The University

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The University

Postby BadgerJelly on May 19th, 2019, 3:17 am 

Would society benefit if universities started to specialise in some given field of study.

As an example of this idea would be in the Netherlands where Agricultural Sciences are prominent.

Furthermore could we envisage a future where all societal decisions become more and more based upon the choices and ideas of such universities?

It seems to me that universities may well not be meeting the requirements of their students if departments are pulled or pushed in this or that direction. If the entire university campus was committed to Mathematics or Art then something more like an optimal environment would be created.

This is not to say I dismiss the benefits of cross-discipline studies, and students - as well as profs - from various subjects working in relative proximity to each other in a rich creative environment. It does seem to me that it would make more sense to have universities as they are today AND to create universities that are VERY particular in their field of study thus focusing funding and research. This could function with students maybe doing two years in current universities and then stepping up as and when required further in their studies.

With the building of such specific university institutions it could also lead to these universities replacing governmental systems - with the top members of each university being a political figure rather than randomly picked to suit the needs and choices of a political leader. Meaning that the national head of agriculture would be someone who is actually the top of field (or thereabouts). With further separation of interests in specific university institutions this would place the most knowledgeable people in any given area as the ones guarding against misinformation and populist politicking. This may sound a little familiar to you if you’ve read Plato, but I’m not suggesting exactly the same thing, only that the principle would seem to work in a modern frame work and is currently already how society functions. The problem seems to be to me that it is extremely unrefined, deeply suboptimal, and that political institutions over the past century or two have been dramatically shaken up yet little has been done to reform education and align it with how we manage societies at large (other than by an economic regime that is given an unbalanced precedence over all other areas of study - something quite apparent in how the best mathematicians and physicists have been funneled into this field).

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