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A college is an educational institution. However, the exact meaning of the term varies among English-speaking countries.

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United States of America In American English all universities are colleges, but not all colleges are universities. Examples of colleges which do not qualify as universities include liberal arts colleges which provide tertiary education and community colleges which also provide post-secondary education. The distinction from a universities is often based on colleges' providing tertiary education with associate and bachelor's degrees but not quaternary education (awarding masters degrees or doctorates). Other names used for colleges include "academy" and "institute", as in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

United Kingdom British usage of the word "college" is somewhat generic, referring to university colleges, Further Education Colleges[?] (for any age student, and usually for any level), divided into technical colleges[?] and community colleges and sixth form (ages 16-18) colleges.

In certain universities in the United Kingdom ( Cambridge, Oxford and Durham), a college comprises both a residence hall and an independent part of a university. Colleges admit their own students, provide accommodation, meals, common rooms, libraries, sports and social facilities. Through the tutorial system they also teach students.

Officially, the universities of London and Wales[?] each consist of a number of colleges. However, each of these "colleges" is now essentially an independent university-level institution.

Canada In Canada, the term "college" usually refers to a technical, applied arts or applied science school - a post-secondary diploma-granting institution that is not a university, but exceptions to this exist. In Quebec, it can refer in particulary to CEGEP, a form of post-secondary education in the Quebec education system.

New Zealand In the North Island of New Zealand the word "college" normally refers to a secondary school for ages 13 to 17 -- what South Islanders generally call a high school.

The constituent colleges of the former University of New Zealand[?] (such as Canterbury University College) have become independent universities.

Some halls of residence associated with New Zealand universities retain the name of "college" - particularly at the University of Otago. Official tutoring does not figure largely in their activities.

The institutions formerly known as "Teacher Training Colleges" now style themselves "Colleges of Education".

Australia In Australia, the term "college" can refer to an institution of tertiary education that is smaller than a university, run independently or as part of a university. Following a reform in the 1980s many of the formerly independent colleges now belong to a larger university. Many private high schools that provide secondary education are called "colleges" in Australia. The term can also be used to refer to residence halls, as in the United Kingdom, but compared to the UK their tutorial programs are relatively small-scale and they do no actual teaching towards academic degrees (with the exception of one or two that host Theological colleges).

The non-English-speaking world In Germany a Hochschule is an institute of tertiary education. "College" is a more proper term to use than a direct translation: Hochschule literally means "high school". German secondary education often takes place in an institition called in German a gymnasium.

In Sweden the term "university college" is used for independent educational institutions providing tertiary, but not quaternary education. Similarly to the situation in Germany, the Swedish term högskola means "high school". That term is also used for a number of institutions which function as specialized universities rather than as university colleges, providing quaternary education and conducting research.

See also: University, List of colleges and universities

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