University, Colloquial usage

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Summary

A university (Latin: "universitas", "a whole") is an institution of higher education and research which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects and provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education. The word "university" is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means "community of teachers and scholars."

Details

Colloquially, the term university may be used to describe a phase in one's life: "When I was at university..." (in the United States and Ireland, college is often used instead: "When I was in college..."; see the college article for further discussion). In Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and the German-speaking countries university is often contracted to uni. In New Zealand and in South Africa it is sometimes called "varsity" (although this has become uncommon in New Zealand in recent years). "Varsity" was also common usage in the UK in the 19th century. "Varsity" is still in common usage in Scotland.

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