The role of University in society


By Prof. Dhanjoo Ghista

Origin of University: Let us start by looking into the origin of the term “university”.  In the first millennium BC, formal education in Ancient India originated with the Gurukul system. The Gurukul was residential in nature with the shishyas (aspirants of knowledge) associated with the Guru to get enlightened, as part of his extended family. At the Gurukuls, the teacher imparted knowledge of Religion, Scriptures, Philosophy, Literature, Statecraft, Medicine, Astrology and History. The modern university system has roots in the European medieval university system, which was created in Italy during the  Middle Ages. In the 10th century, the term ‘university was constructed based on the Latin word universitas, meaning “the whole”. Then later on under the guidance of Wilhelm von Humbold, a new university was founded in Berlin in 1810, which became the model for a doctoral research university in America.

Role of University and how I could set up a New Era University:  So we would like to have a doctoral research university, offering excellent education and research programs, developing new knowledge and discoveries across academic fields, and promoting a universal outlook by educate students to be global citizens and community leaders.  Going further, there is a big need for universities to also contribute to community development.

In today’s world, we need our universities to even go further. With all that is happening in US and worldwide, there is a bigger need for universities to provide values based education, to inculcate higher thinking, and to educate the whole student.  So now we want our universities to also contribute to progressive society building, towards promoting the common good for the common people of the world, leading to a new global landscape of happy and harmonious living for everyone.

For more information contact the author and consult his website:

Professor Dhanjoo Ghista, PhD (Stanford University)

President, University 2020 Foundation

Northborough, MA, USA 

Tel: 508-393-2765508-309-7169