Education is an aspect that had and has been in many societies since the middle ages. The educational institutions had continued to transit from the middle ages, where the cathedral institutions were the norm, to when universities were formed. However, the transition did not just occur in a vacuum since there were some flaws and needs in societies that could no longer be filled by the cathedral schools anymore. Therefore, universities had to be developed to fill these voids, which would then stabilize society. The new universities filled a need for community that the earlier traditions of the cathedral schools and apprenticeships could not, in a few ways.
The cathedral schools had weak systems and also very many limitations. Firstly, these schools had limited exposure to other points of view. Logically, individuals who had been born into Christianity and went to these cathedral schools had their beliefs unchallenged. Therefore, their kinds and ideas were limited to the opportunities of meeting with other individuals who had different opinions and religious beliefs. There were other religions and thoughts at the time, and not every individual would have agreed with the current points of view (de Ridder-Symoens et al.). Consequently, the mingling and interaction of these students with others would have opened them to more diverse and vast bodies of thought, which would contribute to the overall growth of society.
Also, these institutions were a lot more costly than the universities, which proved to be relatively cheaper. The cathedral institutions were mainly private institutions of higher learning. Therefore the institutions had to be expensive. Therefore, students had to prepare for these heavy expenses by working while saving or enquiring for a substantial aid package to grant them access to these institutions. On the other hand, universities were cheaper since they were public institutions (Logan & Donald). The students got charged fairly since the only thing they paid for was the service they received from the lecturers. However, the cathedral institutions forced the students to take student loans so that they could attend these colleges, a matter that was quite disturbing to many.
Furthermore, students at these institutions had more cliques. These institutions were highly known for cliques, one of their primary downfalls. Here, every student shared the same values and beliefs, which made the students put more effort into discriminating against those who had the slightest of differences so that they could fit into a particular group. Therefore the students at these institutions had conformed to religion and would later relate every societal aspect to religion (Logan & Donald). Consequently, the society received intellectuals who were close-minded, and this is where universities came in. universities had less diverse settings, where students had the opportunities of pursuing their interests which were academic, extracurricular, and also socially related, so that they would find the friends and groups that were best fitting to them (de Ridder-Symoens et al.). In other words, universities would lead to the production of individuals who would make decisions after considering many factors due to the diverse experience of engaging with different individuals.
Moreover, these institutions had limited choices of courses and studies that learners could choose from. These institutions had a few breakdowns since even these majors were religiously based. Considering that society was developing fast, individuals also developed perceptions and tastes in pursuing various studies. This limitation in the cathedral institutions made the scholars reluctant to join the institutions.
On the other hand, universities allow exposure to new and more fantastic ideas. It is even known that most of the inventors of many great inventions of the world today came from these institutions. Universities would allow for many different faculty members, who came from vast backgrounds and faiths, and would then set the curriculum requirements and needs for the students (Rashdall). Furthermore, the universities also allowed for non-secular curricula, which means they also incorporated the studies from the cathedral schools. For example, it was a requirement in the universities that the students complete religious-based classes that were not designed to present other objectives or views of other religions (Logan & Donald). Through universities also, scholars got employed in a wide array of jobs due to the several studies they majored in. universities also provided the necessary knowledge and skills required to eliminate the challenges in developing sustainable development for many communities.
In summary, universities have proved that they file significant societal needs that cathedral schools couldn’t. Cathedral schools had limitations such as; they limited students to only one viewpoint, were costly and had a restriction on the number of studies or majors they could offer. On the other hand, universities allowed students to be open-minded, were pretty cheap, and allowed for scholars to pursue many majors.
de Ridder-Symoens, Hilde, and Walter Rüegg, eds. A history of the university in Europe: Volume 1, Universities in the Middle Ages. Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Logan, F. Donald. A History of the Church in the Middle Ages. Routledge, 2012.
Rashdall, Hastings. The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages: Salerno. Bologna. Paris. Vol. 1. Clarendon Press, 1895.