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Strategic ALignment of Electrical and Information Engineering in European Higher Education Institutions

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Technical Global Challenges Areas Student and Staff Support HUB Higher Education Policy Hub

 

Higher Education Policy Hub: Dictionary

 

The terms used to describe 'things' within the Higher Education sector can vary considerably between institutions within any country or between countries. This page of the SALEIE Higher Education Policy Hub clarifies the meaning of terms as they have been used within the SALEIE project. The definitions may be useful to you in understanding the specific terminology between institutions or as used within a different institution.

Higher Education Institution

There are a number of terms used for types of institutions, including:

University - A name commonly given to an establishment of reputable and long-standing academic excellence working in the domain of tertiary education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Specialised University - A university whose areas of endeavour are mainly grouped to target a specific domain or domains within the range of disciplines generally undertaken at tertiary level.

Technical University - A university whose areas of endeavour are mainly grouped to target a specific technical domain or domains within the range of disciplines generally undertaken at tertiary level.

Polytechnic - In some countries, an educational institution that focuses on providing practical and vocational education and training; in some other countries, the same as a technical university.

Faculty

In some countries, a structure within a university or some polytechnics that groups together other university or polytechnic entities that work in a general area of academic endeavour; in some countries, a term used to denote staff working in a university or a polytechnic.

Department

In some countries, a structure within a university, and some other institutions, that groups together people working within a closely integrated scientific/technical field. In some countries, departments are components of a faculty, while in some others departments are stand-alone entities within a university or institution.

Study Programme

A programme of study undertaken, usually over a number of years leading to the award of a level 7 or above qualification. There are a number of terms commonly used for this across Europe:

Degree - In most institutions this signifies the attainment of academic qualification at Bachelor level and beyond, or their local equivalent. It is generally not meant to signify modular or certificate-orientated qualification. In some, especially Eastern, institutions, this term is equivalent to the term “diploma”.

Course - In some institutions this is taken to mean a programme of studies, i.e. a degree, a diploma, a certificate course, etc.

Diploma - Used where the award at the end of the study programme is recognised locally as a diploma

Higher Diploma - Similar to “Diploma” but with a higher ECTS credit count. A study programme is made up of a number of Modules.

Module

A unit of study or a particular topic in a syllabus or curriculum. There is often confusion in this term as it is also called Course in some Institutions.

Learning Outcome

A statement of what the student is able to do upon satistfactory completion of a module or study programme. There is usually a set of learning outcomes for each Module and for the Study Programme the Module is part of.

Project

This is the term used to signify a concerted effort academic or otherwise to achieve a specific and pre-defined goal. A project can be carried out by any number of persons and usually exhibits a financial, an administrative and a technical dimension.

There are also a number of terms defined in the EU Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG)