In view of numerous problems faced by our country, our universities have a very significant role to play. The future destiny of our country is not in the hands of our soldiers and merchants but in the hands of scholars and thinkers. In the words of a famous thinker we may say, “Give me the children of the country to educated, and I will not bother about what happens to the rest.” So long as, we are able to impart good education to our children in schools and colleges, we need not despair of a good future for mankind.
The true aim of university education is not, as it has been thought so pompous degrees and diplomas on them. To stuff the brain of a young man with all sorts of facts and formulate, or to burden his mind with infinite names of things which he has never handled. The places which he never saw, or the statements of facts which he cannot possibly understand, is like loading his stomach with marbles. Thus, education is not only an instrument of satisfying our intellectual curiosity, but a way of life, not merely scholastic learning, but self-culture. What is taught in the classroom must become a part and parcel of the student’s being. The theories and ideals which we have received from books must be woven in the texture of our actual life.
The first aim of university education should, therefore, be to cultivate the qualities of courage, hope, initiative, and the capacity to turn out abstract knowledge to practical purposes. Education is a miserable failure if it does not help as in developing a clear and systematic way of thinking an intense love for truth, and a spirit of resistance to superstition and mob passion.
Universities should infuse in our minds an implicit faith in the goodness of our own culture and prevent the unhealthy tide of foreign imitation, which has, now-a-days, swept our countrymen off their feet. They need such education as may restore out inward unity and harmonize the conflict of the native and the foreign, the ancient and the modern.
The last but not the least important function of university education should be to refine our culture. It should broaden our outlook, sweeten our manners and deepen our interest in everything that concerns humanity. The education which makes us proud and isolates us from the hard and unpleasant realities of life, is not true to its salt. It should develop in us a sense of moral excellence, and encourage such marks of character as sympathy, friendship, and mutual understanding, which give colour and beauty of life. “Charity for all and malice towards none,” as it was said by Abraham Lincoln, should be our motto. Universities should teach our youths the lesson of strength, struggle and suffering. Nothing great can be achieved without undergoing trials. Our students, after they have finished their education, should not be led to feel dull, idle and pessimistic. They should find enough energy and enthusiasm put into their nerves by the universities to turn their noble dreams and visions into living realities.
If our universities may try to achieve the above mentioned objectives, they are bound to steer our country out safely and successfully through the troubled waters of our present day problems. Time has come when they should leave their old worn out ways and adapt themselves to new situations and new aspirations of the country. They should aim not merely at our intellectual expansion, but at bringing about a full and harmonious development of all the factors of our life, character and personality, so that at the end of our educational career we may turn out as pious gentleman, useful citizens and inspired leaders of the country.