The Purpose of Universities: From the Middle Ages to the Age of Covid

Our CEO discusses the purpose of universities - from 11th century universities to the crucial role they play in the world we live in today.

The purpose of universities
05/01/21 Author: Zainab Fayaz
22 min read

The events of 2020 have served to emphasise the crucial societal role played by universities.

COVID-19 has brought many questions bubbling under the surface of higher education to the fore: questions related to funding, the nature of provision, and value for money, among others.

This article explores learnings of the industry’s past to help define what the future could look like for the sector.


Value to society
Early universities: finishing schools for nobility
Universities to serve communities
The second coming of the civic university
A decisive shift online
Skills and future industries
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