Higher education includes both the teaching and the research activities of universities, and within the realm of teaching, itincludes both the undergraduate level (sometimes referred to as tertiary education ) and the graduate (or postgraduate) level (sometimes referred to as quaternary education or graduate school ). Higher education differs from other forms of post-secondary education such as vocational education . However, most professional education is included within higher education, and many postgraduate qualifications are strongly vocationally or professionally oriented,for example in disciplines such as law and medicine .
In most developed countries a high proportion of the population (up to 50%) now enter higher education at some time in theirlives. Higher education is therefore very important to national economies , bothas a significant industry in its own right, and as a source of trained and educated personnel for the rest of the economy; it isoften argued that in a modern economy the quantity and quality of such humancapital is the most important factor underlying economicgrowth .
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