In Europe

In Europe, during the Middle Ages, the need for a higher education was just as popular as today, students nowadays apply to many colleges and hope to attend one of the best school to receive their education. During the Early Middle Ages before the time of universities, education was provided by monasteries and convents and was taught by small schools and tutors. As the number of students started to increase, teachers formed a society to establish the University of Paris, the earliest known university in Europe this also served as a model for later universities (Wiesner et al, p. 138). There were many universities that were established in France, England, and Germany after this. The Medieval universities gave us a foundation for universities in the modern times and when compared, many similarities like ideas of curriculum, professor’s identities, teaching methods, student life and more could be found. “Much of medieval university life will seem familiar to us, for modern colleges and universities have inherited a great deal from their medieval predecessors” (Wiesner et al, p. 138).
Medieval universities, such as the University of Paris, had certain rules that one needed to follow in order to teach. It was stated by Robert Courcon in “Statutes for the University of Paris” in 1215, that “No one is to lecture at Paris in arts before he is twenty-one years old. He is to listen in arts at least six years, before he begins to lecture. He is to promise that he will lecture for at least two years, unless he is prevented by some good reason” (Wiesner et al, p. 144). This shows us that there were restrictions, requirements, and contracts for teaching just like we do now and professors need to obtain a degree before they could start teaching. The difference in modern universities is that there is no age limit to when a professor could start teaching as long as they have a degree and experience in the field they are good to teach. Universities today offer many academic courses than just the limited courses in the medieval times.
In “Statutes for the University of Paris” by Pope Gregory XI in 1231 states that the honor of the of the students should be preserved and that evil deeds should be punished (Wiesner et al, p. 146). This is still true today that students who do well are appreciated with awards, scholarships etc. and students who don’t do good get punished or get expelled for how severe their actions are. He also says that “the vacation in the summer is not to exceed one month and the bachelors, if they wish, can continue their lectures in vacation time” (Wiesner et al, p. 147). At modern university vacation in the summer lasts more than a month and yes students can use that time to take extra classes to finish their studies on or ahead of time.
Student life in medieval universities had violence and drinking. In an “Anonymous Account of a Student Riot at Oxford University” in the 13th century. “The townsmen seized and imprisoned all scholars on whom they could lay hands on” (Wiesner et al, p. 155). Many of the townsmen were “armed with bows, and arrows, swords and bucklers, slings, and stones” (Wiesner et al, p. 155). “Complaints of murder, violence, and robbery (Wiesner et al, p. 155). Small fights and verbal fights may happen today at universities but not as big as riots. Drinking is still a problem just like it was back then in the medieval universities. In modern universities, students do drink but also there is a drug addiction in this era that we should be concerned about.
In “Two letters, Thirteen Century” One student wrote a letter to his father “I am studying at Oxford with the greatest diligence, but the matter of money stands greatly in the way of my promotion” (Wiesner et al, p. 157). This shows us that students were facing the same kind of financial issues in medieval universities similar to the issues that students are facing today. “The city is expensive and makes many demands” this statement is valid today as well that college is still just as expensive and students are struggling to pay even today like back then.
The “Three Anonymous student poems” in twelfth-century one of the student wrote “Some are gaming, some are drinking, some are living without thinking…but all drink in emulation” (Wiesner et al, p. 158). This student’s poem is so relatable to students at this age because everyone is on their own and some are drinking, partying, and some don’t know what they want to do at all.