What should be the main function of a university

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Some people think that universities should provide graduates with the knowledge and skills needed in the work place. Others think that the true function of a university should be to give access to knowledge for its own sake, regardless of whether the course is useful to an employer.

What, in your opinion, should be the main function of a university?

Give reasons for your answer.

Write at least 250 words.


Model Answer:

It goes without saying that university has great contributions to the human civilization. In recent years, the question of universities’ function has sparked a heated debate. Some people contend that universities should embrace skills-driven programmes that enable students to acquire business acumen and mandatory competencies needed in the workplace. Yet others believe that universities should emphasize on knowledge production, whether or not it is useful to an employer. Personally, I would argue that universities have to gravitate its attention in knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Let me clarify it, only knowledge can enlighten us so that we can remove all our obstacles that hinder our progress.

Although, there are some proponents of the idea that we should get career-oriented education from the universities, I think that we should never confine universities’ role to the employers’ need. Since there may likely to happen that the boundless possibilities of knowledge can be reduced into the pocket of commercially value courses, end of the day, it would produce a good worker, not a good citizen.

On the other hand, tertiary education’s aim should be the teaching of how to extract knowledge and how to produce knowledge. Because, the world we live in is consistently changing. So frequently, we need to introduce new technology in order to response to the new situation. In that case, if we limited our education to job related courses, we will know manually how to do a particular work in a particular situation. This will cruelly abolish our ability in producing knowledge. As a result, we cannot ride on the flow of change and our civilization would be motionless.

In fine, universities should play the role in the development of full human potential in terms of knowledge or wisdom. By educating student to be capable of producing new knowledge and creative responses to the ever changing condition, universities can serve its true responsibility.

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