Examining How Medieval Universities Have Impacted Modern Universities

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One major contribution from the Middle Ages that has made a profound impact which still affects us today is the rise of universities and higher education. This new form of community teaching led to a rapid increase in the percentage of people who were literate in the Middle Ages and continued to flourish into a world-wide phenomenon which has changed the world of today and allows millions of people to delve deeper into their preferred area of interest and allow them to obtain a degree. Around 800-1050 A.D., prior to the formation of universities, getting an education was extremely difficult. Only about one percent of the population was considered literate. The only place that someone could go to receive a decent education would be a…show more content…
As the population grew and the economy began to flourish, people began to desire formal education. This began to lead to the foundation of cathedral education. A cathedral school had a larger faculty and a broader curriculum. It was the church of the bishop, mainly teaching priests Latin and theology. While it started off primarily for the clergy, it eventually started to include lay people as well. The demand led to overcapacity in these cathedral schools. That, along with tension from local townsmen who were not too pleased with the foreign students, led to cathedral schools being migrated to large cities, such as Bologna and Paris, in the form of universities. Universities were guilds or corporations of students and their masters. The universities centered on particular fields of study. Bologna, for example, was a law school, while the University of Paris had four faculties: Theology, Arts, Medicine, and Law. The University of Paris, as well as some other universities, started to become formally established and licensed by the Pope. Although these new universities were church institutions, they were focused on a wider variety of people, no longer just the clergy. Universities were also now allowed to have their own rules and obtained autonomy. This helped to protect the students from the local townsmen since many of them were not natives to the area. These medieval universities now opened new doors for lay people to receive a higher education and by 1350,
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