As part of educational systems there is often a division between two roles:

Teachers or educators give knowledge, while students or trainees receive knowledge.

Is there an abstraction over this distinction that describes simply a person being part of an educational system, regardless of whether it is a student or a teacher in particular?

Edit: In case there is no such general term, what about a word in the context of a single subject?

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    No. But you can find other categories they both fit into naturally: campus inhabitants, school attendees, etc.
    – Dan Bron
    Nov 11, 2018 at 11:51
  • mh. Any idea for something like that referring to students/teachers in the same subject? Nov 11, 2018 at 12:35
  • As I said: no. But if you can find something else that ties them together, it’d be a useful lead. But there’s no hypernym for student and teacher that people use or would even recognize without an explanation.
    – Dan Bron
    Nov 11, 2018 at 12:37
  • I was hoping there'd be something when the subject ties them together... but I'll see what else I can find... Nov 11, 2018 at 12:39
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    "Academic" (as a noun) is the term. It just needs to be understood that it refers to someone who is reasonably devoted to learning, vs, say, a high school student who is more interested in playing sports and chasing girls.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 11, 2018 at 13:51

2 Answers 2


Academic might fit your needs:

Academic noun

  a teacher or student at a college or university

Collins Dictionary - Academic

* Bear in mind that this word within a college/university in certain places, might be understood to mean the faculty, not the student body.

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    Most people on hearing that word will assume it to be describing the faculty, not the students.
    – Dan Bron
    Nov 11, 2018 at 12:23
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    Dictionaries reflect the use of a word. Out of Meriam Webster, Collins, Dictionary.com, and Oxford, Meriam Webster is ambiguous while the rest give equivalent definitions. Nov 11, 2018 at 12:29
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    I wasn’t asking a question, I was making a statement. If you use this word on campus, or about a campus, people will understand you to mean the faculty, not the student body. Maybe it would include grad students, but absolutely not undergrads.
    – Dan Bron
    Nov 11, 2018 at 12:31
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    OP hasn't given any context for the question. In such cases it is counterproductive to assume the worst case scenario for any answer, given that there will always be a context in which the word won't fit. However, I will clarify with an edit so that OP is not confused. Also, chill dude. If you don't like my answer downvote it and/or post your own. Nov 11, 2018 at 12:34
  • Thanks for the edit. But I wasn’t pointing out some obscure corner case. I am saying if you’re talking about schools at all, with anyone, anywhere, if you say “academics” they will not mentally include the students. Also, per your point about context: if you think the question is lacking sufficient context to be unambiguous, you shouldn’t answer. For example here, your edit includes college/university, but that raises the question of, say, high school. If OP’s context is HS, then academics is inapplicable to both students and teachers.
    – Dan Bron
    Nov 11, 2018 at 12:41

When referring to both the teachers and students of a college one might just call them "the college community".


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