terms, or two semesters. (HEA, 2004)


Northeast Texas Network Consortium (NTNC) (2002) defines the academic year in Texas:

Academic year: The period of formal academic instruction, usually extending from August through May. It is divided into fall and spring semesters. Students may also be able to take classes during summer sessions, mini-mesters or intersessions.

The academic year sometimes needs defining for grant aid purposes, for example, Charles Drew University (2010) states:

For the purpose of awarding Federal Student Aid, the definition of an Academic Year at Charles Drew University is 24 credits and 30 weeks... The Academic Year is part of a larger Fiscal Year that runs from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.


In the UK, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE ), undated, defines the academic year as:

For HEFCE funding purposes, we define this as the period between 1 August of one year to 31 July of the next.

associated issues


related areas

See also



Charles Drew University, 2011, 'Definition of an Academic Year and a Fiscal Year' available at, accessed 31 January 2011, page not available 29 December 2016.

Higher Education Authority (HEA) [of Ireland] 2004, Glossary, no longer available 29 January 2011.

Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE ), undated, Glossary, available at, accessed 30 December 2016, not at this address 19 June 2019.

Northeast Texas Network Consortium (NTNC), 2002, Distance Learning College Glossary. , accessed 20 September 2012, still available 29 December 2016, not found 19 June 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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