Academia

Academia

Overview
Academia is the community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 of student
Student
A student is a learner, or someone who attends an educational institution. In some nations, the English term is reserved for those who attend university, while a schoolchild under the age of eighteen is called a pupil in English...

s and scholars engaged in higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 and research
Research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

.

The word comes from the akademeia
Academy
An academy is an institution of higher learning, research, or honorary membership.The name traces back to Plato's school of philosophy, founded approximately 385 BC at Akademia, a sanctuary of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and skill, north of Athens, Greece. In the western world academia is the...

in ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

. Outside the city walls of Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, the gymnasium
Gymnasium (ancient Greece)
The gymnasium in ancient Greece functioned as a training facility for competitors in public games. It was also a place for socializing and engaging in intellectual pursuits. The name comes from the Ancient Greek term gymnós meaning "naked". Athletes competed in the nude, a practice said to...

 was made famous by Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 as a center of learning. The sacred space, dedicated to the goddess of wisdom, Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

, had formerly been an olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

 grove
Grove (nature)
A grove is a small group of trees with minimal or no undergrowth, such as a sequoia grove, or a small orchard planted for the cultivation of fruits or nuts...

, hence the expression "the groves of Academe."

In these gardens, the philosopher Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 conversed with followers.
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Encyclopedia
Academia is the community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 of student
Student
A student is a learner, or someone who attends an educational institution. In some nations, the English term is reserved for those who attend university, while a schoolchild under the age of eighteen is called a pupil in English...

s and scholars engaged in higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 and research
Research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

.

Etymology


The word comes from the akademeia
Academy
An academy is an institution of higher learning, research, or honorary membership.The name traces back to Plato's school of philosophy, founded approximately 385 BC at Akademia, a sanctuary of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and skill, north of Athens, Greece. In the western world academia is the...

in ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

. Outside the city walls of Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, the gymnasium
Gymnasium (ancient Greece)
The gymnasium in ancient Greece functioned as a training facility for competitors in public games. It was also a place for socializing and engaging in intellectual pursuits. The name comes from the Ancient Greek term gymnós meaning "naked". Athletes competed in the nude, a practice said to...

 was made famous by Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 as a center of learning. The sacred space, dedicated to the goddess of wisdom, Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

, had formerly been an olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

 grove
Grove (nature)
A grove is a small group of trees with minimal or no undergrowth, such as a sequoia grove, or a small orchard planted for the cultivation of fruits or nuts...

, hence the expression "the groves of Academe."

In these gardens, the philosopher Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 conversed with followers. Plato developed his sessions into a method of teaching philosophy and in 387 BCE, established what is known today as the Old Academy.

By extension Academia has come to mean the cultural accumulation of knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

, its development and transmission across generations and its practitioners and transmitters. In the 17th century, British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 scholars used the term to describe types of institutions of higher learning.

Ancient Greece



In ancient Greece, after the establishment of the original Academy, Plato's colleagues and pupils developed spin-offs of his method. Arcesilaus
Arcesilaus
Arcesilaus was a Greek philosopher and founder of the Second or Middle Academy—the phase of Academic skepticism. Arcesilaus succeeded Crates as the sixth head of the Academy c. 264 BC. He did not preserve his thoughts in writing, so his opinions can only be gleaned second-hand from what is...

, a Greek student of Plato established the Middle Academy. Carneades
Carneades
Carneades was an Academic skeptic born in Cyrene. By the year 159 BC, he had started to refute all previous dogmatic doctrines, especially Stoicism, and even the Epicureans whom previous skeptics had spared. As head of the Academy, he was one of three philosophers sent to Rome in 155 BC where his...

, another student, established the New Academy. In 335 BC, Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 refined the method with his own theories and established the Lyceum
Lyceum
The lyceum is a category of educational institution defined within the education system of many countries, mainly in Europe. The definition varies between countries; usually it is a type of secondary school.-History:...

 in another gymnasium.

Africa


The library of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria
The Royal Library of Alexandria, or Ancient Library of Alexandria, in Alexandria, Egypt, was the largest and most significant great library of the ancient world. It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the...

 in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 was counted as one of the wonders of the ancient world. Intellectuals from Africa, Europe and Asia studied various aspects of philosophy, language and mathematics.

The University of Timbuktu
University of Timbuktu
The University of Timbuktu was a medieval University in Mali, West Africa which comprised three schools; namely the Masajid of Djinguereber, the Masajid of Sidi Yahya, and the Masajid of Sankore. During its zenith, the university at Timbuktu had an average attendance of around 25,000 students...

 was a medieval university in Timbuktu
Timbuktu
Timbuktu , formerly also spelled Timbuctoo, is a town in the West African nation of Mali situated north of the River Niger on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. The town is the capital of the Timbuktu Region, one of the eight administrative regions of Mali...

, present-day Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

, which comprised three schools: the Mosque of Djinguereber, the Mosque of Sidi Yahya, and the Mosque of Sankore. During its zenith, the university had an average attendance of around 25,000 students within a city of around 100,000 people.

China


In China a higher education institution Shang Xiang was founded by Shun in the Youyu era before the 21st century BCE. The Imperial Central Academy at Nanjing
Nanjing
' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

, founded in 258, was a result of the evolution of Shang Xiang and it became the first comprehensive institution combining education and research and was divided into five faculties in 470, which later became Nanjing University
Nanjing University
Nanjing University , or Nanking University, is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher learning in China...

.

In the 8th century another kind of institution of learning emerged, named Shuyuan, which were generally privately owned. There were thousands of Shuyuan recorded in ancient times. The degrees from them varied from one to another and those advanced Shuyuan such as Bailudong Shuyuan and Yuelu Shuyuan can be classified as higher institutions of learning.

India/Pakistan


The first universities founded in ancient sub continent IndoPak
History of Pakistan
The 1st known inhabitants of the modern-day Pakistan region are believed to have been the Soanian , who settled in the Soan Valley and Riwat almost 2 million years ago. Over the next several thousand years, the region would develop into various civilizations like Mehrgarh and the Indus Valley...

 were Taxila
Taxila
Taxila is a Tehsil in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab province of Pakistan. It is an important archaeological site.Taxila is situated about northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi in Panjab; just off the Grand Trunk Road...

 (Takshashila University) in the 7th century BCE and Nalanda
Nalanda
Nālandā is the name of an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India.The site of Nalanda is located in the Indian state of Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from the fifth or sixth century CE to 1197 CE. It has been called "one of the...

 (Nalanda University) in the 5th century BCE, followed by Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

 in the 5th century (in Constantinopolis and Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

).

Islamic world


The first universities in the Islamic world were founded in Fes
Fes
Fes or Fez is the second largest city of Morocco, after Casablanca, with a population of approximately 1 million . It is the capital of the Fès-Boulemane region....

 (University of Al-Karaouine) in the 9th century and Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 (Al-Azhar University
Al-Azhar University
Al-Azhar University is an educational institute in Cairo, Egypt. Founded in 970~972 as a madrasa, it is the chief centre of Arabic literature and Islamic learning in the world. It is the oldest degree-granting university in Egypt. In 1961 non-religious subjects were added to its curriculum.It is...

) in the 10th century.

The university of Timbukutu was also Islamic in nature.

Western Europe



In western Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, universities were founded in the 12th and 13th centuries, and the European institution of Academia took shape. Monks and priests moved out of monasteries to cathedral cities
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 and other towns where they opened the first schools dedicated to advanced study.

The most notable of these schools were in Bologna
Bologna
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

, Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 and Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

, while others were opened throughout Europe.

The seven liberal arts
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

 — the Trivium (Grammar
Grammar
In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics,...

, Rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

, and Logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

), and the Quadrivium
Quadrivium
The quadrivium comprised the four subjects, or arts, taught in medieval universities, after teaching the trivium. The word is Latin, meaning "the four ways" , and its use for the 4 subjects has been attributed to Boethius or Cassiodorus in the 6th century...

 (Arithmetic
Arithmetic
Arithmetic or arithmetics is the oldest and most elementary branch of mathematics, used by almost everyone, for tasks ranging from simple day-to-day counting to advanced science and business calculations. It involves the study of quantity, especially as the result of combining numbers...

, Geometry
Geometry
Geometry arose as the field of knowledge dealing with spatial relationships. Geometry was one of the two fields of pre-modern mathematics, the other being the study of numbers ....

, Music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, and Astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

) — had been codified in late antiquity
Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages, in both mainland Europe and the Mediterranean world. Precise boundaries for the period are a matter of debate, but noted historian of the period Peter Brown proposed...

. This was the basis of the curriculum in western Europe until newly available Arabic texts and the works of Aristotle became available in Western Europe in the 12th century.
It remained in place even after the new scholasticism of the School of Chartres
School of Chartres
During the High Middle Ages, Chartres Cathedral operated a famous and influential cathedral school, an important center of scholarship. It developed and reached its apex in the 11th and 12th centuries...

 and the encyclopedic work of Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

, until the humanism of the 15th and 16th centuries opened new studies of arts and sciences.

Academic societies


Academic societies or learned societies
Learned society
A learned society is an organization that exists to promote an academic discipline/profession, as well a group of disciplines. Membership may be open to all, may require possession of some qualification, or may be an honor conferred by election, as is the case with the oldest learned societies,...

 began as groups of academics who worked together or presented their work to each other. These informal groups later became organized and in many cases state-approved. Membership was restricted, usually requiring approval of the current members and often total membership was limited to a specific number. The Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 founded in 1660 was the first such academy. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...

 was begun in 1780 by many of the same people prominent in the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

. Academic societies served both as a forum to present and publish academic work, the role now served by academic publishing, and as a means to sponsor research and support academics, a role they still serve. Membership in academic societies is still a matter of prestige in modern academia.

Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries


Academia began to splinter from its Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 roots in 18th-century colonial America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 1753, Benjamin Franklin established the Academy and Charitable School of the Province of Pennsylvania. In 1755, it was renamed the College and Academy and Charitable School of Philadelphia. Today, it is known as the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

. For the first time, academia was established as a secular institution. For the most part, church-based dogmatic points of view were no longer thrust upon students in the examination of their subjects of study. Points of view became more varied as students were free to wander in thought without having to add religious dimensions to their conclusions.

In 1819, Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

 and developed the standards used today in organizing colleges and universities across the globe. The curriculum was taken from the traditional liberal arts, classical humanism
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 and the values introduced with the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

. Jefferson offered his students something new: the freedom to chart their own courses of study rather than mandate a fixed curriculum for all students. Religious colleges and universities followed suit.

The Academy movement in the U.S. in the early 19th century arose from a public sense that education in the classic disciplines needed to be extended into the new territories and states that were being formed in the Old Northwest, in western New York State, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

 and Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. Dozens of academies were founded in the area, supported by private donations.

During the Age of Enlightenment in 18th-century Europe, the academy started to change in Europe. In the beginning of the 19th century Wilhelm von Humboldt
Wilhelm von Humboldt
Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand Freiherr von Humboldt was a German philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of Humboldt Universität. He is especially remembered as a linguist who made important contributions to the philosophy of language and to the theory and practice...

 not only published his philosophical paper On the Limits of State Action, but also directed the educational system in Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 for a short time. He introduced an academic system that was much more accessible to the lower classes. Humboldt's Ideal was an education based on individuality, creativity, wholeness, and versatility. Many continental European universities are still rooted in these ideas (or at least pay lip-service to them). They are, however, in contradiction to today's massive trend of specialization in academia.

Academic personnel


An academic is a person who works as a teacher and researcher at a university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 or other higher education institution.

Academic administrators
Academic administration
An academic administration is a branch of university or college employees responsible for the maintenance and supervision of the institution and separate from the faculty or academics, although some personnel may have joint responsibilities...

 such as university presidents are not typically included in this use of the term academic, although many administrators hold advanced degrees and pursue scholarly research and writing while also tending to their administrative duties.

United States


In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the term academic is approximately synonymous with that of the job title professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 although in recent decades a growing number of institutions include librarian
Librarian
A librarian is an information professional trained in library and information science, which is the organization and management of information services or materials for those with information needs...

s in the category of "academic staff."

United Kingdom


In the United Kingdom, various titles are used, typically fellow
Fellow
A fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. The term fellow is also used to describe a person, particularly by those in the upper social classes. It is most often used in an academic context: a fellow is often part of an elite group of learned people who are awarded...

, lecturer
Lecturer
Lecturer is an academic rank. In the United Kingdom, lecturer is a position at a university or similar institution, often held by academics in their early career stages, who lead research groups and supervise research students, as well as teach...

, reader
Reader (academic rank)
The title of Reader in the United Kingdom and some universities in the Commonwealth nations like Australia and New Zealand denotes an appointment for a senior academic with a distinguished international reputation in research or scholarship...

, and professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 (see also academic rank
Academic rank
This list of academic ranks identifies the hierarchical ranking structure found amongst scholars in academia, whether tenured or non-tenured. The lists below refer specifically to colleges and universities throughout the world, although other institutions of higher learning may follow a similar...

), though the loose term don
University don
A don is a fellow or tutor of a college or university, especially traditional collegiate universities such as Oxford and Cambridge in England.The term — similar to the title still used for Catholic priests — is a historical remnant of Oxford and Cambridge having started as ecclesiastical...

 is often popularly substituted. The term scholar is sometimes used with equivalent meaning to that of "academic" and describes in general those who attain mastery in a research discipline. It has wider application, with it also being used to describe those whose occupation was researched prior to organized higher education.

Structure


Academia is usually conceived of as divided into disciplines
Academic discipline
An academic discipline, or field of study, is a branch of knowledge that is taught and researched at the college or university level. Disciplines are defined , and recognized by the academic journals in which research is published, and the learned societies and academic departments or faculties to...

or fields of study. These have their roots in the subjects of the medieval trivium and quadrivium
Quadrivium
The quadrivium comprised the four subjects, or arts, taught in medieval universities, after teaching the trivium. The word is Latin, meaning "the four ways" , and its use for the 4 subjects has been attributed to Boethius or Cassiodorus in the 6th century...

, which provided the model for scholastic thought in the first universities in medieval Europe
Medieval university
Medieval university is an institution of higher learning which was established during High Middle Ages period and is a corporation.The first institutions generally considered to be universities were established in Italy, France, and England in the late 11th and the 12th centuries for the study of...

.

The disciplines have been much revised, and many new disciplines have become more specialized, researching smaller and smaller areas. Because of this, interdisciplinary research is often prized in today's academy, though it can also be made difficult both by practical matters of administration and funding and by differing research methods of different disciplines. In fact, many new fields of study have initially been conceived as interdisciplinary, and later become specialized disciplines in their own right - a recent example is cognitive science
Cognitive science
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of mind and its processes. It examines what cognition is, what it does and how it works. It includes research on how information is processed , represented, and transformed in behaviour, nervous system or machine...

.

Most academic institutions reflect the divide of the disciplines in their administrative
Academic administration
An academic administration is a branch of university or college employees responsible for the maintenance and supervision of the institution and separate from the faculty or academics, although some personnel may have joint responsibilities...

 structure, being divided internally into departments or programs in various fields of study. Each department is typically administered and funded separately by the academic institution, though there may be some overlap and faculty members, research and administrative staff may in some cases be shared among departments. In addition, academic institutions generally have an overall administrative structure (usually including a president and several deans
Dean (education)
In academic administration, a dean is a person with significant authority over a specific academic unit, or over a specific area of concern, or both...

) which is controlled by no single department, discipline, or field of thought. Also, the tenure
Tenure
Tenure commonly refers to life tenure in a job and specifically to a senior academic's contractual right not to have his or her position terminated without just cause.-19th century:...

 system, a major component of academic employment and research, serves to ensure that academia is relatively protected from political and financial pressures on thought.

Qualifications


The degree awarded for completed study is the primary academic qualification. Typically these are, in order of completion, associate's degree
Associate's degree
An associate degree is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by community colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges, and bachelor's degree-granting colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study usually lasting two years...

, bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 (awarded for completion of undergraduate study), master's degree
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

, and doctorate
Doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

 (awarded after graduate
Graduate school
A graduate school is a school that awards advanced academic degrees with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate degree...

 or postgraduate study). These are only currently being standardized in Europe as part of the Bologna process
Bologna process
The purpose of the Bologna Process is the creation of the European Higher Education Area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention...

, as many different degrees and standards of time to reach each are currently awarded in different countries in Europe. In most fields the majority of academic researchers and teachers have doctorates or other terminal degrees, though in some professional
Professional studies
"Professional studies" is a term used to classify academic programs which are applied or interdisciplinary in focus. The term can also be used for non-academic training for a specific profession....

 and creative fields it is common for scholars and teachers to have only master's degrees.

Academic conferences



Closely related to academic publishing is the practice of bringing a number of intellectuals in a field to give talks on their research at an academic conference, often allowing for a wider audience to be exposed to their ideas.

Conflicting goals


Within academia, diverse constituent groups have diverse, and sometimes conflicting, goals. In the contemporary academy several of these conflicts are widely distributed and common. A salient example of conflict is that between the goal to improve teaching quality and the goal to reduce costs. The conflicting goals of professional education programs and general education advocates currently are playing out in the negotiation over accreditation standards.

Practice and theory


Putting theory into practice can result in a gap between what is learned in academic settings and how that learning is manifested in practical settings. This is addressed in a number of professional schools such as education
Teacher education
Teacher education refers to the policies and procedures designed to equip prospective teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school and wider community....

 and social work
Social work
Social Work is a professional and academic discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of an individual, group, or community by intervening through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or...

, which require students to participate in practica for credit. Students are taught to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Not everyone agrees on the value of theory as opposed to practice. Academics are sometimes criticized as lacking practical experience and thus too insulated from the 'real world.' Academic insularity is colloquially criticized as being "ivory tower
Ivory Tower
The term Ivory Tower originates in the Biblical Song of Solomon , and was later used as an epithet for Mary.From the 19th century it has been used to designate a world or atmosphere where intellectuals engage in pursuits that are disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life...

"; when used pejoratively, this term is criticized as anti-intellectualism
Anti-intellectualism
Anti-intellectualism is hostility towards and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals, and intellectual pursuits, usually expressed as the derision of education, philosophy, literature, art, and science, as impractical and contemptible...

.

To address this split, there is a growing body of practice research
Practice research
Practice research is a form of academic research which incorporates an element of practice in the methodology or research output.Rather than seeing the relationship between practice and theory as a dichotomy, as has sometimes traditionally been the case , there is a growing body of practice...

, such as the practice-based research network
Practice-based research network
A practice-based research network is a group of health care providers or medical clinics that are typically practicing in non-university based community environments that are networked for the purpose of examining and evaluating the health care processes that occur in real world practices...

 (PBRN) within clinical medical research. Arts
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

 and humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

 departments debate how to define this emerging research phenomenon. There are a variety of contested models of practice research (practice-as-research, practice-based and practice through research), for example, screen media practice research
Screen media practice research
Screen media practice research is an emerging academic area situated primarily within university Media Studies, Communications, Cultural Studies, Art and Design, and Performing Arts departments...

.

Town and gown



Universities are often culturally distinct from the towns or cities where they reside. In some cases this leads to discomfort or outright conflict between local residents and members of the university over political, economic, or other issues. Some localities in the Northeastern United States, for instance, have tried to block students from registering to vote as local residents—instead encouraging them to vote by absentee ballot at their primary residence—in order to retain control of local politics. Other issues can include deep cultural and class divisions between local residents and university students. The film Breaking Away
Breaking Away
Breaking Away is a 1979 American film. A coming of age story, it follows a group of four male teenagers in Bloomington, Indiana, who have recently graduated from high school. It stars Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern , Jackie Earle Haley, Barbara Barrie and Paul Dooley...

dramatizes such a conflict.

Commerce and scholarship


The goals of research for profit and for the sake of knowledge often conflict to some degree.

History of academic journals


Among the earliest research journals were the Proceedings of meetings of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 in the 17th century. At that time, the act of publishing academic inquiry was controversial, and widely ridiculed. It was not at all unusual for a new discovery to be announced as an anagram
Anagram
An anagram is a type of word play, the result of rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word or phrase, using all the original letters exactly once; e.g., orchestra = carthorse, A decimal point = I'm a dot in place, Tom Marvolo Riddle = I am Lord Voldemort. Someone who...

, reserving priority for the discoverer, but indecipherable for anyone not in on the secret: both Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

 and Leibniz used this approach. However, this method did not work well. Robert K. Merton
Robert K. Merton
Robert King Merton was a distinguished American sociologist. He spent most of his career teaching at Columbia University, where he attained the rank of University Professor...

, a sociologist, found that 92 percent of cases of simultaneous discovery in the 17th century ended in dispute. The number of disputes dropped to 72 percent in the 18th century, 59 percent by the latter half of the 19th century, and 33 percent by the first half of the 20th century. The decline in contested claims for priority in research discoveries can be credited to the increasing acceptance of the publication of papers in modern academic journals.

The Royal Society was steadfast in its unpopular belief that science could only move forward through a transparent and open exchange of ideas backed by experimental evidence. Many of the experiments were ones that we would not recognize as scientific today — nor were the questions they answered. For example, when the Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, 20th Baron de Ros of Helmsley, KG, PC, FRS was an English statesman and poet.- Upbringing and education :...

 was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society on June 5, 1661, he presented the Society with a vial of powdered "unicorn
Unicorn
The unicorn is a legendary animal from European folklore that resembles a white horse with a large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead, and sometimes a goat's beard...

 horn". It was a well-accepted 'fact' that a circle of unicorn's horn would act as an invisible cage for any spider
Spider
Spiders are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms...

. Robert Hooke
Robert Hooke
Robert Hooke FRS was an English natural philosopher, architect and polymath.His adult life comprised three distinct periods: as a scientific inquirer lacking money; achieving great wealth and standing through his reputation for hard work and scrupulous honesty following the great fire of 1666, but...

, the chief experimenter of the Royal Society, emptied the Duke's vial into a circle on a table and dropped a spider in the centre of the circle. The spider promptly walked out of the circle and off the table. In its day, this was cutting-edge research.

Current status and development


Research journals have been so successful that the number of journals and of papers has proliferated over the past few decades, and the credo of the modern academic has become "publish or perish
Publish or perish
"Publish or perish" is a phrase coined to describe the pressure in academia to publish work constantly to further or sustain one's career.Frequent publication is one of the few methods at a scholar's disposal to demonstrate their academic capabilities, and the attention that successful publications...

". Except for generalist journals such as Science
Science (journal)
Science is the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is one of the world's top scientific journals....

or Nature
Nature (journal)
Nature, first published on 4 November 1869, is ranked the world's most cited interdisciplinary scientific journal by the Science Edition of the 2010 Journal Citation Reports...

, the topics covered in any single journal have tended to be narrow, and readership and citation have declined. A variety of methods for reviewing submissions exist. The most common involves initial approval by the journal, peer review
Peer review
Peer review is a process of self-regulation by a profession or a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility...

 by two or three researchers working in similar or closely related subjects who recommend approval or rejection as well as request error correction, clarification or additions before publishing. Controversial topics may receive additional levels of review. Journals have developed a hierarchy, partly based on reputation but also on the strictness of the review policy. More prestigious journals are more likely to receive and publish more important work. Submitters try to submit their work to the most prestigious journal likely to publish it to bolster their reputation and curriculum vitae.

Andrew Odlyzko
Andrew Odlyzko
Andrew Michael Odlyzko is a mathematician and a former head of the University of Minnesota's Digital Technology Center.In the field of mathematics he has published extensively on analytic number theory, computational number theory, cryptography, algorithms and computational complexity,...

, an academician
Academician
The title Academician denotes a Full Member of an art, literary, or scientific academy.In many countries, it is an honorary title. There also exists a lower-rank title, variously translated Corresponding Member or Associate Member, .-Eastern Europe and China:"Academician" may also be a functional...

 with a large number of published research papers, has argued that research journals will evolve into something akin to Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 forums over the coming decade, by extending the interactivity of current Internet preprint
Preprint
A preprint is a draft of a scientific paper that has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.-Role:Publication of manuscripts in a peer-reviewed journal often takes weeks, months or even years from the time of initial submission, because manuscripts must undergo extensive...

s. This change may open them up to a wider range of ideas, some more developed than others. Whether this will be a positive evolution remains to be seen. Some claim that forums, like markets, tend to thrive or fail based on their ability to attract talent. Some believe that highly restrictive and tightly monitored forums may be the least likely to thrive.

Academic dress


Gowns have been associated with academia since the birth of the university in the 14th and 15th centuries, perhaps because most early scholars were priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

s or church officials. Over time, the gowns worn by degree-holders have become standardized to some extent, although traditions in individual countries and even institutions have established a diverse range of gown styles, and some have ended the custom entirely, even for graduation ceremonies.

At some universities, such as the Universities of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 and Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

, undergraduates may be required to wear gowns on formal occasions and on graduation. Undergraduate gowns are usually a shortened version of a bachelor's gown. At other universities, for example, outside the UK or U.S., the custom is entirely absent. Students at the University of Trinity College at the University of Toronto wear gowns to formal dinner, debates, to student government, and to many other places.

In general, in the U.S. and UK recipients of a bachelor's degree are entitled to wear a simple full-length robe without adornment and a mortarboard cap with a tassel. In addition, holders of a bachelor's degree may be entitled to wear a ceremonial hood at some schools. In the U.S., bachelor's hoods are rarely seen. Bachelor's hoods are generally smaller versions of those worn by recipients of master's and doctoral degrees.

Recipients of a master's degree in the U.S. or UK wear a similar cap and gown but closed sleeves with slits, and usually receive a ceremonial hood that hangs down the back of the gown. In the U.S. the hood is traditionally edged with a silk or velvet strip displaying the disciplinary color, and is lined with the university's colors.

According to The American Council on Education “six-year specialist degrees (Ed.S.
Educational Specialist
The Education Specialist, also referred to as Educational Specialist, Specialist in Education, or Ed.S., is an advanced academic degree in the U.S...

, etc.) and other degrees that are intermediate between the master's and the doctor's degree may have hoods specially designed (1) intermediate in length between the master's and doctor's hood, (2) with a four-inch velvet border (also intermediate between the widths of the borders of master's and doctor's hoods), and (3) with color distributed in the usual fashion and according to the usual rules. Cap tassels should be uniformly black.”

Recipients of a doctoral degree tend to have the most elaborate academic dress, and hence there is the greatest diversity at this level. In the U.S., doctoral gowns are similar to the gowns worn by master's graduates, with the addition of velvet stripes across the sleeves and running down the front of the gown which may be tinted with the disciplinary color for the degree received. Holders of a doctoral degree may be entitled or obliged to wear scarlet (a special gown in scarlet) on high days and special occasions. While some doctoral graduates wear the mortarboard cap traditional to the lower degree levels, most wear a cap or Tudor bonnet that resembles a tam o'shanter
Tam o'shanter (hat)
A Tam o' Shanter is a Scottish style hat originally worn by men. The hat is named after a character in a poem written by Robert Burns in 1790...

, from which a colored tassel is suspended.

In modern times in the U.S. and UK, gowns are normally only worn at graduation ceremonies, although some colleges still demand the wearing of academic dress on formal occasions (official banquets and other similar affairs). In the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was more common to see the dress worn in the classroom, a practice which has now all but disappeared. Two notable exceptions are Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 and a society at Sewanee
Sewanee, The University of the South
The University of the South is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Sewanee, Tennessee. It is owned by twenty-eight southern dioceses of the Episcopal Church and its School of Theology is an official seminary of the church. The university's School of Letters offers graduate...

, where students are required to wear formal academic dress in the examination room.

See also



  • Academic acceleration
    Academic acceleration
    Academic acceleration is the advancement of students in subjects at a rate that places them ahead of where they would be in the regular school curriculum. Acceleration is most often used as an intervention to accommodate the learning needs of gifted and talented students...

  • Academic dishonesty
    Academic dishonesty
    Academic dishonesty or academic misconduct is any type of cheating that occurs in relation to a formal academic exercise. It can include* Plagiarism: The adoption or reproduction of original creations of another author without due acknowledgment.* Fabrication: The...

  • Academic dress of the University of London
    Academic dress of the University of London
    Academic dress of the University of London describes the robes, gowns and hoods which are prescribed by the university for its graduates and undergraduates. The University of London was created out of a partnership between University College and Kings College, receiving its royal charter in 1836....

  • Academic history
    Academic history
    An academic history can mean a large, multivolume work such as the Cambridge Modern History, written collaboratively under some central editorial control....

  • Academic Inflation
    Academic Inflation
    Academic inflation is the process of inflation of the minimum job requirement, resulting in an excess of college-educated individuals with lower degrees competing for too few jobs that require these degrees and even higher, preferred qualifications...

  • Academic mobility
    Academic mobility
    Academic mobility refers to students and teachers in higher education moving to another institution inside or outside their own country to study or teach for a limited time.Academic mobility suffers from cultural, socio-economical and academic barriers...

  • Academic writing
    Academic writing
    In academia, writing and publishing is conducted in several sets of forms and genres. This is a list of genres of academic writing. It is a short summary of the full spectrum of critical & academic writing. It does not cover the variety of critical approaches that can be applied when writing about...


  • Bullying in academia
    Bullying in academia
    Bullying in academia is workplace bullying of scholars and staff in academia, especially places of higher education such as colleges and universities...

  • Byzantine university
    Byzantine university
    Byzantine university refers to higher education during the era of the Byzantine empire.Higher education was provided by private teachers, professional groups and state appointed teachers. In the early period Rome, Athens and Alexandria were the main centers of learning, but were overtaken in the...

  • College rivalry
    College rivalry
    Pairs of schools, colleges and universities, especially when they are close to each other either geographically or in their areas of specialization, often establish a college rivalry with each other over the years. This rivalry can extend to both academics and athletics, the latter being typically...

  • Education
    Education
    Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

  • Higher education in Canada
    Higher education in Canada
    Higher education in Canada describes the constellation of provincial higher education systems in Canada and their relationships with the federal government, provinces, and territories.-Higher education systems in Canada:...

  • List of academic disciplines
  • List of fields of doctoral studies

  • Medieval university
    Medieval university
    Medieval university is an institution of higher learning which was established during High Middle Ages period and is a corporation.The first institutions generally considered to be universities were established in Italy, France, and England in the late 11th and the 12th centuries for the study of...

  • Medieval university (Asia)
  • Pseudoscholarship
    Pseudohistory
    Pseudohistory is a pejorative term applied to a type of historical revisionism, often involving sensational claims whose acceptance would require rewriting a significant amount of commonly accepted history, and based on methods that depart from standard historiographical conventions.Cryptohistory...

  • Pseudoscience
    Pseudoscience
    Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but which does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status...

  • Scholarly method
    Scholarly method
    Scholarly method or scholarship is the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their claims about the world as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to the scholarly public.-Methods:...

  • Scientific method
    Scientific method
    Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

  • Sophism
    Sophism
    Sophism in the modern definition is a specious argument used for deceiving someone. In ancient Greece, sophists were a category of teachers who specialized in using the tools of philosophy and rhetoric for the purpose of teaching aretê — excellence, or virtue — predominantly to young statesmen and...

  • Study
    Research
    Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...



External links