Academic year


The annual teaching or examination period during which students attend courses or take final examinations, not taking minor breaks into account. It may be shorter than 12 months but would typically not be shorter than 9 months. It may vary for different levels of education or types of educational institutions within a country. This is also referred to as the ‘school year’, mainly for the pretertiary level.

Example of use

Flexible schooling and curriculum programmes can balance the time for schooling with children’s work schedules, allow the academic year to vary according to the work season and compensate for class time lost with independent modules or with ‘summer’ school, while adopting a curriculum that reflects children’s interests, needs and sociocultural realities (UNESCO, 2008: 119).