Tertiary education


Tertiary education builds on secondary education, providing learning activities in specialized fields of education. It aims at learning at a high level of complexity and specialization. Tertiary education includes what is commonly understood as academic education but also includes advanced vocational or professional education (ISCED levels 5 to 8).

UNESCO-UIS. 2012. International Standard Classification of Education. ISCED 2011. Montreal: UNESCO-UIS

example of use

Tertiary education opportunities for refugees are not a luxury. They provide young refugees and their families with an opportunity for increased self-reliance through gainful employment. The prospect of participation in tertiary education contributes to greater primary and secondary enrolment and retention (UNHCR, 2015a). Tertiary education has ‘a greater potential than other levels of education to ... enhance the strategic choices that refugees make’ (Dryden-Peterson and Giles, 2010, p. 4) and to nurture a generation of change-makers who can take the lead in identifying sustainable solutions to refugee situations. (UNESCO, 2019: 150).

UNESCO 2018. Global education monitoring report, 2019: Migration, displacement, and education: building bridges, not walls. Paris: UNESCO


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