What is "higher education"? Higher education is the center and key element of all civilization advancements. That is one of the primary definitions that comes to mind when asked about higher education at a university. Another definition about higher learning at a university is for oneself to learn who he or she really is in life. That person is also responsible for forming some kind of lifestyle according to what he or she has grasped onto from the university way of living. Many people also consider as true that a university is a place to receive a proof that he or she is qualified to work in a particular field of study as a professional. Each person should have the right to attend an educational institution seeking their own interpretation of higher learning. There are some people that have the resources, whether it be wealth or academically, to access higher learning at a university, but for those who do not, they have to be content with what they have learned through earlier years of school to succeed in life.
It is important to enlighten a national culture on traditional values that were established in the past may they be good or bad. In Virginia Woolf's case she was locked out of a male dominated university lifestyle where women were considered unnecessary of attaining knowledge. In her time period, at the University of Oxbridge, Woolf witnessed how only male students were taken seriously about education and even when a young woman tried to enter the library alone she was taken for a ignoramus and sent on her way. A civilization cannot further advance at any kind of distance without researching its misjudgments in the past and correcting them. Woolf's situation is a prime example in the controversy of teaching the nation about former traditional values. If a person demonstrates that something in the days of yore did not work, then we can benefit from that mistake and construct a more appropriate world to live in.
There are those who also believe in teaching a university curriculum, based on the Great Books approach, is a worthy inspiration. That is not likely supported by Allan Bloom. Bloom believes that a college is in existence for a student to assimilate as much knowledge as conceivable. An exemplary example of Bloom's opinion is his quote that "It is amateurish; it encourages an autodidact's self-assurance without competence; one cannot read all of the Great Books carefully; if one only reads Great Books, one can never know what a great, as opposed to ordinary, book is;." This statement is profoundly true by reason of one person cannot conclude that one object is considered "great" if that person has only been subjected to that manifestation their entire life. The single solitary way that person will have a chance of evaluating what is "great" will be when they have seen every commodity in existence, and even then who are they to judge what is "great" anyhow?
One more illustration of how life at a university should be, is presented to us by John Henry Newman in his essay The Idea of a University. Newman states that university living should include superincumbent collaboration between students and faculty members as well as faculty and students amongst themselves. That is an impressive way of looking at what a university habitat could include. Newman states the quote "He is at home in any society, he has common ground with every class;" to express that there are not any barriers between fellow students, faculty, or anyone at the university to block out their unity. Newman also discloses in his essay that a student should acquire lessons of life such as manners, morals, management, etc. Hopefully, Newman's philosophy on how life should exist at a university will one day become a reality.
Higher education exists in many forms of definitions in life, but it is a decision that every person that enters a university must make of which interpretation pertains to his or herself. Everyone will approach it in their own way, but it remains to been seen who will flourish into the world as a well-rounded person on their conclusion. The decisions that we make as individuals dictate the lives that we lead in society, so live and learn!
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