Classical University (ETW building)
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A university offers young men of good standing the finest of educations and the chance to study with the greatest minds of the age.
Education is vital for those who wish to enter the professions, or make their way in government using talent alone. A good, well-trained brain is an excellent substitute for birth and social connections. A young gentleman’s studies can be wide ranging, and need not be tied to any particular faculty or subject area – an awarded degree or doctorate is proof enough of intellectual achievement.
Historically, in Europe at least, the established church controlled most universities, either through paying for them or by laws requiring the tutors to take holy orders. Sir Isaac Newton was very unusual in that he didn’t take orders when he was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge (a post currently held by Stephen Hawking), arguing that the post required the holder to spend time on science, not the Anglican Church. However, the requirement for teachers to accept Church doctrine did mean that universities had a socially conservative outlook. While scholarships were available, students had to have money to attend, reinforcing this conservatism. While wild, threatening ideas about the world and the way it worked did emerge from universities, the institutions were rarely radical or revolutionary breeding grounds.