Definition of polytechnic in English:



  • An institution of higher education offering courses in many subjects, especially vocational or technical subjects.

    • ‘Muslim students are banned from wearing head scarves at schools and junior colleges but are allowed to wear them in polytechnics and universities.’
    • ‘He has to promote the involvement of the private sector in that, because the polytechnics and the universities will simply not be able to provide the number of courses needed.’
    • ‘It removed the polytechnics (now universities) and sixth-form colleges from local control and allowed secondary schools to opt out of local authority control and become grant-maintained schools funded by Whitehall.’
    • ‘The total number of Maori participating in universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and wananga has increased by 103 percent since 1990.’
    • ‘Students at those polytechnics, recently renamed universities, are of course the worst of all the studying kind.’
    • ‘Academic staff from universities and polytechnics, as well as research scientists and engineers from the industry and research institutes, will play important roles for the organization of the workshops.’
    • ‘When aspiring to become universities, the British polytechnics envisioned more funding and greater autonomy over the expenditure of those funds, but neither came with university status.’
    • ‘As early as the mid-1970s, the desire of the polytechnics to be put on an equal footing with the universities was viewed by some, including the public press, to be detrimental to their mission.’
    • ‘He believed downgrading education in Britain, so that technical colleges and polytechnics became universities, was a backward step.’
    • ‘Students from 22 engineering colleges, 24 polytechnics and 13 schools had displayed their projects, and were vying for prizes in various categories.’
    • ‘Because the polytechnics had always been primarily teaching institutions, the requirements to compete in both the research and fundraising arenas have created stress.’
    • ‘So, in 1992, the Conservative government of the day turned the polytechnics into universities, doubling overnight the proportion of students attending university.’
    • ‘The dignity of academic people and their universities and polytechnics has been assailed from without by government and from within by the corrosion of bureaucracy.’
    • ‘From 1825 all vacant professorships at Austrian universities and polytechnics were filled by public competition.’
    • ‘The conversion of the British polytechnics into universities is parallel to the move by some community colleges to offer a workforce bachelor's degree.’
    • ‘To supply the growing educational and training demand, active support has been granted to private institutes, polytechnics and colleges that provide IT training.’
    • ‘Other tertiary institutions such as polytechnics and private training establishments are funded the same way.’
    • ‘The point of tension in the system began when polytechnics and institutions of technology were allowed to issue degrees.’
    • ‘This result was accomplished by granting university status to the polytechnics and to some colleges of higher education.’
    • ‘This policy has put a whole lot of people's backs up - everybody from universities, polytechnics, and private training providers - the whole lot were opposed to the export levy from day one.’
    educational institution, training establishment, centre of learning, seat of learning
    View synonyms


  • Dealing with or devoted to various vocational or technical subjects.

    • ‘Why should these failed teachers, polytechnic lecturers and social workers be allowed to preen and feather their nests at public expense?’
    • ‘What measures has the Government undertaken to reinforce polytechnic activity in areas that contribute strongly to its core role?’
    • ‘Even though residents carry on ancient traditions and live secluded from a modern lifestyle, they have bidden farewell to illiteracy, and have generated over 20 polytechnic school and college students in recent years.’
    • ‘Twenty-four lower, middle, and higher polytechnic schools train students exclusively in applied work.’
    • ‘Her 17-year-old daughter is now studying at a polytechnic school.’
    • ‘Hundreds of polytechnic students at Andalas University attacked the university's School of Law on the Limau Manis campus on Thursday.’
    • ‘Luis Inacio's experience of working with metals, in a screw factory, led to his acceptance by the local polytechnic school, SENAI.’
    • ‘You can almost see their nostrils twitching as they detect the whiff of a hapless polytechnic lecturer who considers logic an outdated bourgeois construct.’
    • ‘As the new assistant minister of education she devotes herself to educational improvement, opening polytechnic schools in remote areas.’
    • ‘The actor portrays Sneath, the chameleon-esque former polytechnic lecturer and current hanger-on and social commentator.’


Early 19th century: from French polytechnique, from Greek polutekhnos, from polu- many + tekhnē art.