Talk:List of oldest universities in continuous operation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Universities (Rated List-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Universities, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of universities and colleges on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 List  This article has been rated as List-Class on the project's quality scale.
 
WikiProject Europe (Rated List-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Europe, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Europe on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 List  This article has been rated as List-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Lists (Rated List-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Lists, an attempt to structure and organize all list pages on Wikipedia. If you wish to help, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
 List  This article has been rated as List-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 


Why isn't Paris (Sorbonne)in the Founded before 1500 list?[edit]

Why isn't Paris (Sorbonne)in the Founded before 1500 list? Several universities in the list say they are based upon it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.158.211.236 (talkcontribs)

Because the name of the article is "List of oldest universities in continuous operation", and the University of Paris didn't operate between 1793 and 1896, so it hasn't been in continuous operation since it was founded. Thomas.W talk 19:13, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes; this is discussed in the opening paragraph. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 20:01, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Inconsistent political references[edit]

The combined use of the Holy Roman Empire and the Italian city-states as contemporaneous locations is nonsense. Before 1648, all Italian city-states were part of the Empire. So either the Empire should be used as reference for all territories under the imperial crown, or the separate cities, duchies, counties etc. with imperial vassal-status should be used.

Systemic bias II[edit]

"Another key institution in the Muslim world was the Al-Karouine University at Fes in Morocco. Established in 859, this lays claim today to be the oldest surviving university in the world."

Source: Feingold, edited by Mordechai (2013). "The origins of higher learning: time for a new historiography?". History of Universities: Volume XXVII/1. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 12. ISBN 0199685843. 

-A1candidate (talk) 02:27, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

As explained repeatedly this list of universities follows the definition of university found at University, and the proper place to debate changes in the definition is Talk:University not here. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 09:58, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
As explained previously, this institution granted academic degrees and meets the definition of a university. -A1candidate (talk) 10:50, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
As explained previously it does not meet the definition of a university at University and this discussion belongs there not here. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 11:58, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Read the talk page archives carefully and come back once you're done. -A1candidate (talk) 14:17, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
There's no need to go through the archives, just read the top sections of this page. Madrasahs were and are not universities. Thomas.W talk 14:24, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
As explained previously, this institution granted academic degrees according to what Lexikon des Mittelalters says at the top section of this page. -A1candidate (talk) 14:29, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
As explained previously it does not meet the definition of a university at University and this discussion belongs there not here. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 14:55, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Nobody is proposing for a change in the definition of a university, because the institution fully meets the criteria as explained previously. Read the talk page archives carefully and come back once you're done. -A1candidate (talk) 15:02, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't become true just because you repeat it over and over again. It does not meet the full criteria. A university is a corporation with a set curriculum granting degrees to a set standard, degrees that are recognized by all other similar institutions. Nothing of which is true for Islamic institutions of higher learning, until modern times. Islamic institutions of higher learning were not corporations, had no set curriculum, and did not grant degrees to a set standard. Whatever degrees were granted were granted by an individual teacher, at his whim and to whatever standards he chose. Thomas.W talk 15:19, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
A university is an institution of higher education and that grants academic degrees. This is not the place to change its definition. -A1candidate (talk) 15:35, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not changing the definition, what I wrote is still the definition of a university, as you would have known if you had bothered to read what the article (University) says. All university degrees are granted by the university, whether it's formally called a corporation or not, and not by individual professors, are to a set standard and are guaranteed by the university (which for example means that if you get a BA from one university you can then switch to another university to get an MA there). Unlike degrees from Islamic institutions of higher learning which were granted by an individual teacher, at his whim and to his standard, not guaranteed by the school, and only worth as much as the reputation of the individual teacher you got your degree from. Thomas.W talk 16:01, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
From university: "For non-related educational institutions of antiquity which did not stand in the tradition of the university and to which the term is only loosely and retrospectively applied, see ancient higher-learning institutions". Jonathan A Jones (talk) 16:02, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
And unsurprisingly, there's no mention of Madrasahs within the main body of ancient higher-learning institutions because they do not belong to that page -A1candidate (talk) 16:21, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Nor do they belong here. But try List of the oldest madrasahs in continuous operation in the Muslim world. Thomas.W talk 16:59, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
They are specifically mentioned in the lead: "A variety of ancient higher-learning institutions were developed in many cultures to provide institutional frameworks for scholarly activities. These ancient centres were sponsored and overseen by courts; by religious institutions, which sponsored cathedral schools, monastic schools, and madrasas; by scientific institutions, such as museums, hospitals, and observatories; and by individual scholars. They are to be distinguished from the Western-style university which is an autonomous organization of scholars that originated in medieval Europe[1] and was adopted in other world regions since the onset of modern times (see list of oldest universities in continuous operation).[2]" Jonathan A Jones (talk) 17:21, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Attempt to compromise[edit]

Since there's no consensus to include Al-Karaouine in the list, I propose the following changes as a compromise:

What the last paragraph in the lede currently says

Other institutions of higher learning, like those of ancient Greece, ancient Persia, ancient Rome, Byzantium, ancient China, ancient India and the Muslim world, are not included in this list due to their cultural, historical, structural and juristic dissimilarities from the medieval European university from which the modern university evolved.

How the last paragraph may look like

Other ancient institutions of higher learning, most notably the University of al-Qarawiyyin, are considered by some scholars to be the oldest existing universities, (Reference above) but they are not included in this list due to their cultural, historical, structural and juristic dissimilarities from the medieval European university from which the modern university evolved.

Rationale

As discussed previously, this is a very controversial issue in the academic community and the status of the University of al-Qarawiyyin, in particular, has been debated repeatedly over the course of several years. If we do not include it in the list, I think it is only fair to explicitly explain why in the lede section, just like how we do it for the universities of Paris, Salerno, and Montpellier.

I hope this compromise is acceptable and I strongly believe it will prevent a lot of unnecessary discussions and edit-wars in the future. This is obviously not a final proposal, but if we do accept a similar version of it that explicitly names the University of al-Qarawiyyin in the last paragraph without including it in the actual list, it will save a lot of our time and energy. -A1candidate (talk) 18:54, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Nope. There's no reason to mention a school by name, no matter which school, if it doesn't qualify for inclusion in the list. This list is for schools that qualify as universities by the standard definition of such, not schools that don't qualify. Thomas.W talk 19:09, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Then you'll have to delete the universities of Paris, Salerno, and Montpellier as well, because they don't qualify according to some standards. -A1candidate (talk) 19:11, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I have long argued that just as the exclusion of Paris should be explained, so should the exclusion of Al-Karaouine. See, for example, this edit [1]. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 19:44, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with Jonathan A Jones. There's no logical reason to include Paris but exclude Al-Karaouine. Either include both or exclude both. -A1candidate (talk) 20:23, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
So up to detailed discussion of a suitable text the two of us are in agreement. As you will recall the previous attempt to implement this position did not end particularly well, but I think it's worth making another attempt at obtaining consensus on something like this. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 21:14, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
I see that the essence of that edit still survives as note 2, and has been there for some time, so the principle of it appearing in some form seems to be widely accepted. Is there any opposition to replacing this note by restoring the original form (see my edit above) to the main text? Jonathan A Jones (talk) 16:12, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
@A1candidate: Yes there is a logical reason to mention Paris but not mention Al-Karaouine: Paris meets the definition of a university, and was recognised as such during the 12th and 13th centuries, but Al-Karaouine doesn't, and wasn't. That's why Paris should be mentioned, but not Al-Karaouine. Thomas.W talk 16:54, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
That's not quite right. Al-Karaouine, is a university, but like Paris doesn't meet the criteria for inclusion in the main lists. In the case of Paris this is because it has not been in continuous operation, in particular (1) it was closed for a long period along with all French Universities, and (2) it has now been split up into many daughter institutions, no one of which has a good claim to be THE successor. In the case of Al-Karaouine this is because, despite the antiquity of its foundation, it only became a university in 1963. So why do we mention Paris outside the lists? Because its role in the history of universities is so central that it is discussed extensively in histories of the university, and as a conseqeunece many readers will expect to see it included. For similar reasons we should include Al-Karaouine: it is described by a small number of non-expert but widely read reliable sources as the oldest university in continuous operation, and so many readers will expect it to be included. Explaining why we don't include it is simply the obvious thing to do, and I am at a complete loss as to why this is not accepted more widely. We should not say that it is the oldest university in continuous operation, because it isn't, but we should explain why it is occasionally mistaken for the oldest university in continuous operation.
Currently we do, in fact, explain all this, but for reasons I have never understood we explain it in a note, where almost nobody will read it, rather than in the main text, where it might actually be useful. Very odd. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 19:40, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Fully agree. I was told that the oldest university in the world was founded in 800something in Marocco, which puzzled me, so I looked up this page here, just to find that Al-Karaouine not to be mentioned anywhere. Apparently I'm not the only one, as mentioning Al-Karaiouine to be the oldest university in the world seems to be somewhat common in the media (I'm not arguing here whether it actually is the oldest university or whether it isn't!).
The focus of Wikipedia work should be the reader, not the rules. Please take into account what the reader expects, and quite a number of readers would expect Al-Karaouine to be mentioned. --Wutzofant (✉✍) 00:01, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 6 October 2014[edit]

The Oldest University in Africa is the University established at the Cape of good hope University of Cape Town - 1829 Stellenbosch University - 1866 Witwaterstrand University - 1896 Rhodes University - 1904 University of Pretoria 1908 BuntuMajaja (talk) 15:08, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

The information on the first two universities is already included, and no reason is given to add the remainder. If you are still unhappy please specify the precise edit you want made. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 15:27, 6 October 2014 (UTC)