Presentation on theme: " Many students seem to have gone to universities in the medieval time for similar reasons that students go to college today—to have the opportunity to."— Presentation transcript:
Many students seem to have gone to universities in the medieval time for similar reasons that students go to college today—to have the opportunity to find a high paying, elusive, skilled job. Nonetheless, universities in these times were more vocation geared and the method of learning was largely memorization. Surprisingly enough, these were by no means “aristocratic institutions” (Cobban, 33). There was always a small percentage of the aristocracy, but most students came from middle and lower class backgrounds. Some schools even excused poorer pupils from their dues. Since these schools were largely vocational, the social groups the students came from were primarily concerned with establishing themselves financially. Once the universities began to teach more humanities, the nobility began to enroll increasingly.
Revolts during this time are not unheard of, although it is often difficult to determine the numbers involved and whether faculty also took part. These rebellions, though, occurred for different reasons from why students may choose to rebel today. It wasn’t because of “pent-up anti- establishment feelings” (Cobban, 31) or because they took issue with the course teachings. Most of the time, they wanted greater student involvement in the university’s affairs.
The university originally started as a way for students from outside cities to unite, as the city of Bologna did not provide them with sufficient legal protection. As a result, they united and formed these guilds. The students eventually formed societates, and they were responsible for paying the teaching doctors. The commune saw benefits from the university remaining in the city and slowly began to impose restrictions on the doctors to prevent them or the students from leaving. The law students wanted to safeguard themselves in the case of a conflict, and assigned a universitas scolarium. This allowed them to shift the balance of power—the students now had control. After some quarreling, the commune grudgingly accepted the new position. Bologna, one of the first European universities, was the exact opposite of what a contemporary may imagine a medieval university to be—it was almost entirely student run.
With almost complete power over the doctors, the students established a university entirely student-run. They were able to: -hire the doctors and determine their salary based on student fees -impose certain conditions on the doctors involving the university -exclude the doctors from official gatherings -fine or withhold a doctor’s salary if they failed to start a class on time, complete a certain course load by a specific day, or cover the material to the extent of the students’ expectations -require the doctor to deposit a certain amount of money before a class as an incentive for the doctor to teach the class up to a certain standard
Besides, Padua, which followed the Bologna model, this type of student run university has not occurred elsewhere— and it probably couldn’t have. By the mid-1300s, the control the students had over the university was essentially gone.
In France, no such “Bologna model” existed. The universities were controlled by the church and the only revolts here weren’t for student control of the college, but for more autonomy from the church— for the students to be able to organize and take part in the affairs of the university. Piece by piece they did reduce the control of the church and new constitutions were written. In some cases, almost a partnership between the students and professors was created. In the 1500s, student power within universities seems to have diminished just about everywhere. Southern European colleges have been equalized with those of northwestern Europe in terms of student influence.
Probably not. Why? Early American universities were often founded with religious intentions. The vast majority of graduates went on to become ministers. At Harvard in the 17 th century, for example, about half of the graduates followed this path. Similar to the issues in France earlier, the church tried to prevent any form of student organization. In Bologna, the law students were originally able to take control. They weren’t nearly as reliant on professors in aiding their studies.
These Bolognese students were often older—they could easily have been in their mid 20s. They had prior work experience, prior education, and were used to taking on responsibilities. They were quite knowledgeable. On the other hand, when a student in an American college began school, he could have easily been in his early teens. These students simply did not have an extensive background—let alone be capable of running a college. Doctors in Bologna dealt with the oppressive conditions because they ended up moving around quite a bit— they often didn’t expect to stay at a college for more than a few months. In America, though, a salaried professor who expected to stay at a college for some time, wouldn’t agree to such controls.
They were closely tied to and funded by the government. Whereas in America the universities received financial help from various governments to help cover operating costs and salaries, doctors in Bologna were paid with student fees—and students had command over these funds. After the students lost their voices almost entirely in the European universities by the 1500s, it became clear that students should not be running the show; this power should rest in the hands of the teachers. No one was about to let another Bologna type university to form.
Cobban, Alan B. "Medieval Student Power." Oxford Journal (1971): 28-66. Print. McCaughey, Robert A. Stand, Columbia: A History of Columbia University in the City of New York, 1754- 2004. New York: Columbia UP, 2003. Print. Photos: "Bologna." N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014. Jenkins, Scott. "Medieval Student Violence." Medievalists.net. N.p., 22 Nov. 2011. Web. 10 Feb. 2014. "Paris Universitas." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 June 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2014.
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