Humans have always been gregarious animals, meeting each other and exchanging knowledge has been practised from time immemorial. It has been documented that in some of the oldest civilisations; Universities or rather places of study were centres where people made decisions for the entire populace.
An example to this is the Greek civilisation where great teachers like Aristotle and Socrates used to teach the children of Royal families and their like to further their bounds of knowledge, and widen their horizon of thinking. It can also be seen in India where the great Gurukul system existed wherein students lived with their teachers and learnt the ways of life so as to become leaders in their societies. The ancient Universities of India like Takshashila and Nalanda were the finest centres of learning in the fifth century BC.
Coming to the modern world, education is seen as a commodity that everyone aspires to possess in their respective fields whichever that may be. Now the question is – What creates global cities? Is it the people? Is it the aesthetic environment? Is it the climate? or Is it a combination of all these? It can be debated as to which of these factors create a global city but all these contexts and factors lead to one answer: People create global cities and people are developed at Universities. It is also seen how small economies develop due to the presence of Universities.
A deserving case study of this is an institution in the east of Bangalore, where at its inception in 1992 the entire area was barren and the only infrastructure in that area was a government building. Fast forwarding to 2017: the land prices have not just seen a surge but has increased thousandfold. A minicity was created around the University to facilitate the demands that the institution brought to the area. This very small example illustrates the impact that an educational establishment brings forth to the economy and the development of the city.
It is said man moves wherever there is land, animal and pasture. Today man moves where there is water, land and educational institutions. The importance of this fact is crucial to the decisions taken by today’s educational leaders and governments, as the only way to uplift the country or its people is by educating its children and its people. Imagine if an educational institution commences its operations at every last mile that is essential in a country, the economic and social changes it can bring there will be compounding and the growth phase would be of the highest order.
One of the biggest challenges that developed countries and developing countries face is overpopulation and its people moving towards urban cities. This is due to education in people.
My proposition is that to create world class cities there is a very simple solution: one school and one college in the neighborhood will change the dynamics of the region. Come, let us make this a reality.
Mr Christo Joseph
Garden City University, Bangalore, India
Am an Educational Research Scholar at Lancaster University and Graduate from Kings College, London where I studied MA in Education Management. I work at Garden City Group of Institutions, Bangalore (India) as the Director of Strategy & Planning.
EXCHANGE OF KNOWLEDGE
TAKSHASHILA—INDIA’S ANCIENT UNIVERSITY
NALANDA—INDIA’S ANCIENT UNIVERSITY