Category talk:Universities

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Merge back to Category:Schools?[edit]

This category, recently broken out from Category:Schools, is problematic for a couple reasons: (1) what distinguishes universities from other colleges varies considerably in different parts of the world (being formally defined in various ways, and sometimes not formally defined at all); and (2) the category currently includes a couple colleges (Washington & Jefferson College and Shimer College) that local/national usage does not consider universities, and do not call themselves universities.

I do not think this categorization is particularly useful given that the parent category is not so large (currently) that it needs to be broken up, and given that conflicting definitions could make it contentious. ~ Ningauble (talk) 14:23, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree - I was puzzled when I saw this breakout as well. I think using the parent category of Schools is quite sufficient (not to mention the problems you identified). ~ UDScott (talk) 14:45, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
I now understand the issues which my move has caused. However, the usage of the word "School" to denote an institution of higher learning is not ubiquitous, and may confuse non-US English speakers. It might be better to have a category tree with "tertiary educational institutes" at the top level and "Universities", "Liberal Arts Colleges" etc, which will result in more precise categorisation. To put University of Oxford in the Category:Schools is simply wrong, because it would never describe itself as a school. Thanks. --Tryst (talk) 22:57, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Alas, the "English" Wikiquote is a bilingual project because British and American are two different languages. "Tertiary educational institutes" sounds very stilted on this side of the pond. "Post-secondary" has more currency, but even that is almost alien to the vernacular. Would it be ok to categorize all post-secondary educational institutions in "Category:Colleges", or would that raise hackles on the other side of the pond where the term applies both to constituent parts of universities and also to high schools?

I would like to avoid trying to sub-categorize them (e.g. whether Normal schools are liberal arts colleges or trade schools, and not to mention diploma mills and ... oops, I mentioned them), because there is no universally accepted taxonomy, because we do not need precise classifications within a category having only a handful of members, and because it can be contentious to trifle with the pride of granfalloons associated with them. ~ Ningauble (talk) 16:13, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

What about moving this category to Category:Universities and colleges ? Looks like a good compromise to me. --Tryst (talk) 21:56, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Good idea, but I might have said "Colleges and universities", which appears to be the word order favored in the U. S. by accrediting agencies. Is word order different on the other side of the pond? ~ Ningauble (talk) 15:29, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
My argument for having the words the other way around is as follows: most US "colleges" are primarily known as universities, unless they are four year undergraduate-only institutions, so there will be more "universities" than "colleges" in the category, and thus it would be strange to put the word first. I'm not too bothered by "Colleges and universities" though. --Tryst (talk) 19:07, 10 June 2012 (UTC)