10

レベルが高い大学なので、簡単に合格できない。

Which of the following has the closest meaning with レベルが高い in this context?

  1. 授業料が高い
  2. 高級な
  3. 難しい

Putting aside number 1, both 2 and 3 seem correct. But usually 高級 refers to the quality of goods and services, and while この大学の入学が難しい might sound correct, I don't know about 難しい大学.

5

レベルが高い大学 is a little ambiguous, but basically it's a common phrase to refer to universities listed in rankings like these. 難しい大学 is instantly understood as "hard-to-enter" at least in this country where 受験 is very important. Naturally, a レベルが高い大学 is also difficult to enter.

高級な大学 is not a combination we normally hear in the first place. Google results for this phrase mainly include pages that have 高級な大学芋 and 高級な大学ノート. If you insist, I would imagine 高級な大学 is like a university with gorgeous furniture and high expenses; it's not directly associated with academic levels.

3

It almost sounds as if the expression レベルが高い to describe a 大学 infers a little at all three, but in this expression it likely leans in meaning towards 2. and 3.

Usually it is the schools with the highest prestige that are all 1. the most expensive, 2. offer the highest grade of instruction, and also 3. have the toughest exams for admittance. I think it is a modern short-hand to describe an institution which actually meets all three of these criteria.

In this case, then, it depends on the position of the speaker, to identify which of the three the meaning leans toward when the speaker says 簡単に合格できない.

If the speaker is already a student there

This probably leans towards the high grade or difficulty of class topics or pacing.

If the speaker is a prospective student

This might lean towards speaking about the difficulty of the entrance exams.

2

レベルが高い大学 means "Universities whose education standard is high and their entrance examinations are difficult", that is they are high-ranked universities.

難しい大学 generally means "Universities whose entrance examinations are difficult", so they are also high-ranked universities.

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