Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Role of University ?

I had a large discussion today with stakeholders : which is the role of universities? Teaching knowledge or preparing students to enter in the society and to find a job and to keep it?

This is a huge issue, as it totally changes the training profiles and incidentally the training contents.

We would welcome your comments or ideas on this subject ! Just use the opportunity below, to drop comments !


  1. Both!
    ... and both equally important.

  2. comment received from N.B from Turkey :
    it depends on the person's money. ;( ideally, the first one should be the role of the university. However, we need todo for making a living

  3. from T.K. (Hungary)

    a university is the best important medium and facilitator to transfer the knowledge and to form the knowledge workers.

  4. From Y.J.(Turkey)
    teaching knowledge+preparing students to enter in the society and to find a job and to keep it / both must be the roles of the universities.Even after students graduate, universities can serve some educational programmes in order to support them during the process of work, let's say, for one year or another.

  5. From T.K. (Hungary)
    shorter definition: university = teaching the new generation of young/adults through science based courses to integrate them into the society

  6. From L.L (Romania)
    well, present the role is prepare the student for 1 job and make capable to kkep it/ the tendince is to make 2, 3 universities with 2,3 diferent profesion/ but i think the education, the sprituality,ethic, culture,responsability, is important too. the university must formate the mind /heart/and body of the student.mens sana in corpore sano... and ethic, too..we are responsable for the 3-d world, for people with problems...

  7. I think that both are equally important. However most often universities just teach knowledge and students are far away from the job-world when they get out from University. This might happen because many of the teachers (at least in the spanish Public Universities)have never left the academic world (they do a doctorate and become teachers without experiencing the labour market), how could they prepare students to enter in the job-society if they don´t know how it works?. The same happens with private universities master degrees; once you pay for a master you normally get it, however I wonder if all the students are prepared for the tasks they have been taught...

  8. If a university's only job is to prepare people for a life of work, then who will study philosophy, languages, literature, art or music, for the number of jobs in these fields are minimal or non-existent.

    To me, the real purpose of education is to prepare people for living in an uncertain world, a world in which they are called upon to think critically and act with conscience to make that world a better place. We should be providing our students with life skills and competences, not just work skills.

  9. From A.O. (Turkey)
    It should be the place to teach or encourage one to seek knowledge..It is quite fashionable these days to blame universities for the shortcomings in higher education,but I believe that individuals do not use their capacity fully.I believe university just opens the door,it is up to you to go further,you either satisfy yourself with whatever it offers or expand it...

  10. From F.H. (Hungary)

    Primary role of universities should be teaching deep/specialized up-to-date knowledge/skills/competence (both in theory and at field-work/labs) which is usable for the labour-market and in real-life professions.

    Preparing students how to self-educate themselves (lifelong learning to keep knowledge up-to-date) and how to sell themselves in the job-market (to find/keep a job) should already be started earlier, possibly already at secondary schools; this should not be the primary role of a university.

  11. From a law student from Slovakia:
    "In my oppinion, the role of universities and training organizations is both, to provide a teaching knowledge, and to prepare students to enter in the society. However, for university studies I believe the teaching knowledge should prevail over the socialisation task. Most students enter the university at relatively older age, with their social opinions/links already developed at former stages. The role of universities should be limited to providing necessary platform to improve individual's adaptability to collective, and creation / maintenance of social links."

  12. Why not follow common sense?
    Higher education institutions - including universities - should provide us with higher-level skills, obviously. What do we need these skills for?
    1. to ensure our bottom line, i.e. earn our living,
    2. to make us better human beings,
    3. to further science and knowledge...
    in this order.
    It seems that too many higher education institutions have a tendency to inverse the order. That is what needs to be fixed!