Science

Difference between College and University

University and college are types of institutions of higher learning. The main difference between them is: while the faculties focus on a certain area of ​​education, such as health or exact sciences, the universities are more complete. They concentrate three academic axes: teaching, research and extension.

We can say that any higher education institution begins as a college. Upon reaching the necessary requirements, it becomes a university.

What are faculties?

In general, all higher education institutions are registered as faculties. They focus on specific areas of knowledge, such as human sciences or health.

Faculties may also offer research and extension activities. However, it is not a mandatory requirement for these institutions. Also, they do not need to offer graduate programs.

What are universities?

The main characteristic of universities is the inseparability of teaching, research and extension activities.

In terms of teaching, it can be said that universities are complexes made up of several faculties. For example, a student can study at the Faculty of Medicine of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).

To be classified as universities, institutions must meet the following requirements:

  • At least one third of the teaching staff must have an academic master’s or doctoral degree.
  • One third of the teaching staff must be full time.
  • Have at least four strict postgraduate programs (master’s and doctorate), and at least one of them must be a doctoral program.
  • It must have an institutionalized intellectual production, with the study of issues and problems relevant to society. This production must be considered both from a scientific and cultural point of view as well as from a regional and national point of view.

The start of federal universities is an initiative of the Executive Branch, which must submit a bill to the National Congress. The creation of private universities occurs when an existing higher education institution meets the minimum requirements. Thus, it becomes a university.

What are university centers?

University centers are higher education institutions that cover one or several areas of knowledge. Like universities, university centers have the autonomy to create, organize and terminate higher education courses and programs. This without the prior authorization of the MEC.

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