The most important secret of the super-achievers, however, is not so secret

For almost all straight-A students, the contribution of their parents was crucial. From infancy, the parents filled them with a love for learning. They set high standards for their kids, and held them to those standards. They encouraged their sons and daughters in their studies but didnt do the work for them. In short, the parents impressed the lessons of responsibility on their kids, and the kids delivered.

Ø 3) Add anything from your own experience that works well for your studies.



Ø 1) Read the text and answer the questions:

a)What does the word university mean?

b)Where were the forerunners of medieval universities founded?

c)Did the curricula of ancient and medieval universities differ?

d)What did the modern Bachelors and Masters Degrees develop from?

e)What is the difference between the German and the French university models?

f)Which model became popular throughout the world?

g)What is the future of universities?


A universityis an institution of higher education and research which grants academic degrees. University is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, meaning community of teachers and scholars since the first medieval European universities were simply groups of teachers and scholars.

Arguably the first western university was the Academy founded in 387 BC by the Greek philosopher Plato in the grove of Academos near Athens, where students were taught philosophy, mathematics and gymnastics. About thousand years later, institutions resembling the modern university existed in Persia and in India. They were forerunners of the rise of the University in the 11th century.

The first medieval universities were the University of Bologna (1088, Italy), the University of Paris (c. 1150, later associated with the Sorbonne, France), the University of Oxford (1167, the UK), the University of Palencia (1208, Spain), the University of Cambridge (1209, the UK), the University of Salamanca (1218, Spain), the University of Montpellier (1220, France), the University of Padua (1222, Italy), the University of Naples Federico II (1224, Italy), the University of Toulouse (1229, France). Just to compare, the first Russian universities were either Moscow State University (1755), Saint Petersburg State University (1724-1803, 1819), or Kant Russian State University (1544-1945, 1967).

In the Middle Ages students studied law, medicine, and theology. In Europe young men proceeded to the university when they had completed the study of the trivium: the preparatory arts of grammar, rhetoric, and logic; and the quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. The trivium and quadrivium developed into degrees, especially in Anglophone universities.

Humanism, Enlightenment, Reformation and Revolution transformed medieval universities into research universities.

By the 18th century, universities published their own research journals and by the 19th century, the German and the French university models had arisen. The German, or Humboldtian model, was worked out by Wilhelm von Humboldt and based on Friedrich Schleiermachers liberal ideas pertaining to the importance of freedom, seminars, and laboratories in universities. The French university model involved strict discipline and control over every aspect of the university.

Until the 19th century, religion played a significant role in university curriculum; however, the role of religion in research universities decreased in the 19th century, and by its end the German university model had spread around the world. Universities concentrated on science in the 19th and 20th centuries and became increasingly accessible to the masses. In Britain new civic universities with an emphasis on science and engineering arose. The British also established universities worldwide, and higher education became available to the masses not only in Europe. In a general sense, the basic structure and aims of universities have remained constant over the years.

In the last decades of the 20th century, a number of mega universities have been created, teaching with distance learning techniques.


Ø 2) Make a summary of the text on the history of universities in your own words.



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