Do you like the idea of free schools for the public? Do the ideas of earning a degree in an accredited university appeal to you? (Yes I know that schools today, in many ways, have terribly departed from their original charters of encouraging exploration, research, free speech and honest debate. However, the ideas were originally good, weren’t they?)

Western Europeans, particularly the people of Italy, created the university. The University of Bologna was founded in 1088 and is still producing scholars today! The Muslim world thought this was such a good idea that they followed suit by creating their own universities in Cairo, Baghdad, and other centers of Islamic learning.

Medieval Europeans created a university system in which people from one nation could attend in another nation, and their degree would be recognized by all other universities in Europe. This is how a medieval scholar such as Thomas Aquinas could study at the University of Paris, teach at the University of Cologne, then return to Italy (Naples) to teach, preach, and write.

Martin Luther, the German reformer, came up with the idea of public schools. Since it was important to him that God’s Word (the Bible) should be in the language of the common people, it was equally important for all people to read it. Luther promoted the idea that local governments should fund free schools for the public. His idea spread across Europe and was taken by the Puritans across the Atlantic to North America.

Today, it is a given across Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, and the islands of the sea that the models for education created by Western Civilization are the vehicle to advance society.