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University Colleges In Late Medieval Europe

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Chapter Summary

University colleges represent one of the most important subdivisions of medieval European universities. The oldest social groupings within universities, the student unions, were organized by region, while the faculties were organized by subject, bringing together those who studied the arts, the seven 'free arts' - grammar, rhetoric, dialectics, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy plus lawyers, theologians and doctors. Kings and princes, churchmen and statesmen were all using the endowments for their own political gain, to recruit learned jurists for their church or court. The 'German model', which had imitators to the immediate north and east, had very little to do with the practice of having the younger students taught by their seniors, the tutor system found in English colleges. The process of organization applied, after 1500, mainly to the larger colleges in Western and Southern Europe, who had already attracted a full teaching staff.

Keywords: endowments; free arts; German model; late medieval Europe; university colleges



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