Definition of university noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˌjuːnɪˈvɜːsəti//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌjuːnɪˈvɜːrsəti//
[countable, uncountable] (pl. universities) (abbreviation Univ.) Higher education institutions
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  • an institution at the highest level of education where you can study for a degree or do research Is there a university in this town? Ohio State University the University of York York University (British English) Both their children are at university. (British English) He's hoping to go to university next year. a university course/degree/lecturer CollocationsEducationLearning acquire/​get/​lack (an) education/​training/(British English) (some) qualifications receive/​provide somebody with training/​tuition develop/​design/​plan a curriculum/(especially British English) course/(North American English) program/​syllabus give/​go to/​attend a class/​lesson/​lecture/​seminar hold/​run/​conduct a class/​seminar/​workshop sign up for/​take a course/​classes/​lessonsSchool go to/​start preschool/​kindergarten/​nursery school be in the first, second, etc. (North American English) grade/(especially British English) year (at school) study/​take/​drop history/​chemistry/​German, etc. (British English) leave/​finish/​drop out of/ (North American English) quit school (North American English) graduate high school/​collegeProblems at school be the victim/​target of bullying (British English) play truant from/ (both British English, informal) bunk off/​skive off school (= not go to school when you should) (both especially North American English) skip/​cut class/​school (British English) cheat in/(North American English) cheat on an exam/​a test get/​be given a detention (for doing something) be expelled from/​be suspended from schoolWork and exams do your homework/(British English) revision/​a project on something work on/​write/​do/​submit an essay/​a dissertation/​a thesis/​an assignment/(North American English) a paper finish/​complete your dissertation/​thesis/​studies/​coursework hand in/ (North American English) turn in your homework/​essay/​assignment/​paper study/​prepare/ (British English) revise/ (North American English) review/ (North American English, informal) cram for a test/​an exam take/ (both British English) do/​sit a test/​an exam (especially British English) mark/ (especially North American English) grade homework/​a test (British English) do well in/ (North American English) do well on/ (informal, especially North American English) ace a test/​an exam pass/​fail/ (informal, especially North American English) flunk a test/​an exam/​a class/​a course/​a subjectUniversity apply to/​get into/​go to/​start college/(British English) university leave/​graduate from law school/​college/(British English) university (with a degree in computer science) study for/​take/ (British English) do/​complete a law degree/​a degree in physics (both North American English) major/​minor in biology/​philosophy earn/​receive/​be awarded/​get/​have/​hold a master’s degree/​a bachelor’s degree/​a PhD in economics British/​Americancollege / university In both British English and North American English a college is a place where you can go to study after you leave secondary school. In Britain you can go to a college to study or to receive training in a particular skill. In the US you can study for your first degree at a college. A university offers more advanced degrees in addition to first degrees. In North American English college is often used to mean a university, especially when talking about people who are studying for their first degree. The is not used when you are talking about someone studying there:My son has gone away to college. ‘Where did you go to college?’ ‘Ohio State University.’ In British English you can say:My daughter is at university. In North American English you cannot use university or college in this way. You use it with a or the to mean a particular university or college:I didn’t want to go to a large university. see also state university Wordfinderdegree, dissertation, education, graduate, hall of residence, lecture, major, seminar, tutorial, university Culturehigher educationIn Britain, higher education refers to courses at universities that lead to a degree. British students apply to several universities through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admission Service) and receive offers of a place on condition they receive certain grades in their A levels. A first degree, which is usually an honours degree, generally takes three years. Most courses end with exams called finals and results are given as classes (= grades): a first is the highest class, most students get a second which is often divided into upper second, also called a 2:1 (two one), and lower second, called a 2:2 (two two), and below that is a third. Graduates can add the letters BA (Bachelor of Arts), BSc (Bachelor of Science), B Mus (Bachelor of Music), etc. after their name. Some graduates go on to study for a further degree, often a master's degree (MA) or a doctorate (PhD). Most students have to pay tuition fees and can get student loans towards these and their living expenses.At most British universities the academic year starts in October and is divided into three terms or two semesters. Students study a main subject throughout their degree course, which is usually a mix of compulsory courses and optional courses, often called electives. Most students go to lectures and seminars (= discussion groups) and there are practicals for those doing science subjects. A professor is a person in charge of a department or a senior member of staff, and other teaching and research staff are called lecturers.In the US, students talk about 'going to college' even if the institution they attend is a university. Most colleges offer classes only for undergraduate students studying for a bachelor's degree. Community colleges offer two-year courses leading to an associate's degree, and afterwards students transfer to a different college or university to continue their studies. Universities are larger and also offer courses for graduate students who study in graduate school. American high school students who want to study at a university or college have to take a standardized test, such as a SAT or the ACT and then apply directly to between three and six colleges in their last year of high school. There are many private colleges and universities but most students choose a public institution because the costs are lower. All universities charge tuition, and students pay extra for room and board. Students whose families cannot afford the full amount apply for financial aid and many students receive a financial aid package which may be a combination of grants from the government, a scholarship, a student loan and work-study (= a part-time job at college).The US academic year may be divided into two semesters of about 15 weeks or three quarters of about 10 weeks. Students take courses in a variety of subjects, regardless of their main subject, as part of a liberal arts curriculum. At the end of their sophomore (= second) year students choose a major (= main subject) and sometimes a minor (= additional subject) which they study for the next two years. Students take four or five courses each semester from the course catalog which may consist mainly of lectures or may include discussion sections or lab sessions. At the end of each course they are given a grade which will be used to calculate a grade point average (GPA) to check their overall progress. Most people who teach at US colleges or universities and have a doctorate are addressed as 'professor'. Full professors are senior to associate professors, assistant professors and instructors. See related entries: Higher education institutions
  • Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French universite, from Latin universitas ‘the whole’, in late Latin ‘society, guild’, from universus ‘combined into one, whole’, from uni- ‘one’ + versus ‘turned’ (past participle of vertere).Extra examples He goes to Princeton University. His aim was to finish his doctorate and obtain a university chair. His aim was to obtain a university chair. I applied to three universities. I graduated from university last year. I often think of my university days. I’m applying to university this year. King entered Montana State University in 2002. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1999. She teaches English at the University of Wales. She teaches botany at Syracuse University. She’s at university, studying engineering. There is stiff competition for university places. Young people may be deterred from entering university. a university entrance exam the government’s decision to introduce university top-up fees the pressures of university life those who can afford university tuition Both their children are at university. He’s hoping to go to university next year. How many universities are there in Britain? She’s a graduate of Oxford University. the University of York/​York UniversityIdioms (informal) the experience of life thought of as giving somebody an education, instead of the person gaining formal qualifications a degree from the university of life
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: university