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What's the difference?

How do universities differ from other tertiary organisations?

The special characteristics and roles of universities are defined in the Education Act 1989:

“…a university is characterised by a wide diversity of teaching and research, especially at a higher level, that maintains, advances, disseminates, and assists the application of, knowledge, develops intellectual independence, and promotes community learning…”

“…universities have all the following characteristics…:

  • they are primarily concerned with more advanced learning, the principal aim being to develop intellectual independence:
  • their research and teaching are closely interdependent and most of their teaching is done by people who are active in advancing knowledge:
  • they meet international standards of research and teaching:
  • they are a repository of knowledge and expertise:
  • they accept a role as critic and conscience of society.”

Other tertiary institutions need to have only one or more of these characteristics above.