Cambridge IELTS Practice Test Book 7 | Test 4 Academic Writing Task 2 | Main Function of a UniversityUniversities are generally considered to be places of higher learning, whether students pursue undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral degrees. While both views expressed have some merit the fact is that most universities offer a wide range of academic courses which clearly offer both options mentioned: access to directly relevant work related knowledge and learning to gain knowledge without any higher purpose than to learn more about a specific subject.
While some employers may not see the relevancy of a student following a degree course which has no apparent relevancy to any particular profession, a university education develops certain skills and abilities which can be useful in many wider areas of life. There are many cases where graduates in fact successfully take up professional positions which have little or nothing to do with the subjects they studied at university.
What’s more, universities are not unlike the general school system, there are many subjects which people would not consider essential to daily life as an adult, but the learning process builds a general knowledge and skill set which most adults need in order to be productive members of society.
Some people also believe that the experience of attending university is a valuable life lesson, allowing an opportunity for young people to grow, discover more independence and explore themselves as individuals.
Personally, I consider it essential that universities continue to offer a wide choice of subjects for students irrespective of whether they are directly relevant to obtaining a position in the workforce or not. They should be considered as places of personal development whether a student chooses to study anthropology or an MBA.