The Rise of the Universities As students at a university, you are part of a great tradition. Consider the words you use: These are the language of the university, and they are all derived from Latin, almost unchanged from their medieval origins.
Antecedents[ edit ] A map of medieval universities The university is generally regarded as a formal institution that has its origin in the Medieval Christian setting. Evidence of these immediate forerunners of the later university at many places dates back to the 6th century AD.
Before the 12th century, the intellectual life of Western Europe had been largely relegated to monasterieswhich were mostly concerned with performing the liturgy and prayer; relatively few monasteries could boast true intellectuals. Following the Gregorian Reform 's emphasis on canon law and the study of the sacramentsbishops formed cathedral schools to train the clergy in Canon lawbut also in the more secular aspects of religious administration, including logic and disputation for use in preaching and theological discussion, and accounting to more effectively control finances.
Pope Gregory VII was critical in promoting and regulating the concept of modern university as his Papal Decree ordered the regulated establishment of cathedral schools that transformed themselves into the first European universities. Demand quickly outstripped the capacity of cathedral schools, each of which was essentially run by one teacher.
In addition, tensions rose between the students of cathedral schools and Origins and characteristics of medieval universities in smaller towns.
As a result, cathedral schools migrated to large cities, like BolognaRome and Paris. Some scholars such as Syed Farid Alatas have noted some parallels between Madrasahs and early European colleges and have thus inferred that the first universities in Europe were influenced by the Madrasahs in Islamic Spain and the Emirate of Sicily.
Another step was when Pope Alexander III in "forbidding masters of the church schools to take fees for granting the license to teach licentia docendiand obliging them to give license to properly qualified teachers". This independently evolving organization was absent in the universities of southern Italy and Spain, which served the bureaucratic needs of monarchs—and were, according to Rashdall, their artificial creations.
By the yeareven the two oldest universities, Bologna and Paris, felt the need to seek similar bulls from Pope Nicholas IV.
By the 13th century, almost half of the highest offices in the Church were occupied by degree masters abbotsarchbishopscardinalsand over one-third of the second-highest offices were occupied by masters.
In addition, some of the greatest theologians of the High Middle AgesThomas Aquinas and Robert Grossetestewere products of the medieval university. The development of the medieval university coincided with the widespread reintroduction of Aristotle from Byzantine and Arab scholars. In fact, the European university put Aristotelian and other natural science texts at the center of its curriculum,  with the result that the "medieval university laid far greater emphasis on science than does its modern counterpart and descendent.
As he puts it " CopernicusGalileoTycho BraheKeplerand Newton were all extraordinary products of the apparently Procrustean and allegedly Scholastic universities of Europe Sociological and historical accounts of the role of the university as an institutional locus for science and as an incubator of scientific thought and arguments have been vastly understated.
This manuscript is typical of the sort of book owned by medieval university students. Initially medieval universities did not have physical facilities such as the campus of a modern university. Classes were taught wherever space was available, such as churches and homes. A university was not a physical space but a collection of individuals banded together as a universitas.
Soon, however, universities began to rent, buy or construct buildings specifically for the purposes of teaching. The first type was in Bolognawhere students hired and paid for the teachers. The second type was in Pariswhere teachers were paid by the church. Oxford and Cambridge were predominantly supported by the crown and the state, which helped them survive the Dissolution of the Monasteries in and the subsequent removal of all principal Catholic institutions in England.
These structural differences created other characteristics. At the Bologna university the students ran everything—a fact that often put teachers under great pressure and disadvantage.
In Paris, teachers ran the school; thus Paris became the premiere spot for teachers from all over Europe. Also, in Paris the main subject matter was theology, so control of the qualifications awarded was in the hands of an external authority - the Chancellor of the diocese.Universities continue to evolve today, and yet still retain some of their earliest characteristics, as formed in the medieval period.
DAVID TULLOCH. Further Reading. Cobban, A. B. The Medieval Universities: Their Development and Organization. New York: Routledge, Murray, Alexander. Reason and Society in the Middle Ages. Oxford: Clarendon Press, History of Colleges and Universities, Europe in the Middle Ages Below are two chapters / articles (from different sources) providing background review information on the history in the middle ages of colleges and universities, origin of schools, and a timeline of the .
The origins and characteristics of these medieval universities as well as details of the students and their masters (professors) will be thoroughly discussed in the following paragraphs.
These universities became the foundation of and models for the higher education of today.
Lectures in Medieval History, by Lynn Harry Nelson, Emeritus Professor of Medieval History, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. History of Medieval Education, Middle Ages European Learning.
Below is a background review of the history of college education, medieval universities and higher learning education in the university and schools setting in europe, and origin and timeline information on the evolution of education in that system.
History of Medieval Education, Middle Ages European Learning. Below is a background review of the history of college education, medieval universities and higher learning education in the university and schools setting in europe, and origin and timeline information on the evolution of education in that system.