Higher education has become a worldwide phenomenon where students now travel internationally to pursue courses and careers, not simply as a global enterprise, but as a network of worldwide interconnections. The Origins of Higher Learning: Knowledge networks and the early development of universities is an account of the first globalisation that has led us to this point, telling of how humankind first developed centres of higher learning across the vast landmass from the Atlantic to the China Sea.
This book opens a much-needed debate on the origins of higher learning, exploring how, why and where humankind first began to take a sustained interest in questions that went beyond daily survival. Showing how these concerns became institutionalised and how knowledge came to be transferred from place to place, this book explores important aspects of the forerunners of globalisation. It is a narrative which covers much of Asia, North Africa and Europe, many parts of which were little known beyond their own boundaries. Spanning from the earliest civilisations to the end of the European Middle Ages, around 700 years ago, here the authors set out crucial findings for future research and investigation.
This book shows how interconnections across continents are nothing new and that in reality, humankind has been interdependent for a much longer period than is widely recognised. It is a book which challenges existing accounts of the origins of higher learning in Europe and will be of interest to all those who wish to know more about the world of academia.
Introduction 1. From the Tigris to the Tiber: early knowledge networks 2. From the Indus to the Ganges: the spread of higher learning in ancient India 3. Along the Yellow River: the origins of higher learning in ancient China 4. Higher learning in ancient Korea, Vietnam and Japan 5. The coming of Islam 6. The golden age of Islam 7. The westward spread of Islam 8. Europe: a medieval backwater? 9. Conclusion: knowledge networks and the origins of higher learning