Essay Sample on the Role of Universities

Published: 2023-01-08
Essay Sample on the Role of Universities
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  University Learning Abuse Social issue
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1430 words
12 min read

University education issues have been a concern in the world for the past 800 years. People have protested and fought certain university issues for years. Some of the concerns have improved while others continue to worsen. In America, many university education issues are being discussed such as abortion among university students and educators, racism, mental disability, poverty, crime, and the war on drugs. Universities play a central role in the social, economic, and political aspects of society. This paper examines the benefits of universities in society and further expounds the limitations of universities in the contemporary world.

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Benefits of universities in society

Universities have significant functions in society. Various scholars have evolved varied approaches to the benefits of higher education through the evolution of university education theory and practice. According to Susan, (2015), Kendal and Butler came up with a model that focused on the causes of university education theory and practice. According to the historical approach, historical events can be used in determining the past functions of higher learning institutions and can be used in formulating a hypothesis for the future roles of universities in society. The functions of every university system and organization are due to historical events especially in the function of teaching and education. The historical approach was further advanced by later scholars such as Isaac Kandel and Michael Sadler who observed that the various roles of universities have both a cause and effect. According to the proponents of the historical approach, the university education system of education should lay extra stress on the analysis of factors responsible for the full contribution of the universities to social, economic and political changes in society. The main goal of university educational psychology is to promote cordial inter-connection between the university student and society in general as positive as possible for the student to attain the maximum possible outcomes of their academic studies.

In the field of teaching, universities produce persons who are well trained to perform high-level jobs and impart professionals with knowledge about total personal development. The universities produce individuals who are well informed and can engage in appropriate decision making necessary for social, economic and political growth of the society. For example, for the past few decades, humans waged war against global warming. According to Hasydn and John, (2010), climate change has had a great negative impact on many organisms which has led to various phenomena such as the endangered species issue. As a result, universities, through the researchers should come up with a viable conclusion and engage the people through various initiatives. The masses should be warned, convinced, conversant, educated and mobilized on contemporary issues such as climate change. Universities and non-governmental organizations should work together in educating the people on for example how climatic elements such as rainfall, sunshine, and winds contribute to the global warming issue. The universities should be at the forefront in educating the people on environmental conservation and management matters such as various ways in which communication affects climate change through conducting researches and organizing conferences on topics such as the impact of communication on climate change.

The research engine theory formulates that universities act as centers for research and technology (Susan, 2015). In the contemporary world, universities act as the leading institutions in matters of educational growth and development, teaching and learning, and inventions and innovations through research and technology. The institutions of higher learning produce graduates with relevant knowledge and skills required in the growth and development of society. The institutions produce graduates who are highly trained in various disciplines and are capable of researching in different fields of specialization. According to functionalist theory, the globalization trends and the gradual developments in transport and communication have contributed to the emergence of new university educational demands and desires for students and tutors and as well as other educators' transferability. Dichotomous systems have emerged. Today, university academic levels and credentialing, curriculum, and assessment have led to global university education systems convergence. Most of the education systems have been standardized, a process that has promoted various stakeholders in the university education such as various researchers from one region to their other. The mass movement of researchers has enhanced numerous inventions and innovations which have made the world a better place to live. Furthermore, global employability has been promoted. Thus, the various mass movements of academicians, due to various factors such as further education and better employment opportunities have led to the expansion of research hence overall growth of various circles such as mining and industry, agricultural evolution, banking and tourism; and transport and communication, among other sectors.

Economically, universities enable individuals to be equipped with the necessary knowledge pertaining to consumer choice and good business management skills. The industry and business management school of thought highlights that universities act as sources of personnel for higher business management positions.

Socially, according to Randa, (2015), the institutions of higher learning act as centers of social change, growth, and transformation. The higher authorities in education aid in the building of new civil institutions. According to Moulaert, (2013), the civil and social engagement theory, institutions help in the development of new cultural values and obligations. People are trained in the socialization process and aspects pertaining to the modern social era.

Limitations of contemporary higher education

The modern institutions of higher learning face the overwhelming challenge of lack of enough resources in terms of workforce and capital resources (Hattie, 2013). Globally, the transition rate from secondary schools and high schools to middle-level colleges and universities is still rather low as a small percentage of students who complete secondary and high education transit to institutions of advanced learning. Though the figures for the university entrants are small, the resources are not enough to accommodate the students. The situation is worse in the poor states taking into consideration the other social burdens such as retirement benefits and medical schemes.

According to Freeman, (2016), there are widespread weaknesses in the certification of university graduates. There is competition in the certification of the graduates by different universities and other institutions of higher learning. Some quarters have raised the alarm over lack of incorporation of the pre-university cycle as part of the overall education systems. There is unhealthy competition based on certification at the end of each academic level. Furthermore, in some cases, tutors are poorly trained, a phenomenon that has contributed to poor academic achievements. Though globalization has led to mass movements of students and scholars, there is still low universities cooperation and poor harmony of different education systems in the same countries and different countries and states. Majority of the States lack open door opportunities for students to engage in lifelong learning opportunities.

American universities have faced the challenge of drug abuse. According to Antonio, Gianluca, and Elena, (2015), during the past four decades, drug abuse has reached extreme proportions in American universities. The drugs are destroying the lives of both students and tutors. The institutions have joined the wider society in the war against drugs. We should all join hands in fighting the drugs menace in the society and specifically in the universities as the plague threatens the health of our society. Unfortunately, the universities are clouded with much controversy pertaining to the war on drugs. However, the increased public awareness of drug abuse in our society through the much media publicized war on drugs has created a sense of public alarm about potential dangers of the drugs in our institutions of higher learning.


Universities play a pivotal role in the social, economic and political growth and development of society. The institutions of higher learning serve positive functions in society though several shortcomings in the contemporary world face them. All in all, Universities should form viable modalities to attain their core education missions.


Iudici, A., Castelnuovo, G. and Faccio, E., 2015. New drugs and polydrug use: implications for clinical psychology. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, p.267.

Freeman, S., Chambers, C.R. and King, B.R., 2016. The important role of institutional data in the development of academic programming in higher education. Jossey-Bass.

Washington, H., and Cook, J., 2011. Climate change denial: heads in the sand. Climate change denial: heads in the sand.

Hattie, J., 2008. Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Routledge.

Moulaert, F. ed., 2013. The international handbook on social innovation: collective action, social learning, and transdisciplinary research. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Sharma, R.S., 2015, July. Role of Universities in Development of Civil Society and Social Transformation. In Proceedings of International Academic Conferences (No. 2604181). International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.

Frey, S., 2015. Leadership, governance, and organization in higher education: select books for administrators. Reference Reviews, 29(7), pp.2-6.

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