A college (Latin: collegium) is an educational institution or a constituent part of one. A college may be a degree-awarding tertiary educational institution, a part of a collegiate or federal university, or an institution offering vocational education.
In the United States, “college” may refer to a constituent part of a university or to a degree-awarding tertiary educational institution, but generally “college” and “university” are used interchangeably, whereas in the United Kingdom, Oceania, South Asia and Southern Africa, “college” may refer to a secondary or high school, a college of further education, a training institution that awards trade qualifications, a higher education provider that does not have university status (often without its own degree-awarding powers), or a constituent part of a university (See this comparison of British and American English educational terminology for further information).
A sixth form college or college of further education is an educational institution in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Belize, The Caribbean, Malta, Norway, Brunei, or Southern Africa, among others, where students aged 16 to 19 typically study for advanced school-level qualifications, such as A-levels, BTEC, HND or its equivalent and the International Baccalaureate Diploma, or school-level qualifications such as GCSEs. In Singapore and India, this is known as a junior college. The municipal government of the city of Paris uses the phrase “sixth form college” as the English name for a lycée.
In some national education systems, secondary schools may be called “colleges” or have “college” as part of their title.
In Australia the term “college” is applied to any private or independent (non-government) primary and, especially, secondary school as distinct from a state school. Melbourne Grammar School, Cranbrook School, Sydney and The King’s School, Parramatta are considered colleges.
There has also been a recent trend to rename or create government secondary schools as “colleges”. In the state of Victoria, some state high schools are referred to as secondary colleges, although the pre-eminent government secondary school for boys in Melbourne is still named Melbourne High School. In Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory, “college” is used in the name of all state high schools built since the late 1990s, and also some older ones. In New South Wales, some high schools, especially multi-campus schools resulting from mergers, are known as “secondary colleges”. In Queensland some newer schools which accept primary and high school students are styled state college, but state schools offering only secondary education are called “State High School”. In Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, “college” refers to the final two years of high school (years 11 and 12), and the institutions which provide this. In this context, “college” is a system independent of the other years of high school. Here, the expression is a shorter version of matriculation college.