Education can be defined as the process through which a community transmits in acquired values, skills and value to younger generation; it is the single most important heredity that a society can ever give to its children and generations thereafter. Education can either be formal or informal but in whichever case it is intended to bring out the full potential in somebody. Formal education is divided into stages otherwise known as education system. These systems are; the preschool education, primary education, secondary and higher education.
According to Educationusa.state.gov. (2010) the major and most obvious difference between secondary and university is that, while secondary school is presided by primary school, university education comes right after the secondary school education. Secondary education in most cases involves the adolescence age; as such it calls for closer supervision by both the teachers and the parents. University students are more mature and thus are expected to be more independent.
In secondary school formal study is done in classrooms where teachers direct the students on the other hand university education sees a lots of study done outside classes by students themselves. The teaching systems is face-to-face and occurs in classrooms, however in the university teaching method take a whole different modes which include; lectures, take-home exams, group discussions, tutorials, online learning, students class presentations, laboratory and field work. In this case students in secondary schools have close interaction and access to their teachers, the case is different for university students as the teaching method doesn't call for this.
The university is different in the time management system; in the university the time will be managed by the student while in secondary schools time is already planned for by the teachers. There are set class hours and attendance is mandatory where they have a fixed time table showing all the subjects. However, in the university the student will follow time tables depending on the course they are to study. The lectures are varied and have varied hours and are generally for longer periods than in secondary.
In the university there is less frequent feedback than the one experienced in secondary school. The teachers have to always be in contact with the students to check their progress. The students in secondary generally learn what has already been known and is structured; on the other hand university students base their learning on analytical and critical thinking and build on what is known to give their arguments.
University students are used to varied forms of assessments such as reports, projects continuous assessments while in secondary there are only limited to examinations that are structured (University of Illinois, 2008). Secondary schools have limited class size and number of students which is not the case in university; the university has a larger class size. In addition they are much diversified in terms of age locality and nationality. There are those who study at a mature entry stage while others study part time from working. In secondary there are mostly students from a locality, same age bracket and nationality.
The similarities of the two that they both have assessment systems though the assessments may be different; but at the end of it all the students must be evaluated on what they have learnt. The students also have to attend lessons every day and are subject to follow the rules of the institution strictly or face disciplinary action. The teaching modes are the same in that the students will sit in class and stand lectures and lessons all day long so as to grasp what they are being taught. The theory lessons are also accompanied by practical lessons which may include field trips or scientific experiments. In conclusion the education system has its similarities and differences but the major difference is the freedom and flexibility in the university system.