I came across posting this blog post by accident, as someone told me, of recent news, Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University, and the World Rotary body, had been working for a long time, on peace building, graduating many students in the mini degree program.
But as an activist, I have heard of many horrific stories related to Chulalonghkorn University, such as hunting down, expelling professors & stopping book sales, such as situation with Giles Ungpakorn. Then Chilalongkorn University, was very active in supporting the Suthep Movement, that destabilized Thailand elected government of Yingluck & called for a coup, to get rid of that elected government. In fact, Forbes Magazine, called the Suthep Movement Neo Fascist.
So with Chulalongkorn University on my mind, I began researching “Critical” reports on universities, and I found about 20 doing a brief search of Google (see end of this blog post).
With those 20 criticisms of universities in mind, the question comes up, what are university anyway? I mean most people probably think about university as a place to send people to get knowledge, and university themselves, are like centers of knowledge.
A university (Latin: universitas, “a whole”) is an institution of higher (or tertiary) education and research which grants academic degrees in various subjects and typically provides undergraduate education and postgraduate education. The word “university” is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means “community of teachers and scholars.”
The original Latin word “universitas” refers in general to “a number of persons associated into one body, a society, company, community, guild, corporation, etc.” At the time of the emergence of urban town life and medieval guilds, specialised “associations of students and teachers with collective legal rights usually guaranteed by charters issued by princes, prelates, or the towns in which they were located” came to be denominated by this general term. Like other guilds, they were self-regulating and determined the qualifications of their members.
In modern usage the word has come to mean “An institution of higher education offering tuition in mainly non-vocational subjects and typically having the power to confer degrees,” with the earlier emphasis on its corporate organization considered as applying historically to Medieval universities.
The original Latin word referred to degree-granting institutions of learning in Western and Central Europe, where this form of legal organisation was prevalent, and from where the institution spread around the world.
An important idea in the definition of a university is the notion of academic freedom. The first documentary evidence of this comes from early in the life of the first university. The University of Bologna adopted an academic charter, the Constitutio Habita, in 1158 or 1155, which guaranteed the right of a traveling scholar to unhindered passage in the interests of education. Today this is claimed as the origin of “academic freedom”. This is now widely recognised internationally – on 18 September 1988 430 university rectors signed the Magna Charta Universitatum, marking the 900th anniversary of Bologna’s foundation. The number of universities signing the Magna Charta Universitatum continues to grow, drawing from all parts of the world.
20 Examples of the Dumbest Things University Does:
1 ) On University of Sydney: Honorary Professor Was an Organ Harvester, Say Critics (see http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/31214-honorary-professor-was-an-organ-harvester-say-critics/
2) On Harvard University: Troubles with Thai Studies by Harvard Crimson (see) http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/8/18/harvard-thai-troubles/)
3) On University of Illinois: Professor fired for Israel criticism urges University of Illinois to reinstate him (see http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/sep/09/professor-israel-criticism-twitter-university-illinois)
4) On Henderson State University: University Ban on Saggy Pants Declared Racist (see http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422647/university-ban-saggy-pants-racist-henderson)
5) George Washington University: George Washington University Criticized for Misrepresenting its Admissions and Financial Aid Policy (see http://www.citytowninfo.com/career-and-education-news/articles/george-washington-university-criticized-for-misrepresenting-its-admissions-and-financial-aid-policy-13102202)
6) On La Sapienza University : Italian university criticized for sexist ‘glamour competition” (see http://studenttimes.com/index.php/student-news/4951-italian-university-criticized-for-sexist-glamour-competition#.VlAA616tZ_g)
7) On Syracuse University : Syracuse University criticized for restrictive electronic communications policy (see http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/09/syracuse_university_criticized_for_restrictive_electronic_communications_policy.html)
8) On Oxford: Oxford’s dreaming spires… and hard cash by the (see http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/nov/15/oxford-university-architecture-dreaming-spires-hard-cash)
9) On York University: Conditions for Abu Dhabi’s migrant workers ‘shame the west’ (see http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/22/abu-dhabi-migrant-workers-conditions-shame-west)
10) On Waseda University: Japan university decision to award Erdoğan with honorary doctorate of law criticized (see http://www.todayszaman.com/national_japan-university-decision-to-award-erdogan-with-honorary-doctorate-of-law-criticized_400699.html)
11) On Yale & Harvard: Yale faculty at center of protests criticized Harvard’s ‘free-speech surveillance state’ (see http://www.boston.com/news/local/connecticut/2015/11/12/yale-professors-center-protests-criticized-harvard-free-speech-surveillance-state/FBy8fMbVhYez5heVRcZisM/story.html)
12) On Simon Fraser University: B.C. university criticized for hosting anti-vaccine summit (see http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/b-c-university-criticized-for-hosting-anti-vaccine-summit-1.1193586)
13) On University of South China: University of South China criticized after students pick majors out of a hat (see http://shanghaiist.com/2015/09/14/university-south-china-makes-students-pick-majors-out-of-hat.php)
14) On Harvard University: Law School Profs Condemn New Sexual Harassment Policy (see http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/10/15/law-profs-criticize-new-policy/)
15) ON University of Missouri: University of Missouri Teacher Who Sought ‘Muscle’ to Block Journalist Apologizes (see http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/university-missouri-teacher-who-sought-muscle-block-journalist-apologizes-n461056)
16) On Clark Atlanta University: Former Clark Atlanta University President Criticized Over $1 Million Pay. Does He Deserve The Flack? (see http://madamenoire.com/105827/former-clark-atlanta-university-president-criticized-over-1-million-pay-does-he-deserve-the-flack/P
17) On University of Minnesota: Legislative auditor blasts U over ethics, conflicts in drug trial patient’s suicide (see http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/03/19/auditor-ethics-issues)
18) On Catholic University of America: Educators Criticize Catholic University for Accepting Money From Conservative Koch Brothers (see http://www.christianpost.com/news/educators-criticize-catholic-university-for-accepting-money-from-conservative-koch-brothers-111210/#Zvr3cufdQOF7V6DR.99)
19) On University Of Missouri: University Of Missouri President Resigns Amid Criticism Of Handling Racial Issues, Discrimination (see http://www.wchstv.com/news/features/eyewitness-news/stories/University-Of-Missouri-President-Resigns-Amid-Criticism-Of-Handling-Racial-Issues-Discrimination-229549.shtml#.VlADR16tZ_g)
20) Johns Hopkins University: Hopkins medical school criticized for using pigs as part of training (see http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2014-08-21/health/bs-hs-hopkins-animal-protest-20140820_1_johns-hopkins-hospital-animals-david-favre)