Tertiary education in Guelphia

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The tertiary sector is the highest form of institutional study in Guelphia.

History

Origins

The origins of the tertiary education sector in Guelphia can be traced to formation of institutions in Port Frederick. The Port Frederick School of the Arts was formed in 1848, and aimed to teach adult vocational education. In it's first year, the school offered courses which included: English grammar and reading, writing, arithmetic and bookkeeping, elocution, German, Latin, Greek, French, Italian, mechanical drawing, freehand drawing, practical chemistry, telegraphy, experimental physics, design, architectural drawing, practical geometry and physics, navigation, woodcarving, physiology, photography, and political economy.

In 1858, demands for the establishment an institution for the advancement of education and in particular, the training of new members of the clergy, led to the formation of Port Frederick College. The Senate of new college was empowered to confer degrees of Bachelor of. Arts, Master of Arts, Bachelor of Laws, Doctor of Laws, Bachelor of Medicine, and Doctor of Medicine; and was also allowed to set examinations for medical degrees in the four branches of medicine, surgery, midwifery, and pharmacy.

University reforms

The National University Act[1] created three separate institutions, with a federal university consisting of two university colleges established. The institutions created were the University of Guelphia, with the formerly independent colleges reformed in Kingsbury and Port Frederick. Only the University of Guelphia could confer qualifications higher than a degree and conduct government funded research and development, with the two polytechnics given a more vocational focus to award certificates and diplomas in areas of applied learning.

Technical education

In the nineteenth century, two polytechnics were formed at Port Frederick (1848), and in Kingsbury (1878).

Recent times

Reforms to the education sector in 1996 confirmed the right of the university to have the sole power of conferring degrees and conducting government funded research and development. The Act also reformed the polytechnics, with the existing two institutes of technology joined by two new polytechnics, each based in the largest urban centres around the country.

Function and role

After matriculation, students can opt to either enter the tertiary system or join the workforce. The University of Guelphia is the sole degree conferring institution, and teaches subjects like medicine, law, economics, agronomy, botany, zoology, mathematics, politics, history, psychology, and theology; thereby creating a source of the aforementioned professional occupations. The aim of this teaching to educates graduates that should be employable as specialists in those fields.

Those seeking more vocational courses are able to go to one of the four polytechnic colleges. Here students are taught trades like building, plumbing, cooking, office management as well as specialist areas like teaching and nursing.

University of Guelphia

Further information: University of Guelphia

As the sole university, the University of Guelphia is only institution that can confer degrees and conduct state funded academic research. The university is Guelphia's oldest tertiary institution and has a proud history of academic excellence and innovation dating back to the formation of Port Frederick College in 1858. Reformed by changes made in 1873, the university today consists of four constituent colleges, all of whom enjoy a high degree of autonomy and control most of the day-to-day operations of the university. The management of central university take an overall strategic role in the administration, while also reserving the power to set exams and confer all qualifications.

Polytechnics

With a history that can be traced back to the early 1850s, the polytechnics form the second tier of tertiary education in Guelphia. There are currently four such colleges, with each operating multiple campuses across the major urban centres of Guelphia. The sector, as reformed in 1996, today consists of 10 separate institutions operating across the country.

Study

Students at this level usually attempt eight subjects a year, known as "units". These are valued at eight credit points per unit. Depending on the course being studied, the number of credit points needed can vary. A Bachelor of Arts degree is valued at 192 credit points, whereas a Bachelor of Medicine degree is valued at 384 credit points.

Funding

The high cost of providing a tertiary education has meant that tax income alone cannot pay for the provision of high quality degrees. In 1992, the government elected to replace up-front fees with a user-pays contribution scheme. From January 1993, the old system was abolished and replaced with a new system known as TELS (Tertiary Education Loans Scheme). TELS offers students interest free loans for the cost of tuition fees and other associated costs of study, such as textbooks, academic gowns, and laboratory equipment.

References and notes

  1. National University Act (Public Act No. 88 of 1873).