University education refers to a level of education that is offered at universities. This type education normally follows upon a successful completion of education at secondary school or other mid-level colleges and tertiary institutions, students are normally awarded academic degrees after going through an undergraduate or a postgraduate education by the respective universities. University education takes high school, tertiary and college education to a higher level and students are required to major in a major field of study that will form their career once they graduate. It is for this purpose that university education must lead to the development of the learner in all aspects and not just on career development.
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When the university education was set up almost a century ago, academicians clearly set the basic function of these institutions to be that of imparting wisdom and enlightenment to the learners and they were meant for the few elite and well-endowed people. Unfortunately, this has not been adhered to in many universities, most of which have now shifted their focus and are now commercialized with many people trooping in to attain a degree in various fields. Though mass university education is a turn of good events, this has diluted its basic function of developing a learner into an all rounded individual, rather, most universities now focus on enabling a leaner achieve an ‘A’ grade. It is no wonder universities base their success is based on the number of graduates who obtain good grades, rather than on the ability of these students to come up with solutions to problems affecting the society.
One of the most important functions of university education is developing the learner’s character and training them on real-life expectations. One might argue that these should be already developed before entering the university, they should, unfortunately, the education systems at pre-university levels do not give the learner an opportunity to discover himself and have an uninterrupted character growth. This is due to congestion in the syllabi as education at this level is more generalized and as a result, learners spend most of their time grasping new ideas given in class. A student gets to have a complete character evolution once he enters the university and it is common for a person who was troublesome in his teenage years get out of university mature and well behaved.
This character modeling, however, must be accompanied by working hard in class to make one more productive in future. Students should not just grasp ideas taught in class for passing exams, classroom sessions should be used to further one’s knowledge in a particular field in a manner that they can apply such skills in real life situations. The classroom knowledge gives one the qualifications to acquire a job, but character is needed to maintain such a job. For example, a person may land a well-paying job but may find himself jobless after a few months due to poor relationship with co-workers or poor work attitude. Character must develop in tandem with one’s academic qualification.
In summary, the main purpose of university education is to impart knowledge to the learners and help them undergo character development. A lack of either of these would lead to a shaky future in the social arena. Universities should also restructure to enable the students undergo both learning processes and not just the classroom knowledge.