University: A Glimpse of History

University is greatly associated to education. It is an institution which is designed for instructing students in numerous branches of learning. The term “university” has the Latin origin, “universitas magistrorum et scholarium” which means “community of teachers and scholars.”

When we talk about university, it is definitely a place where people’s minds are enriched and equipped with essential skills. It is a kind of school that offers different courses that would lead to a certain degree and where research is primarily done.

Academic freedom is a big consideration when it comes to the meaning of the word. The University of Bologna applied the concept of Constitutio Habita wherein students are allowed to travel in order to look for their own interests and chosen field of specification. As the university highly promotes the scholars’ interests in learning, it is now recognized as the agent for academic freedom. There is an increasing growth of universities that signed the Magna Carta Universitatum in the world.

During Medieval Times, most teachers are nuns and monks that took many years teaching in monastic schools or mostly known as Christian Cathedral Schools. The Latin church played an important role in the development of early universities. It is rarely possible for cathedral schools to be developed into universities but the University of Paris is an exception to the rule. During this period the schools were founded from the schools that have existed before. The continuation of the cathedral schools and universities were because there was an increasing rate of people who wanted to learn through the help of monasteries.

In Europe, universities were created for the satisfaction of the Europeans for knowledge and they believed that it is beneficial for the society through the help of experts who studied in universities. There is a great difference in terms of development of the universities in south and northern parts of Europe although they shared lots of commonalities.

The main language used in examinations and in any forms of lectures and texts was Latin. There was also a difference in terms of structure of universities. Universities in the South were modeled the same as the structure of the University of Bologna. The Northern universities were patterned the way the University of Paris was built.

In Early Modern Period, there was an increasing growth in terms of research that the universities in Europe have seen. Throughout Europe, there were a total of twenty-nine universities that were established before the Middle Ages ended.

It is in this period wherein theology, astronomy, philosophy, mathematics, logic, grammar, medicine, astrology and rhetoric are included in the university. Creative university was established through the classical texts that emerged which was composed of new and modernized ideas.

18th and 19th centuries paved way on the universities to publish research journals and the rise of French and German university as well. This is considered as the time of modern universities. Also in the 19th century wherein most of the universities included religion in their curriculum. The end of 19th and 20th centuries marked the beginning of the universities to concentrate more on sciences and became more known to masses and let them access on universities.

A university that is created or established through the national state which represents an institution that is autonomic which functions independently inside the state is known as national university. Most of the national universities are related to political or cultural ambitions. On the other hand, universities that are established through treaties between multilateral and bilateral states is called as intergovernmental universities. Academy of European Law is a concrete example of this. Lawyers, barristers and judges were offered with training to fully enhance their skills.

There are many issues about the term university due to the fact that its definition vary on different countries of the world. The clarification is usually done mainly through the help of the government. An example of this is in the United States. University has no standard definition but this is used to refer to research institutions. Some schools will only be considered as university if they offer doctoral degree programs.

Some students were not able to study due to the fact that they do not have enough money to fund their studies. Some are looking for scholarships to cover the expenses which is a great help to finish their degrees. But in most of the countries in Europe offer degrees in universities without any tuition fees that is why most of the students were able to finish their courses.

Here are some of the characteristics of university that makes it different in any type of school:

  • Larger than any type of school. University is divided into teaching and research. The faculty is large as well as the number of students that would make them learn better. Most of the universities are divided into courses such as College of Nursing, College of Education, College of Engineering and other courses which universities offer.
  • Master’s and Doctoral degrees. Universities offer this wherein master’s degree will be taken first before the doctoral degree.
  • Offers special programs. Special programs which the students can have in a minimum time required both graduate and undergraduate degrees.
  • Abstract and academic. University teaches the students that would make them critical thinkers about what is going on in the world.
  • Universities offer a freedom for the students to choose their own schedule which they are convenient with. It will then result to days where they only have few classes to attend to and sometimes there are days when they do not have classes.

Those characteristics will help to distinguish university on the other types of schools. Universities play an important role in the development of a country. Having numbers of universities would help many people to have the chance to go to school especially those who are in need. The more the university graduates a country has, the greater the possibility that those graduates would help on the growth and progression of the country’s economic development.