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The University and the 'Univercity'

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Written by   84
1 month ago

After reading the inspiring article by @Success.1 I was thinking for a long time about the role that the University should play. I don't mean the University as a building or as a place of study, but the University as an Institution.

The university is closely linked to the city in which it is located. It even often takes its name (Oxford from Oxfordshire, Cambrige from Cambridge, or UCM Universidad Complutense de Madrid from Madrid).

At the beginning of the academic year, the city is full of students from all over the world thanks to programs such as ERASMUS, etc. These young people live the experience of living in a city abroad. They rent apartments during the school year, consume in the city, have their own parties, friends, lovers etc. It's probable they could become new stable citizens. At least, they will become residents of the city for several years. In other words, what happens in the University affects the 'Univercity' (a city with a University).

As an Institution, the University must also play a social role. It should not only train young people, but also accompany them in their itinerary and according to their social reality. In example, It must adapt to the different languages and ways of understanding the world (al cultural role). It must provide scholarships to students who are intellectually advantaged but economically disadvantaged. It must train in local values people who come from very different places and will stay in the city for a long period of time.

The university as an institution must position itself and must take part in the resolution of conflicts or problemans of the city in which it is located. To put it briefly: it has a social role, beyond the educational one.

But it also has an economic role. The university must keep itself up to date, it must have contact with the business environment to know what profiles and subjects, what skills, are in demand in the market. And it must guide its contents towards these local and global realities and goals so that its students become fully integrated people who will be the ones to lead these same companies in the future.

The university must also position itself in the face of political conflicts, since what is taught and divulged within its walls directly affects their solution.

What I mean is that the university is an institution that must be in close contact with reality, with youth, with society, with companies and their needs, and serve as a facilitator for conflict resolution.

Otherwise, the university becomes a temple, an ivory tower, full of erudite wise men who never set foot on the street and who have never been part of any other reality than the Academy. A place of erudite wise men who teach things that were obsolete more than 50 years ago and prepare the youth in 'knowledge' but not for 'real life'.

So, I believe that the university should move towards a concept of 'univercity', fully integrated into the reality of the city in which it is located.

Image sources: own creation from Creative Common vectorial graphics.

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Avatar for Loucy
Written by   84
1 month ago
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Comments

That´s the big issue about what a university is. People who feel superior to the rest but never see how life is outside. It´s more about status than efficiency. Actually, I liked so much how you describe it as it has to be, but unfortunately is the opposite. It´s not an institution that links young people from school to the real world, it´s not the bridge that is supposed to be, that´s why many young people do not know what to do after ending this part of their lives.

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1 month ago

The reality is that university effect on the city where it was built in drastic. There will be charged effect on their culture as their will be people of different believe

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1 month ago

Indeed! Thank you Success.1 for your comment, but also for your inspiring article!

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1 month ago

I never knew there was a word like UniverCity. Thanks to this article, I enjoyed reading every bit of this.

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1 month ago

Thank You Abhay! It is an invented word (or concept) that leads to an ecosystemic undertanding where the University acts as a powerful agent.

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1 month ago