People think of the Middle Ages as dark and ignorant, but they weren’t as dumb as people think. The rise of universities came about in the High Middle Ages around the 1200’s. More people went there to get a higher education, but it was still for very rich people. In the Middle Ages, universities were part of the clergy, and one was part of the clergy if they went to a Medieval university. Students were exempt from secular law, but had to obey the church law. Some universities even had little jails for unruly students! Talk about a detention! Secular authorities complained that students wreaked havoc on the towns and caused disruption. People going to a university would have options to study things like the arts, theology, law and medicine. Universities evolved out of monastic schools or christian cathedral schools. Schools like Oxford and Cambridge (in England!) have Medieval origins. Strangely, universities back then weren’t so much physical entities as they were a group of teachers and students. Classes were taught anywhere there was room like in churches and homes. Later on, campuses came into being. The main path of study was to take six years to get a Master Of The Arts degree and then go into law, medicine or theology. Courses were about books, like Aristotle or the Bible instead of a subject or theme. People in college were as young as 14-15 years old!
(Someone stayed up too late breaking secular laws!)