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New class surveys the history of universities

By Chris Adams, June 12, 2014 — 

Students keen to learn about the history of higher education should look no further than the University of Calgary’s department of history.

Associate history professor Paul Stortz will introduce a new course titled “History of Universities in Canada and the Western World” in the fall.

The course will cover the history of universities from the eleventh century to today. Discussions will include advances in gender and diversity, social class and the rise of the sciences.

The course begins with the Western world’s first universities in Bologna and Oxford. From there, Stortz will cover the shift from religious influence to secularization.

Stortz said universities have been a force for positive change throughout their history.

“There’s rarely been a case at a university, through its entire function, where it is not there to benefit the human race,” Stortz said.

Stortz said universities have maintained and promoted the growth of knowledge in society.

“Universities are stalwarts of our culture, and just as we’ve seen in many instances in the past, will continue to do a vital job in protecting and promoting the interests of community, region and state for any foreseeable future,” Stortz said.

Stortz said campus activism has driven social change throughout the centuries, something he credits to the power of students as a social force and as future leaders. Historically, students and professors’ interests have often aligned.

The 400-level course will be taught Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:00-12:50 p.m. History majors, plan your schedules accordingly.


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