The Internationalization of the XXI Century Universities: Uninettuno Model

Maria Amata Garito
Universita Telematica Internazionale UNINETTUNO


Universities were born as supranational institutions. Earlier, the first cultural centres, named universities by the scholars of the Arab World, such as the al-Qarawiyyin University, or the al-Karaouine University, based in Fes, Morocco, founded in 859 by a woman, Fatima Al-Fihriya, and followed, in a chronological order, by the al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, founded in 975, played an important role in the cultural relationships between the Islamic World and Europe. The texts of the ancient Greeks, from Aristotle to Hippocrates, from Galenus to Euclydes up to Ptolemy, were translated in Arabic, and studied and commented by the Arabic intellectuals. At the beginning of the Middle Ages, Europe received from Arab culture more than it would be able to give. From the 12th century on, the path was traversed backwards. Latin intellectuals moved to Barcelona, Toledo, Sevilla, and in Sicily, where they found the aforementioned texts and translated them into Latin, allowing Arab culture ideas and knowledge, elaborated on the basis of Greco-Roman civilization ideas, to penetrate the European intellectual circuit. Along with those texts, there came also the works by the Arab commentators to Aristotle, like Avicenna, which were commented and studied at the new-born Universities. In Europe, universities were born as corporations of teachers and students (Prodi, 2013); the first one in 1088 was the University of Bologna and soon after, there were the Sorbonne University in Paris, the University of Salamanca in Spain and the Oxford University in England.

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