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Raspberry_cordelia

Wizarding Higher Education (and Education in General)

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Raspberry_cordelia
Posted (edited)

I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere, but I can't find it, so I'll start a new topic, I suppose.  This actually ties into the fics that I'm writing because I need to figure out ages and life plans, but: Where is the Wizarding Higher Education?  Canonically, we know that Charlie and Percy go directly into the workforce immediately after graduating from Hogwarts, Charlie because he's said to be working in Romania in the first book after just graduating, and Percy because of GoF.  In fact, I believe Percy is actually an August baby, so that means he's beginning to adult at 17, which is not much older than I am, and the thought of having to adult at that age is supremely scary to me.  Regardless, even if this is just a result of me being sheltered my entire life, there's so much learning to be done after 17, and I feel like just 6 years of Magical education isn't doing anyone any services.

I personally headcanon that there is some sort of University/College system, but to what degree it follows the Muggle University/College system I'm not sure.  Does anyone have more astute analysis/theorizing about this?

Also, slightly unrelated, but about education, I know Hogwarts was modeled after the average British boarding school, so if anyone who's been to North American boarding school can give some insights on what Ilvermorny could be like, that would be great.  I've been trying to write it with North American public school traditions, but maybe boarding schools are wildly different.

Edit: oh shoot, should I have posted this in Story Help? Sincerest apologies!

Edited by Raspberry_cordelia
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VaguelyCreativeName

This is such an interesting question! I feel like with canon, there doesn't really seem to be anything like universities, which I've always found odd!

Thinking back to the career advice in OotP, there doesn't really seem to be anything that just offers academic study - all the courses are designed to qualify you to do a certain job (like healing, curse breaking, or being an auror), there's no talk of just studying 'Advanced Transfiguration' or something similar. Now some of this could be put down to the fact that Harry just isn't that interested in academia, but surely we would have heard something about Hermione or Percy, who are both very academic types, wanting to pursue something in that regard. IIRC, none or only very few of the Hogwarts teachers have any sort of formal education that qualified them for their jobs - e.g. the only reason Tom Riddle was turned away when he applied for the DADA job was that he was too young, not that he wasn't qualified.

But really, I think there's enough ambiguity so that you can make it however it fits your story best - if you want your characters a bit older, you could certainly have them have attended university somewhere, or else they could have done an apprenticeship (I feel like this could work well for jobs whose practitioners mostly work alone anyway, like wandmakers or researchers like magizoologists or herbologists). If you do want to sent them to a traditional university, I've seen some really fun headcannons of either seperate magical institutions, or of secret colleges/departments within muggle institutions!

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Margaret

Given the size of the wizarding world, I doubt it has universities in the Muggle sense. Assuming the number of Gryffindors in Harry's year are more or less in line with the number of students per house in each year, we can guess somewhere around 50 kids in each year group. Even if there were very few kids born Harry's year and very few happened to be sorted into Gryffindor that year, it's still unlikely there are more than 100 kids leaving Hogwarts most years. So the number of students entering any given profession would be low.

It does mention in canon that Aurors have to undergo further study after leaving Hogwarts and I assume it would be similar for Healers and Potioneers and say those who wanted to go into things like law, but out of maybe 50 students, you would probably only have a handful entering each of those professions each year. My guess is that a lot of the training would be done by the professions themselves. Like there is probably some kind of Auror Academy where trainee Aurors are trained and possibly St. Mungo's has a department for training Healers and maybe a potioneer would train those who want to be potioneers.

I think it would be hard to have a university offering a medical degree, when there might only be three students in a year applying to study as Healers. Unless of course the university was international and too students from across Europe or something. And of course, if you are writing about the U.S., things may be different there as they U.S. has...what? About times the population of the UK. And of course, from what I've read, it sounds like students in the U.S. specialise less when entering college - they don't apply directly for something like a medical degree - so you could be talking one or two hundred students entering college in a given year. 

I do think it's weird that witches and wizards seem to be able to teach, sometimes at quite a young age, without any qualifications beyond the N.E.W.T.S., when they are expected to teach N.E.W.T. level students. It sounds like Snape started teaching 18 year old N.E.W.T. students when he was only about 21 with no qualifications beyond the level he was teaching and a maximum of three or four years more experience in the area than his oldest students had. 

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Raspberry_cordelia

@Margaret Yeah, the demographics and population sizes are my main problem with it.  I'd like to think that it still exists, though, because there have to be Wizarding academics somewhere - it's probably just a small, insular community.  I am indeed writing about the US, and I don't remember where, but I remember reading that the US didn't have the same taboos regarding blood purity, so I would presume that the population would be bigger.

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sibilant

I too would be surprised if there was a legit organized college system as exists in the Muggle world; I feel like post-Hogwarts education probably takes on an apprenticeship model (which might just be a remnant of medieval influences, and would track w/ the Magical world seeming perhaps a bit behind the times, compared to the Muggle world). I do think that nerdy wizards probably form little study groups, and I can imagine that there are more academic apprenticeships, like in wand theory or healing or etc. I think these are probably housed in larger professional institutions, like Ollivander's or St. Mungo's, if that makes sense. It would cool to come up with a list of all the possible apprenticeships, since there are soooo many possibilities.

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Aphoride

As much as I lovelovelove the idea of a wizarding university where they go to get degrees in super cool subjects with probably weirdly specific dissertations and things, it seems unlikely there would be that many in canon? There just, as other people have said, doesn't seem to be that much call for it - there's not huge numbers of students and a lot of the professions you'd think would require a certain level of expertise (Auror, Healer, teacher, etc.) seem to provide that training themselves in some fashion. 

That said, the wizarding world is lot more interconnected in ways than our world - a Portkey or Apparition takes seconds rather than the hours it takes to travel by plane - so there's every possibility of there being kinda higher education centres or research centres for different things but having a wider area they take people from. Like, there could be a research centre in Europe which looks at developing magical advances - new spells, potions, theories of understanding magic and things - but they might be the only one or so in Europe, yk, and so take students from all over the world. 

Also, ironically, there's something to be said for having apprenticeships rather than a university - most apprenticeships are a lot more practical and apply more neatly to the relevant job/sector and it's likely a lot of them would involve people sitting some kind of exam or similar to get a qualification in their relevant field (otherwise, yk, anyone could put on a lime green robe and say they're a Healer which seems... super dodgy :P), so that there's not a university doesn't necessarily mean people aren't still learning post-school ^_^ 

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Raspberry_cordelia
53 minutes ago, Aphoride said:

(otherwise, yk, anyone could put on a lime green robe and say they're a Healer which seems... super dodgy :P)

I think there actually was something about trainee Healers in OoTP, because one of them suggested stitches for Arthur's wound.  I really like the idea of just widespread apprenticeships!

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grumpy cat

i'm a big proponent of wizarding higher education because, to me, it makes zero sense that there isn't at least one uni in the uk <.< (re: number of students in hogwarts, i've always been of the opinion that the number of kids in harry's year was exceptionally smol due to all of them being basically oops babies during a war. ginny's year already had more of them (in my opinion, anyway). and jkr sucks at worldbuilding so there's that.

idk, just apprenticeship based education after hogwarts seems like a very bad idea to me considering hogwarts teaches very broad subjects. there's literally zero healing magic being taught at hogwarts that we see in canon (which, again, doesn't make sense, but even if they do learn some basic healing spells, yeah, they need to learn about the human body <.<)

and i will always dig magical architecture being taught in some crazy uni with crazy profs.

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Raspberry_cordelia
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, grumpy cat said:

and i will always dig magical architecture being taught in some crazy uni with crazy profs

@grumpy cat I want to see a Secret History AU based on Magical Academia someone please write it

Edited by Raspberry_cordelia
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grumpy cat
1 minute ago, Raspberry_cordelia said:

@grumpy cat I want to see a Secret History AU based on Magical Academia someone please write it

with murder and mayhem :elmofire:

yes, someone definitely needs to write this

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sibilant
9 minutes ago, grumpy cat said:

i'm a big proponent of wizarding higher education because, to me, it makes zero sense that there isn't at least one uni in the uk <.< (re: number of students in hogwarts, i've always been of the opinion that the number of kids in harry's year was exceptionally smol due to all of them being basically oops babies during a war. ginny's year already had more of them (in my opinion, anyway). and jkr sucks at worldbuilding so there's that.

idk, just apprenticeship based education after hogwarts seems like a very bad idea to me considering hogwarts teaches very broad subjects. there's literally zero healing magic being taught at hogwarts that we see in canon (which, again, doesn't make sense, but even if they do learn some basic healing spells, yeah, they need to learn about the human body <.<)

and i will always dig magical architecture being taught in some crazy uni with crazy profs.

ooooh ok, so this gave me a thought: it's probably like that there was a wizarding uni post-sww, since so many students' educations were interrupted (and because the ministry changed hands to an administration that actually cared about education! what a wild concept).

to address the lack of training at hogwarts--such a good pt, and i feel like there could be programs that arise that are specifically to prepare students for apprenticeships in things like healing. in a fic i was writing, i designed a "junior healer" program where students essentially interned in the hospital wing.

and if we're bringing in personal experience...it would be so cool if there was a wizarding engineering training :o a program focused on how to make magic and technology work together, bc really, how the fuck have they not figured that out yet...

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Raspberry_cordelia
Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, sibilant said:

and if we're bringing in personal experience...it would be so cool if there was a wizarding engineering training :o a program focused on how to make magic and technology work together, bc really, how the fuck have they not figured that out yet...

I like to think that eventually after the war, they did figure it out (maybe even with Hermione as a catalyst for action) because it would be so cool!

Edited by Raspberry_cordelia
I can't spell again
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grumpy cat
43 minutes ago, sibilant said:

wizarding engineering training :o a program focused on how to make magic and technology work together

but also. new magic. new spells. wild concepts :o

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grumpy cat

but also v02 - magical theory. and magical philosophy - like..i really want those. (i love philosophy, okay). and idk magical law! none of those seems like they could be straight-out-of-hogwarts-based

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Raspberry_cordelia

Yeah, I want maybe just one Magical Uni at least, even if it's just one for the entire Wizarding Community.  There has to be Wizarding academics who just do a lot of theoretical research, and maybe occasionally commit some murder (I'm sorry I really need this Secret History AU)

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potionspartner

I agree with the apprenticeship method, both because of the small population, but also this method worked for hundreds of years (and still is used frequently) Although colleges and universities are an ancient system, they weren't commonplace  (aka for the common person) until the last hundred plus years. Although it isn't canon, I think most head canon accept that Severus Snape got his potion mastery under an apprenticeship etc. and assume others followed the same direction. Why can't Charlie "studying dragons in Romania" be an apprenticeship. 

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VaguelyCreativeName
On 6/29/2020 at 8:28 PM, Raspberry_cordelia said:

Yeah, I want maybe just one Magical Uni at least, even if it's just one for the entire Wizarding Community.

I feel like it might be more realistic to include a university of sorts not necessarily as a place for teaching, but more as a research centre? If you really want to include the academia aspect in your fic, I think it could be super interesting to include a place where different researchers (either of the same speciality or interdisciplinary) come together. Given the small wizarding population, I feel like most academics would probably work isolated most of the time, but there could be conferences where they come together physically, or if there's an acute emergency, you could also have teams of researchers live and work together over prolonged periods of time (for example, to work together to find a cure for some magic disease :ninjavanish:). While most of those experts would probably be older/more advanced in their careers, they could have their apprentices with them as a way to include younger characters!

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Raspberry_cordelia
6 hours ago, VaguelyCreativeName said:

If you really want to include the academia aspect in your fic, I think it could be super interesting to include a place where different researchers (either of the same speciality or interdisciplinary) come together.

Yeah, this thread has given me so many different ideas for how Wizarding Academia could work.  I want a "Hogglehead" (or whatever dumb Wizard name) Conference.  Moreover, I want to learn more about theoretical Wizarding academic disciplines (things like how the magic actually works).  And then, there's obviously huge academic debates as well, such as how magic originated.  It would be very cool.

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Lost_Robin

For my stuff, I headcanon that there's a wizarding college of Cambridge (I don't remember why I picked Cambridge instead of Oxford) called, very inventively, Merlin College. I also came up with an explanation as to why no one saw it as an option in either wizarding war. Part of what bothered me is that, yes, I think apprenticeships are a great idea, but it felt odd that there wasn't really any form of formal tertiary education.

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nott theodore

This is something I'm really interested in as it plays quite a big role in my next gen universe (or will, hopefully).

 

I agree that there's not really any mention of it in canon and the world probably wasn't set up to have universities, but also Harry basically doesn't notice anything that's not relevant to him so I think you could also argue that there are higher education institutions around that we just don't know about. A lot of jobs do seem to be ones you train for while doing, though (which also reflects the stage that the magical community seems to be stuck in, for sure).

 

In my head canon, this is changing by the next generation. Partly because I think the wizarding population would have grown post war, but also because I imagine there's more interaction with the Muggle world and adoption of their ideas. They'd probably only be small institutions to start with, and mainly linked to subjects that are useful for jobs, but I really like the idea of magical education expanding its horizons after the war.

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MuggleMaybe
Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Lost_Robin said:

For my stuff, I headcanon that there's a wizarding college of Cambridge (I don't remember why I picked Cambridge instead of Oxford) called, very inventively, Merlin College. I also came up with an explanation as to why no one saw it as an option in either wizarding war. Part of what bothered me is that, yes, I think apprenticeships are a great idea, but it felt odd that there wasn't really any form of formal tertiary education.

Ironically, I have a little head canon that Oxford was started by magic and non-magic scholars collaboratively. As magic became increasingly suspect under Christianity, the magical part of it went into hiding around the time historical records of scholarly groups there begin, but it's still there just around the corner.... :D 

Oxford will always feel magical to me because of His Dark Materials. And Oxford University is really fucking old and has no known founding date, so my head canon is possible (er... in the way impossible things can be possible lol) 

Edited by MuggleMaybe
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