A university of applied sciences (UAS), nowadays much less commonly called a polytechnic university or vocational university, is an institution of higher education and sometimes research that provides vocational education and grants academic degrees.
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In some countries, a vocational university more precisely grants professional degrees like professional bachelor's degree, professional master's degree and professional doctorates. The term is not officially used in many countries and an assignment to a certain type of university in a certain country's educational system is therefore difficult. The UK once had a very extensive vocational university sector with its polytechnic system dating back to the mid-19th century. Vocational universities are often regulated and funded differently (for example, by the local government rather than the state) from research-focused universities, and the degrees granted are not necessarily interchangeable.