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an individual who is admitted to all academic activities at an institute of higher learning and also to state examinations (after passing all tests and course examinations) but who does not have the rights and privileges granted to students. The institution of auditing existed in pre-revolutionary Russian universities. In the early years of Soviet power, all persons 16 or over were permitted to attend classes at an institution of higher learning as auditors. As the state systems of evening and correspondence education were organized in the USSR, the status of auditor was abolished.
In institutions of higher learning of some socialist countries, such as Poland, taking examinations as an extern after having audited classes is permitted.
In the institutions of higher learning of many capitalist countries there is a system of free attendance to classes which allows students to work in order to be able to pay the high tuition, dormitory rates, and other expenses. In several countries, such as Great Britain, there are special university divisions for student auditors.