SOURCE   (One of scores)

I often see an educational website using the phrase "less applied" but can't find out what does that mean actually. One sentence comprising this phrase is as follows:

1st Selection List of Undergraduate Programmes (Less Applied Biosciences) has been uploaded.

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    Could you add a link and/or an example with some context? – user3169 Aug 7 '17 at 22:10
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    Are you sure that "Less" is capitalized? If not, "less Applied Biosciences" means "with the exception of Applied Biosciences" – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Aug 8 '17 at 0:48
  • No it isn't capitalized actually, I did it to place emphasis on this phrase. – Saqeeb Aug 8 '17 at 14:33

This is apparently a use of the adjective less to mean "subtracted from a whole" or "with the exception of". The confusion arises in the capitalization of "less", which makes it appear to modify the degree of the adjectival "applied".

The OED has:

  1. Preceding (†formerly also, following) a numeral or other quantitative expression, used to denote that the number or quantity indicated is to be subtracted from a larger one mentioned or implied; = minus v. Also transf., used (like minus) for ‘not including’, ‘except’.

    1911 Rep. Labour & Social Conditions in Germany (Tariff Reform League) III. vi– vii. 20 All meat is sold less the bone.

The meaning of the description is thus:

1st Selection List of Undergraduate Programmes (except for Applied Biosciences) has been uploaded.

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