Higher education follows the secondary school formatting with some institutions designated for academics and others for professional education. Academic education is mainly aimed at mastering science, technology, and research, whereas professional education is aimed more at developing practical skills. Centers for higher education include academies, polytechnic schools, colleges, institutes, and universities. Higher education is offered by both the government and the private sector with approximately 51 public universities and more than 1,000 private universities.
In 1979 a semester credit unit system was officially introduced and academic education modeled along the lines of the U.S. system. This system consisted of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs. A non-graduate program leading to a diploma was simultaneously instituted as another type of terminal degree.
Enrollment of new students into a national university is based on a national entrance exam or a portfolio assessment, also called achievement monitoring (PMDK). Those who are accepted through the PMDK process are not required to take an entrance exam as they are judged to have content-eligible academic performance ever since they were enrolled at senior secondary level. (The PMDK selection process is not implemented at all universities.)
In 1995 there were 1,300 institutes of higher education, with 2.3 million students enrolled, less than 10 percent of the total 19 to 24 year old age group. The vast majority of senior secondary school graduates opt for the job market and employment rather than higher education.
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