Residential college

Residential college

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A residential college is an organisational pattern for a division of a university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 that places academic activity in a community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 setting of students and faculty, usually at a residence and with shared meals, the college having a degree of autonomy and a federated
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 relationship with the overall university. However, the term residential college is also used to describe a variety of other patterns, ranging from a dormitory
Dormitory
A dormitory, often shortened to dorm, in the United States is a residence hall consisting of sleeping quarters or entire buildings primarily providing sleeping and residential quarters for large numbers of people, often boarding school, college or university students...

 with some academic programming, to continuing education
Continuing education
Continuing education is an all-encompassing term within a broad spectrum of post-secondary learning activities and programs. The term is used mainly in the United States and Canada...

 programs for adults lasting a few days. In some parts of the world it simply refers to any organized on-campus housing, an example being University of Malaya
University of Malaya
The University of Malaya is located on a campus near the centre of Kuala Lumpur, and is the oldest university in Malaysia. It was founded in 1905 as a public-funded tertiary institution...

.

Various models of residential college


Prominent models for residential colleges are the colleges of the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 and University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and the institutions based on them in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, including Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

, University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

,
Murray State University
Murray State University
Murray State University, located in the city of Murray, Kentucky, is a four-year public university with approximately 10,400 students. The school is Kentucky’s only public university to be listed in the U.S.News & World Report regional university top tier for the past 20 consecutive years...

, Murray, KY
Rice University
Rice University
William Marsh Rice University, commonly referred to as Rice University or Rice, is a private research university located on a heavily wooded campus in Houston, Texas, United States...

, Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university located in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853, and named for George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all fifty U.S. states and more than 110 nations...

, University of Miami
University of Miami
The University of Miami is a private, non-sectarian university founded in 1925 with its main campus in Coral Gables, Florida, a medical campus in Miami city proper at Civic Center, and an oceanographic research facility on Virginia Key., the university currently enrolls 15,629 students in 12...

, the University of California, San Diego
University of California, San Diego
The University of California, San Diego, commonly known as UCSD or UC San Diego, is a public research university located in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, United States...

, and the University of California, Santa Cruz
University of California, Santa Cruz
The University of California, Santa Cruz, also known as UC Santa Cruz or UCSC, is a public, collegiate university; one of ten campuses in the University of California...

. Many other institutions use the system as well. Other universities in the U.S. have recently begun implementing residential colleges as a housing option, but, unlike the aforementioned institutions, at these universities not all of the undergraduate students are members of a residential college. Princeton University has a residential college system for underclassmen, but most upperclassmen leave their college to join an Eating Club. Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 recently expanded its residential college system by razing much of its present upperclassmen housing and building five new residential colleges. At the University of Virginia
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

, students may apply to live in one of three residential colleges, and acceptance rates vary widely.

In the United States, the academic and residential functions of the residential college system have separated somewhat, leaving the colleges primarily as housing systems. Although residential colleges still offer some classes, these offerings supplement the offerings of the major academic departments which have separate facilities. The primary difference in the U.S. between residential colleges and standard dormitories is often that students are a member of the same residential college for each year that they attend the university. In addition, the members of each residential college are usually expected to eat their meals together, as a unified body. Standard dormitories tend to have residents who move between dorm complexes every year, and who eat in dining halls largely mixed with residents of other dormitories.

In the United Kingdom, a residential college combines both the living and academic aspects of the university in one location. Students often take their classes on the lower floors of the college building and live in the upper floors. Apart from the obvious models of the ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Durham University
Durham University
The University of Durham, commonly known as Durham University, is a university in Durham, England. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837...

 has residential colleges that operate rather differently from those of Oxford and Cambridge, while the University of London
University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

 has an extensive federated college system that is, in effect, a confederation of major teaching and research institutions. The University of Dublin
University of Dublin
The University of Dublin , corporately designated the Chancellor, Doctors and Masters of the University of Dublin , located in Dublin, Ireland, was effectively founded when in 1592 Queen Elizabeth I issued a charter for Trinity College, Dublin, as "the mother of a university" – this date making it...

 (founded 1592) is unique in that only has one constituent college, Trinity College
Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin , formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", Extracts from Letters Patent of Elizabeth I, 1592: "...we...found and...

.

Many universities in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 have emulated the collegiate systems of some British universities. The University of Toronto
University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...

 has a federated college system including a number of "federated colleges" and "constituent colleges". Other Canadian universities with residential colleges include Trent University
Trent University
Trent University is a liberal arts and science-oriented institution located along the Otonabee River in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.The enabling legislation is the Trent University Act, 1962-63. The University was founded through the efforts of a citizens' committee interested in creating a...

 and its colleges, the University of Western Ontario
University of Western Ontario
The University of Western Ontario is a public research university located in London, Ontario, Canada. The university's main campus covers of land, with the Thames River cutting through the eastern portion of the main campus. Western administers its programs through 12 different faculties and...

, the University of Waterloo
University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo is a comprehensive public university in the city of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The school was founded in 1957 by Drs. Gerry Hagey and Ira G. Needles, and has since grown to an institution of more than 30,000 students, faculty, and staff...

, York University
York University
York University is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is Canada's third-largest university, Ontario's second-largest graduate school, and Canada's leading interdisciplinary university....

, the University of Manitoba
University of Manitoba
The University of Manitoba , in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is the largest university in the province of Manitoba. It is Manitoba's most comprehensive and only research-intensive post-secondary educational institution. It was founded in 1877, making it Western Canada’s first university. It placed...

, and the University of British Columbia
University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia is a public research university. UBC’s two main campuses are situated in Vancouver and in Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley...

. Three Canadian residential colleges are distinguished by being for graduate students rather than undergraduates — Green
Green College, University of British Columbia
Green College is a centre for interdisciplinary scholarship and a community of scholars at the University of British Columbia founded by Cecil Howard Green and Ida Green....

 and St. John's Colleges
St. John's College, University of British Columbia
St. John's College is one of two residential colleges at the University of British Columbia, the other being Green College. It provides a community for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, with an international focus....

 at UBC, and Massey College
Massey College
Massey College is a postgraduate residential college at the University of Toronto, established in 1963 with an endowment by the Massey Foundation. Similar to All Souls College, Oxford, members of Massey College are nominated from the university community, and are elected by and as fellows of the...

 at the University of Toronto.

Experiences with the residential college model


Because of the many interpretations of the residential college concept, and its use at many universities and institutions, there are many experiences of how the concept plays out at various times and at various institutions. Some particularly illustrative experiences are summarised here.

With only three residential colleges for graduate students in Canada — Green
Green College, University of British Columbia
Green College is a centre for interdisciplinary scholarship and a community of scholars at the University of British Columbia founded by Cecil Howard Green and Ida Green....

 and St. John's Colleges
St. John's College, University of British Columbia
St. John's College is one of two residential colleges at the University of British Columbia, the other being Green College. It provides a community for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, with an international focus....

 at the University of British Columbia, and Massey College
Massey College
Massey College is a postgraduate residential college at the University of Toronto, established in 1963 with an endowment by the Massey Foundation. Similar to All Souls College, Oxford, members of Massey College are nominated from the university community, and are elected by and as fellows of the...

 at the University of Toronto — there is a sense that part of the work of these colleges is to explore a Canadian approach to the residential college model, and "to blend quality and prestige on the one hand, and enrichment of the campus on the other, while avoiding elitism or imitation".

In 1999 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

 took stock of its housing system, and studied a variety of residence models in "Reinventing residence life @ MIT". Particularly relevant is their report "A Creative Tension", about the Cambridge college system.

In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, the residential college model was adopted in 2003 by all of Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 universities, according to a joint program developed in collaboration with several private and public institutions, such as Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 and the Lombardy Region, at the Collegio di Milano.

External links

A portal featuring related information, news, and links about the residential college idea. Appears to be off-line as of 2007-01-02.