Universities, like cathedrals and parliaments, are a product of the Middle Ages. The Greeks and the Romans, strange as it may seem, had no universities in the sense in which the word has been used for the past seven or eight centuries.
[Higher education for the ancients] was not organized into the form of permanent institutions of learning. … Socrates gave no diplomas; if a modern student sat at his feet for three months, he would demand a certificate, something tangible and external to show for it …
The mediaeval university was, in the fine old phrase of Pasquier, “built of men” — bâtie en hommes. Such a university had no board of trustees and published no catalogue; it had no student societies — except so far as the university itself was fundamentally a society of students …
[By the 1100’s, a] student class had now appeared, … and by 1158 it was sufficiently important in Italy to receive a formal grant of rights and privileges from Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, though no particular town or university is mentioned. By this time, Bologna had become the resort of some hundreds of students … Far from home and undefended, they united for mutual protection and assistance, and … was the beginning of the university. In this union they seem to have followed the example of the gilds already common in Italian cities. … the word university means originally such a group or corporation in general, and only in time did it come to be limited to gilds of masters and students, universitas societas magistrorum discipulorumque. Historically, the word university has no connection with the universe or the universality or learning, it denotes only the totality of a group, whether barbers, carpenters, or students did not matter.
The students of Bologna organized such a university first as a means of protection against the townspeople, for the price of rooms and necessaries rose rapidly with the crowd of new tenants and consumers, and the individual student was helpless against such profiteering. United, the students could bring the town to terms by the threat of departure as a body, secession, for the university, having no buildings, was free to move, and there are many historic examples of such migrations. Better rent one’s rooms for less than not rent them at all, and so the student organizations secured the power to fix the prices of lodgings and books through their representatives.
Victorious over the townsmen, the students turned on “their other enemies, the professors.” Here the threat was a collective boycott, and as the masters lived at first wholly from the fees of their pupils, this threat was equally effective. The professor was put under the bond to live up to a minute set of regulations which guaranteed his students the worth of the money paid by each.
We read in the earliest statutes (1317) that a professor might not be absent without leave, even a single day, and if he desired to leave town he had to make a deposit to ensure his return. If he failed to secure an audience of five for a regular lecture, he was fined as though absent — a poor lecture indeed which could not secure five hearers! He must begin with the bell and quit within one minute after the next bell. He was not allowed to skip a chapter in his commentary, or postpone a difficulty to the end of the hour, and he was obliged to cover ground systematically, so much in each specific term of the year. No one might spend the whole year on introduction and bibliography! …
Excluded from the “university” of students, the professors also formed a gild or “college,” requiring for admission thereto certain qualifications which were ascertained by examination, so that no student could enter save by the gild’s consent. And, inasmuch as ability to teach a subject is a good test of knowing it, the student came to seek the professor’s license as a certificate of attainment, regardless of his future career. This certificate, the license to teach (licentia docendi), thus became the earliest form of academic degree. Our higher degrees still preserve this tradition in the words master (magister) and doctor, originally synonymous, while the French even have a licence. … And the ambitious student sought the degree and gave an inaugural lecture, even when he expressly disclaimed all intention of continuing in the teaching profession. …
which is loosely true.In the United States, for example, the terms 'college' and 'university' may be regarded as loosely interchangeable, whereas in the United Kingdom and Ireland, a 'college' is usually an institution between school and university level (although constituent schools within universities are also known as 'colleges').
.. in Aus a University is a collection of Faculties which is then a collection of Schools .. for example at my University ..harry said:
I always thought a University is a collection of individuals Colleges; Engineering, Agriculture, Fine Arts, etc.
.. In Aus we also have that level of education where some Private Schools, mostly Christian schools, call themself a College and cater for students from kindergarten to Year 12 ..Faculty of Science and Information Technology comprises,
* School of Design, Communication and IT
* School of Environmental and Life Sciences
* School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
* School of Psychology