A university is an educational institution that awards academic degrees in various disciplines. Universities often serve as important research providers in their societies. There are many types of universities. Some are controlled by religious authorities. Others are managed by governments. Some focus on teaching while others are dedicated to fostering the individual interests of students.
Universities are typically larger in size than colleges. They provide students with a variety of programs and amenities. They are considered to be a place of great personal development. They offer undergraduate degrees and graduate and professional degrees. They also provide career centers. They may have bars, restaurants, and shopping areas.
The origins of a university go back to the ancient Greeks. The original Latin word for the university, universitas, was derived from the Academy of Plato. It was designed as a permanent institution of higher learning. It was large in scale and offered courses in the sciences, humanities, and law.
Medieval schools known as “studies” were open to students from all parts of Europe. These included scholars from foreign countries and clerks and monks who wanted to advance their education beyond the cathedral school.
Early universities were founded in the thirteenth century in central Europe, including Prague, Vienna, and Florence. These institutions provided a broad curriculum that included arithmetic, logic, astronomy, and rhetoric. These are now known as the seven liberal arts.
Universities were first organized in three different ways depending on who paid for the teachers. The oldest were not degree-granting institutions. The trivium was composed of grammar, logic, and dialectic.