Dr. Laura Heffernan
04 October 2014
Newman, Veysey, and Nathan: The Higher Ed Chronicles
Higher education has been implemented to create formal learning for students choosing the option to study further after secondary education. Ideas about how higher education should be systemized have been long discussed by many philosophers. Philosophers have argued on how the university should function and, essentially, what type of student they are hoping to produce. The outcome of the student’s matters to the university, probably far more than it matters when they were attending the university. The outcomes allow incoming students to picture what future could develop by attending this university, and if they could achieve higher at other universities. When a student looks at a university, they look for which option will give them the best outcome in their line of study. This brings about the different ideals to what the system of a university should be and how their inner workings were controlled.
John Henry Newman wrote The Idea of a University in 1852, describing what he felt were the essential ways a university should function. Newman believed that university exists to provide students with higher education for a lifetime. According to Newman, a universities main purpose should be its treatments of its students. This includes the services they provide students and what the university does for the students as a whole. Newman thought that universities should start educating a student with one idea and gradually build on it, bringing in new ideas and new thoughts to help create the concept to tie everything together. In Newman’s eyes, the universities goal is not to make morally good people it is to focus on extending and broadening the students’ knowledge. As a university works on expanding knowledge of their students they will create good thinkers, which is the best product a university could offer.
Newman considered interaction a main concept that many universities must include in their curriculum. The interaction between students is a key factor to learning and allows students to build on the ideas of their peers. Interacting with peers allows students to gain knowledge from people who have been exposed to different experiences, life circumstances, and subjects. The engagement between students will create new thoughts and ideas, which ultimately creates a more intellectual student. Newman believed that education should be rounded, in order to expose students to many different subjects, to create balanced and wise students. The expansion of education creates a concept Newman came up with, called ‘viewiness’. This was the idea that students who attend a university leave it with brilliance on any topic. The amount of knowledge they have gained should create a sophisticated mind view on vast amounts of topics. Broadening the varieties of subjects students have to take will help students gain this sense of ‘viewiness’.
As many philosophers were discussing the idea of the university, Laurence Veysey discussed the many aspects that a university entails. In The Emergence of the American University, published in 1965, Veysey discusses how the modern American university ideas were shaped between the Civil War and World War I, and still remain within the system today. Veysey argues that the American university were founded on the ideas of three purposes: service, research, and liberal culture. Liberal culture was important to the university, as it demonstrated rounded views on each subject. Veysey stated that liberal education provides students with worldly skills. Although many universities strive to gear a student towards one specific skill, liberal education allows for learning to be vast and open-minded. Veysey, like Newman, believed that students should take a variety of courses, along with their specific concentration, for a solid grasp on core material. With this type of education students will be…