University Education: a Life Long Lesson

Topics: Higher education, John Henry Newman, Education Pages: 2 (776 words) Published: June 29, 2009
University Education: A Life Long Lesson
Both John Henry Newman and Jon Spayde argue the true meaning of a University education in their works titled “The Idea of a University” and “Learning in the Key of Life.” Newman defines a truly effective education as a liberal one. He believes that “The University’s art is the art of social life, and its end is fitness for the world” (47). Similar to Newman’s belief that a well-rounded education is necessary, Spayde also agrees that “Humanities are the foundation for getting along in the world, for thinking and for learning to reflect on the world instead of just simply reacting to current events” (60). It is certain, therefore, that a university education cannot be solely based on an academic concentration, but also has to offer the skills needed to produce well-rounded and diverse individuals in society. Hence a university education is essential to provide people with not only the professional, but also the spiritual, and social skills needed to live a successful life.

Any person who wants to be successful in life has to have a strong academic background, consisting of a certain specialization. A university is an institution that allows people to make such choices and develop their skills towards careers involving such majors. The advantage of this type of specialized system is the unique skill in that particular field a person learns and develops. Such refined qualities needed to be comfortable in a career allow one to be much more productive than someone who is not educated within a university. In addition, these skills boost one’s status on finding a highly paying professional job. Therefore a University education provides an individual with the knowledge and professional skills needed to find a better job or a more respectable career. Given that professional skills are only a part of a true education, a university should be responsible for setting moral and ethical standards through a liberal education that...

Cited: Newman, Henry. “The Idea of a University.” The Presence of Others. 3rd ed. Ed.
Andrea A. Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz. New York: St. Martin’s, 2000.
Spayde, Jon. “Learning in the Key of Life.” The Presence of Others. 3rd ed. Ed. Andrea
A. Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz. New York: St. Martin’s, 2000. 58-63.
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