Analytic Quality Glossary
Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-20, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/glossary/
This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 31 October, 2020 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2020.
Tertiary education is formal, non-compulsory, education that follows secondary education.
In most countries some form of secondary education is compulsory. Tertiary education refers, in most settings to non-compulsory education provided via a specialist institution, usually labelled as a college, polytechnic, technikon, or university (with variants of these in other languages). Tertiary education may be delivered virtually or at a distance.
It is not always clear, though, what tertiary education includes. Is it only that which results in a formal qualification or might it include leisure classes? In the UK, are A-levels tertiary education as they are post-compulsory but taught in school settings as well as colleges? Is professional updating or on-the-job training part of tertiary education, even if it does not follow successful completion of secondary education?
Campbell and Roznayai’s definition emphasises certification and continuation from successful secondary education.
Tertiary education: Any education entered after successful completion of secondary education, which may include vocational post-secondary education (leading to a certificate) and higher education (leading to a degree), even though the designation is often used synonymously with higher education. (Campbell & Rozsnyai, 2002, p. 133)
The World Bank (2011) states:
Tertiary education broadly refers to all post-secondary education, including but not limited to universities. Universities are clearly a key part of all tertiary systems, but the diverse and growing set of public and private tertiary institutions in every countryŚcolleges, technical training institutes, community colleges, nursing schools, research laboratories, centers of excellence, distance learning centers, and many moreŚforms a network of institutions that support the production of the higher-order capacity necessary for development.
The World Bank (2017) changed this to:
Tertiary education refers to all post-secondary education, including but not limited to universities. In recent years, a diverse and growing set of public and private tertiary institutions in every countryŚcolleges, technical training institutes, community colleges, nursing schools, research laboratories, centers of excellence, distance learning centers, and many moreŚform a network of institutions that prepare students for application of knowledge at an advanced level.
HEA (2004) refer to ‘third-level education’, which the Authority defines as :
Synonym of higher education, includes all forms of tertiary education.
Campbell, C. & Rozsnyai, C., 2002, Quality Assurance and the Development of Course Programmes. Papers on Higher
Higher Education Authority (HEA) [of Ireland] 2004, Glossary http://www.hea.ie/index.cfm/page/sub/id/519 , no longer available, 29 January 2011.
, no longer available, 29 January 2011.
World Bank, 2011, Tertiary Education (Higher Education), available at http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTEDUCATION/0,,contentMDK:20298183~menuPK:617592~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:282386,00.html#what_why, accessed 28 August 2012.
World Bank, 2011, 'Overview', available at http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/tertiaryeducation/overview#1, accessed 11 January 2017.
copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2019
copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2019