Universities | Wikipedia audio article


A university (Latin: universitas, ‘a whole’)
is an institution of higher (or tertiary) education and research which awards academic
degrees in various academic disciplines. Universities typically provide undergraduate
education and postgraduate education. The word university is derived from the Latin
universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means “community of teachers and scholars”. The modern university system has roots in
the European medieval university, which was created in Italy and evolved from cathedral
schools for the clergy during the High Middle Ages.==History=====
Definition===The original Latin word universitas refers
in general to “a number of persons associated into one body, a society, company, community,
guild, corporation, etc”. At the time of the emergence of urban town
life and medieval guilds, specialized “associations of students and teachers with collective legal
rights usually guaranteed by charters issued by princes, prelates, or the towns in which
they were located” came to be denominated by this general term. Like other guilds, they were self-regulating
and determined the qualifications of their members.In modern usage the word has come
to mean “An institution of higher education offering tuition in mainly non-vocational
subjects and typically having the power to confer degrees,” with the earlier emphasis
on its corporate organization considered as applying historically to Medieval universities.The
original Latin word referred to degree-awarding institutions of learning in Western and Central
Europe, where this form of legal organisation was prevalent and from where the institution
spread around the world.====Academic freedom====
An important idea in the definition of a university is the notion of academic freedom. The first documentary evidence of this comes
from early in the life of the University of Bologna, which adopted an academic charter,
the Constitutio Habita, in 1158 or 1155, which guaranteed the right of a traveling scholar
to unhindered passage in the interests of education. Today this is claimed as the origin of “academic
freedom”. This is now widely recognised internationally
– on 18 September 1988, 430 university rectors signed the Magna Charta Universitatum, marking
the 900th anniversary of Bologna’s foundation. The number of universities signing the Magna
Charta Universitatum continues to grow, drawing from all parts of the world.===Antecedents===According to Encyclopædia Britannica, the
earliest universities were founded in Asia and Africa, predating the first European medieval
universities. The University of Al Quaraouiyine, founded
in Morocco by Fatima al-Fihri in 859, is considered by some to be the oldest degree-granting university.Their
endowment by a prince or monarch and their role in training government officials made
early Mediterranean universities similar to Islamic madrasas, although madrasas were generally
smaller, and individual teachers, rather than the madrasa itself, granted the license or
degree. Scholars like Arnold H. Green and Hossein
Nasr have argued that starting in the 10th century, some medieval Islamic madrasas became
universities. However, scholars like George Makdisi, Toby
Huff and Norman Daniel argue that the European university has no parallel in the medieval
Islamic world. Several other scholars consider the university
as uniquely European in origin and characteristics. Darleen Pryds questions this view, pointing
out that madaris and European universities in the Mediterranean region shared similar
foundations by princely patrons and were intended to provide loyal administrators to further
the rulers’ agenda.Some scholars, including Makdisi, have argued that early medieval universities
were influenced by the madrasas in Al-Andalus, the Emirate of Sicily, and the Middle East
during the Crusades. Norman Daniel, however, views this argument
as overstated. Roy Lowe and Yoshihito Yasuhara have recently
drawn on the well-documented influences of scholarship from the Islamic world on the
universities of Western Europe to call for a reconsideration of the development of higher
education, turning away from a concern with local institutional structures to a broader
consideration within a global context.===Medieval universities===The university is generally regarded as a
formal institution that has its origin in the Medieval Christian tradition. European higher education took place for hundreds
of years in cathedral schools or monastic schools (scholae monasticae), in which monks
and nuns taught classes; evidence of these immediate forerunners of the later university
at many places dates back to the 6th century. The earliest universities were developed under
the aegis of the Latin Church by papal bull as studia generalia and perhaps from cathedral
schools. It is possible, however, that the development
of cathedral schools into universities was quite rare, with the University of Paris being
an exception. Later they were also founded by Kings (University
of Naples Federico II, Charles University in Prague, Jagiellonian University in Kraków)
or municipal administrations (University of Cologne, University of Erfurt). In the early medieval period, most new universities
were founded from pre-existing schools, usually when these schools were deemed to have become
primarily sites of higher education. Many historians state that universities and
cathedral schools were a continuation of the interest in learning promoted by The residence
of a religious community. Pope Gregory VII was critical in promoting
and regulating the concept of modern university as his 1079 Papal Decree ordered the regulated
establishment of cathedral schools that transformed themselves into the first European universities.The
first universities in Europe with a form of corporate/guild structure were the University
of Bologna (1088), the University of Paris (c.1150, later associated with the Sorbonne),
and the University of Oxford (1167). The University of Bologna began as a law school
teaching the ius gentium or Roman law of peoples which was in demand across Europe for those
defending the right of incipient nations against empire and church. Bologna’s special claim to Alma Mater Studiorum
is based on its autonomy, its awarding of degrees, and other structural arrangements,
making it the oldest continuously operating institution independent of kings, emperors
or any kind of direct religious authority. The conventional date of 1088, or 1087 according
to some, records when Irnerius commences teaching Emperor Justinian’s 6th century codification
of Roman law, the Corpus Iuris Civilis, recently discovered at Pisa. Lay students arrived in the city from many
lands entering into a contract to gain this knowledge, organising themselves into ‘Nationes’,
divided between that of the Cismontanes and that of the Ultramontanes. The students “had all the power … and dominated
the masters”.In Europe, young men proceeded to university when they had completed their
study of the trivium–the preparatory arts of grammar, rhetoric and dialectic or logic–and
the quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. All over Europe rulers and city governments
began to create universities to satisfy a European thirst for knowledge, and the belief
that society would benefit from the scholarly expertise generated from these institutions. Princes and leaders of city governments perceived
the potential benefits of having a scholarly expertise develop with the ability to address
difficult problems and achieve desired ends. The emergence of humanism was essential to
this understanding of the possible utility of universities as well as the revival of
interest in knowledge gained from ancient Greek texts.The rediscovery of Aristotle’s
works–more than 3000 pages of it would eventually be translated–fuelled a spirit of inquiry
into natural processes that had already begun to emerge in the 12th century. Some scholars believe that these works represented
one of the most important document discoveries in Western intellectual history. Richard Dales, for instance, calls the discovery
of Aristotle’s works “a turning point in the history of Western thought.” After Aristotle re-emerged, a community of
scholars, primarily communicating in Latin, accelerated the process and practice of attempting
to reconcile the thoughts of Greek antiquity, and especially ideas related to understanding
the natural world, with those of the church. The efforts of this “scholasticism” were focused
on applying Aristotelian logic and thoughts about natural processes to biblical passages
and attempting to prove the viability of those passages through reason. This became the primary mission of lecturers,
and the expectation of students. The university culture developed differently
in northern Europe than it did in the south, although the northern (primarily Germany,
France and Great Britain) and southern universities (primarily Italy) did have many elements in
common. Latin was the language of the university,
used for all texts, lectures, disputations and examinations. Professors lectured on the books of Aristotle
for logic, natural philosophy, and metaphysics; while Hippocrates, Galen, and Avicenna were
used for medicine. Outside of these commonalities, great differences
separated north and south, primarily in subject matter. Italian universities focused on law and medicine,
while the northern universities focused on the arts and theology. There were distinct differences in the quality
of instruction in these areas which were congruent with their focus, so scholars would travel
north or south based on their interests and means. There was also a difference in the types of
degrees awarded at these universities. English, French and German universities usually
awarded bachelor’s degrees, with the exception of degrees in theology, for which the doctorate
was more common. Italian universities awarded primarily doctorates. The distinction can be attributed to the intent
of the degree holder after graduation – in the north the focus tended to be on acquiring
teaching positions, while in the south students often went on to professional positions. The structure of northern universities tended
to be modeled after the system of faculty governance developed at the University of
Paris. Southern universities tended to be patterned
after the student-controlled model begun at the University of Bologna. Among the southern universities, a further
distinction has been noted between those of northern Italy, which followed the pattern
of Bologna as a “self-regulating, independent corporation of scholars” and those of southern
Italy and Iberia, which were “founded by royal and imperial charter to serve the needs of
government.”===
Early modern universities===During the Early Modern period (approximately
late 15th century to 1800), the universities of Europe would see a tremendous amount of
growth, productivity and innovative research. At the end of the Middle Ages, about 400 years
after the first European university was founded, there were twenty-nine universities spread
throughout Europe. In the 15th century, twenty-eight new ones
were created, with another eighteen added between 1500 and 1625. This pace continued until by the end of the
18th century there were approximately 143 universities in Europe, with the highest concentrations
in the German Empire (34), Italian countries (26), France (25), and Spain (23) – this
was close to a 500% increase over the number of universities toward the end of the Middle
Ages. This number does not include the numerous
universities that disappeared, or institutions that merged with other universities during
this time. The identification of a university was not
necessarily obvious during the Early Modern period, as the term is applied to a burgeoning
number of institutions. In fact, the term “university” was not always
used to designate a higher education institution. In Mediterranean countries, the term studium
generale was still often used, while “Academy” was common in Northern European countries. The propagation of universities was not necessarily
a steady progression, as the 17th century was rife with events that adversely affected
university expansion. Many wars, and especially the Thirty Years’
War, disrupted the university landscape throughout Europe at different times. War, plague, famine, regicide, and changes
in religious power and structure often adversely affected the societies that provided support
for universities. Internal strife within the universities themselves,
such as student brawling and absentee professors, acted to destabilize these institutions as
well. Universities were also reluctant to give up
older curricula, and the continued reliance on the works of Aristotle defied contemporary
advancements in science and the arts. This era was also affected by the rise of
the nation-state. As universities increasingly came under state
control, or formed under the auspices of the state, the faculty governance model (begun
by the University of Paris) became more and more prominent. Although the older student-controlled universities
still existed, they slowly started to move toward this structural organization. Control of universities still tended to be
independent, although university leadership was increasingly appointed by the state.Although
the structural model provided by the University of Paris, where student members are controlled
by faculty “masters”, provided a standard for universities, the application of this
model took at least three different forms. There were universities that had a system
of faculties whose teaching addressed a very specific curriculum; this model tended to
train specialists. There was a collegiate or tutorial model based
on the system at University of Oxford where teaching and organization was decentralized
and knowledge was more of a generalist nature. There were also universities that combined
these models, using the collegiate model but having a centralized organization.Early Modern
universities initially continued the curriculum and research of the Middle Ages: natural philosophy,
logic, medicine, theology, mathematics, astronomy, astrology, law, grammar and rhetoric. Aristotle was prevalent throughout the curriculum,
while medicine also depended on Galen and Arabic scholarship. The importance of humanism for changing this
state-of-affairs cannot be underestimated. Once humanist professors joined the university
faculty, they began to transform the study of grammar and rhetoric through the studia
humanitatis. Humanist professors focused on the ability
of students to write and speak with distinction, to translate and interpret classical texts,
and to live honorable lives. Other scholars within the university were
affected by the humanist approaches to learning and their linguistic expertise in relation
to ancient texts, as well as the ideology that advocated the ultimate importance of
those texts. Professors of medicine such as Niccolò Leoniceno,
Thomas Linacre and William Cop were often trained in and taught from a humanist perspective
as well as translated important ancient medical texts. The critical mindset imparted by humanism
was imperative for changes in universities and scholarship. For instance, Andreas Vesalius was educated
in a humanist fashion before producing a translation of Galen, whose ideas he verified through
his own dissections. In law, Andreas Alciatus infused the Corpus
Juris with a humanist perspective, while Jacques Cujas humanist writings were paramount to
his reputation as a jurist. Philipp Melanchthon cited the works of Erasmus
as a highly influential guide for connecting theology back to original texts, which was
important for the reform at Protestant universities. Galileo Galilei, who taught at the Universities
of Pisa and Padua, and Martin Luther, who taught at the University of Wittenberg (as
did Melanchthon), also had humanist training. The task of the humanists was to slowly permeate
the university; to increase the humanist presence in professorships and chairs, syllabi and
textbooks so that published works would demonstrate the humanistic ideal of science and scholarship.Although
the initial focus of the humanist scholars in the university was the discovery, exposition
and insertion of ancient texts and languages into the university, and the ideas of those
texts into society generally, their influence was ultimately quite progressive. The emergence of classical texts brought new
ideas and led to a more creative university climate (as the notable list of scholars above
attests to). A focus on knowledge coming from self, from
the human, has a direct implication for new forms of scholarship and instruction, and
was the foundation for what is commonly known as the humanities. This disposition toward knowledge manifested
in not simply the translation and propagation of ancient texts, but also their adaptation
and expansion. For instance, Vesalius was imperative for
advocating the use of Galen, but he also invigorated this text with experimentation, disagreements
and further research. The propagation of these texts, especially
within the universities, was greatly aided by the emergence of the printing press and
the beginning of the use of the vernacular, which allowed for the printing of relatively
large texts at reasonable prices.Examining the influence of humanism on scholars in medicine,
mathematics, astronomy and physics may suggest that humanism and universities were a strong
impetus for the scientific revolution. Although the connection between humanism and
the scientific discovery may very well have begun within the confines of the university,
the connection has been commonly perceived as having been severed by the changing nature
of science during the Scientific Revolution. Historians such as Richard S. Westfall have
argued that the overt traditionalism of universities inhibited attempts to re-conceptualize nature
and knowledge and caused an indelible tension between universities and scientists. This resistance to changes in science may
have been a significant factor in driving many scientists away from the university and
toward private benefactors, usually in princely courts, and associations with newly forming
scientific societies.Other historians find incongruity in the proposition that the very
place where the vast number of the scholars that influenced the scientific revolution
received their education should also be the place that inhibits their research and the
advancement of science. In fact, more than 80% of the European scientists
between 1450–1650 included in the Dictionary of Scientific Biography were university trained,
of which approximately 45% held university posts. It was the case that the academic foundations
remaining from the Middle Ages were stable, and they did provide for an environment that
fostered considerable growth and development. There was considerable reluctance on the part
of universities to relinquish the symmetry and comprehensiveness provided by the Aristotelian
system, which was effective as a coherent system for understanding and interpreting
the world. However, university professors still utilized
some autonomy, at least in the sciences, to choose epistemological foundations and methods. For instance, Melanchthon and his disciples
at University of Wittenberg were instrumental for integrating Copernican mathematical constructs
into astronomical debate and instruction. Another example was the short-lived but fairly
rapid adoption of Cartesian epistemology and methodology in European universities, and
the debates surrounding that adoption, which led to more mechanistic approaches to scientific
problems as well as demonstrated an openness to change. There are many examples which belie the commonly
perceived intransigence of universities. Although universities may have been slow to
accept new sciences and methodologies as they emerged, when they did accept new ideas it
helped to convey legitimacy and respectability, and supported the scientific changes through
providing a stable environment for instruction and material resources.Regardless of the way
the tension between universities, individual scientists, and the scientific revolution
itself is perceived, there was a discernible impact on the way that university education
was constructed. Aristotelian epistemology provided a coherent
framework not simply for knowledge and knowledge construction, but also for the training of
scholars within the higher education setting. The creation of new scientific constructs
during the scientific revolution, and the epistemological challenges that were inherent
within this creation, initiated the idea of both the autonomy of science and the hierarchy
of the disciplines. Instead of entering higher education to become
a “general scholar” immersed in becoming proficient in the entire curriculum, there emerged a
type of scholar that put science first and viewed it as a vocation in itself. The divergence between those focused on science
and those still entrenched in the idea of a general scholar exacerbated the epistemological
tensions that were already beginning to emerge.The epistemological tensions between scientists
and universities were also heightened by the economic realities of research during this
time, as individual scientists, associations and universities were vying for limited resources. There was also competition from the formation
of new colleges funded by private benefactors and designed to provide free education to
the public, or established by local governments to provide a knowledge hungry populace with
an alternative to traditional universities. Even when universities supported new scientific
endeavors, and the university provided foundational training and authority for the research and
conclusions, they could not compete with the resources available through private benefactors. By the end of the early modern period, the
structure and orientation of higher education had changed in ways that are eminently recognizable
for the modern context. Aristotle was no longer a force providing
the epistemological and methodological focus for universities and a more mechanistic orientation
was emerging. The hierarchical place of theological knowledge
had for the most part been displaced and the humanities had become a fixture, and a new
openness was beginning to take hold in the construction and dissemination of knowledge
that were to become imperative for the formation of the modern state.===Modern universities===By the 18th century, universities published
their own research journals and by the 19th century, the German and the French university
models had arisen. The German, or Humboldtian model, was conceived
by Wilhelm von Humboldt and based on Friedrich Schleiermacher’s liberal ideas pertaining
to the importance of freedom, seminars, and laboratories in universities. The French university model involved strict
discipline and control over every aspect of the university. Until the 19th century, religion played a
significant role in university curriculum; however, the role of religion in research
universities decreased in the 19th century, and by the end of the 19th century, the German
university model had spread around the world. Universities concentrated on science in the
19th and 20th centuries and became increasingly accessible to the masses. In the United States, the Johns Hopkins University
was the first to adopt the (German) research university model; this pioneered the adoption
by most other American universities. In Britain, the move from Industrial Revolution
to modernity saw the arrival of new civic universities with an emphasis on science and
engineering, a movement initiated in 1960 by Sir Keith Murray (chairman of the University
Grants Committee) and Sir Samuel Curran, with the formation of the University of Strathclyde. The British also established universities
worldwide, and higher education became available to the masses not only in Europe. In 1963, the Robbins Report on universities
in the United Kingdom concluded that such institutions should have four main “objectives
essential to any properly balanced system: instruction in skills; the promotion of the
general powers of the mind so as to produce not mere specialists but rather cultivated
men and women; to maintain research in balance with teaching, since teaching should not be
separated from the advancement of learning and the search for truth; and to transmit
a common culture and common standards of citizenship.”In the early 21st century, concerns were raised
over the increasing managerialisation and standardisation of universities worldwide. Neo-liberal management models have in this
sense been critiqued for creating “corporate universities (where) power is transferred
from faculty to managers, economic justifications dominate, and the familiar ‘bottom line’ ecclipses
pedagogical or intellectual concerns”. Academics’ understanding of time, pedagogical
pleasure, vocation, and collegiality have been cited as possible ways of alleviating
such problems.===National universities===
A national university is generally a university created or run by a national state but at
the same time represents a state autonomic institution which functions as a completely
independent body inside of the same state. Some national universities are closely associated
with national cultural, religious or political aspirations, for instance the National University
of Ireland, which formed partly from the Catholic University of Ireland which was created almost
immediately and specifically in answer to the non-denominational universities which
had been set up in Ireland in 1850. In the years leading up to the Easter Rising,
and in no small part a result of the Gaelic Romantic revivalists, the NUI collected a
large amount of information on the Irish language and Irish culture. Reforms in Argentina were the result of the
University Revolution of 1918 and its posterior reforms by incorporating values that sought
for a more equal and laic higher education system.===Intergovernmental universities===Universities created by bilateral or multilateral
treaties between states are intergovernmental. An example is the Academy of European Law,
which offers training in European law to lawyers, judges, barristers, solicitors, in-house counsel
and academics. EUCLID (Pôle Universitaire Euclide, Euclid
University) is chartered as a university and umbrella organisation dedicated to sustainable
development in signatory countries, and the United Nations University engages in efforts
to resolve the pressing global problems that are of concern to the United Nations, its
peoples and member states. The European University Institute, a post-graduate
university specialised in the social sciences, is officially an intergovernmental organisation,
set up by the member states of the European Union.==Organization==Although each institution is organized differently,
nearly all universities have a board of trustees; a president, chancellor, or rector; at least
one vice president, vice-chancellor, or vice-rector; and deans of various divisions. Universities are generally divided into a
number of academic departments, schools or faculties. Public university systems are ruled over by
government-run higher education boards. They review financial requests and budget
proposals and then allocate funds for each university in the system. They also approve new programs of instruction
and cancel or make changes in existing programs. In addition, they plan for the further coordinated
growth and development of the various institutions of higher education in the state or country. However, many public universities in the world
have a considerable degree of financial, research and pedagogical autonomy. Private universities are privately funded
and generally have broader independence from state policies. However, they may have less independence from
business corporations depending on the source of their finances.==Around the world==The funding and organization of universities
varies widely between different countries around the world. In some countries universities are predominantly
funded by the state, while in others funding may come from donors or from fees which students
attending the university must pay. In some countries the vast majority of students
attend university in their local town, while in other countries universities attract students
from all over the world, and may provide university accommodation for their students.==Classification==The definition of a university varies widely,
even within some countries. Where there is clarification, it is usually
set by a government agency. For example:
In Australia, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is Australia’s
independent national regulator of the higher education sector. Students rights within university are also
protected by the Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS). In the United States there is no nationally
standardized definition for the term university, although the term has traditionally been used
to designate research institutions and was once reserved for doctorate-granting research
institutions. Some states, such as Massachusetts, will only
grant a school “university status” if it grants at least two doctoral degrees.In the United
Kingdom, the Privy Council is responsible for approving the use of the word university
in the name of an institution, under the terms of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.In
India, a new designation deemed universities has been created for institutions of higher
education that are not universities, but work at a very high standard in a specific area
of study (“An Institution of Higher Education, other than universities, working at a very
high standard in specific area of study, can be declared by the Central Government on the
advice of the University Grants Commission as an Institution ‘Deemed-to-be-university'”). Institutions that are ‘deemed-to-be-university’
enjoy the academic status and the privileges of a university. Through this provision many schools that are
commercial in nature and have been established just to exploit the demand for higher education
have sprung up.In Canada, college generally refers to a two-year, non-degree-granting
institution, while university connotes a four-year, degree-granting institution. Universities may be sub-classified (as in
the Macleans rankings) into large research universities with many PhD-granting programs
and medical schools (for example, McGill University); “comprehensive” universities that have some
PhDs but are not geared toward research (such as Waterloo); and smaller, primarily undergraduate
universities (such as St. Francis Xavier). In Germany, universities are institutions
of higher education which have the power to confer bachelor, master and PhD degrees. They are explicitly recognised as such by
law and cannot be founded without government approval. The term Universitaet (i.e. the German term
for university) is protected by law and any use without official approval is a criminal
offense. Most of them are public institutions, though
a few private universities exist. Such universities are always research universities. Apart from these universities, Germany has
other institutions of higher education (Hochschule, Fachhochschule). Fachhochschule means a higher education institution
which is similar to the former polytechnics in the British education system, the English
term used for these German institutions is usually ‘university of applied sciences’. They can confer master’s degrees but no PhDs. They are similar to the model of teaching
universities with less research and the research undertaken being highly practical. Hochschule can refer to various kinds of institutions,
often specialised in a certain field (e.g. music, fine arts, business). They might or might not have the power to
award PhD degrees, depending on the respective government legislation. If they award PhD degrees, their rank is considered
equivalent to that of universities proper (Universitaet), if not, their rank is equivalent
to universities of applied sciences.==Colloquial usage==Colloquially, the term university may be used
to describe a phase in one’s life: “When I was at university…” (in the United States
and Ireland, college is often used instead: “When I was in college…”). In Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada,
the United Kingdom, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and the German-speaking countries,
university is often contracted to uni. In Ghana, New Zealand, Bangladesh and in South
Africa it is sometimes called “varsity” (although this has become uncommon in New Zealand in
recent years). “Varsity” was also common usage in the UK
in the 19th century. “Varsity” is still in common usage in Scotland.==Cost==In many countries, students are required to
pay tuition fees. Many students look to get ‘student grants’
to cover the cost of university. In 2016, the average outstanding student loan
balance per borrower in the United States was US$30,000. In many U.S. states, costs are anticipated
to rise for students as a result of decreased state funding given to public universities.There
are several major exceptions on tuition fees. In many European countries, it is possible
to study without tuition fees. Public universities in Nordic countries were
entirely without tuition fees until around 2005. Denmark, Sweden and Finland then moved to
put in place tuition fees for foreign students. Citizens of EU and EEA member states and citizens
from Switzerland remain exempted from tuition fees, and the amounts of public grants granted
to promising foreign students were increased to offset some of the impact. The situation in Germany is similar; public
universities usually do not charge tuition fees apart from a small administrative fee. For degrees of a postgraduate professional
level sometimes tuition fees are levied. Private universities, however, almost always
charge tuition fees.==See also

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