Monday, 8 April 2013


TASK: Write 250-270 words on the following subject. 
You have 90 minutes.

This is a real exam answer which was singled out by the teacher:


The first universities mushroomed during the Middle Ages in the heart of Old Europe. A strong need to share wisdom and to create knowledge was the seed of important institutions such as the Sorbonne University or Salamanca University. For the first time, a group of students could follow an operation in the magnum room at Bologna faculty of Medicine.
Buildings to teach different specialties were developed together along with some lodging and sport facilities. The concept of university campus appeared as a place to cultivate our souls and bodies, remembering the satiric Roman writer Juvenalis statement ‘mens sana in corpore sano’. Universities in modern times have become a melting pot, a place not only to learn but to enrich lives through personal contact with other students and members of staff.
On the contrary, some universities are severely overcrowded nowadays. High rates of unemployment have put aside young people into universities, especially in places such as Sicily or Andalusia.
Suddenly a new model of university has appeared with the new Millennium. The revolution of Internet has completely changed the learning process and the way of communicating. Universities such as UOC or Udima, just to name a few, have skyrocketed their number of students in the last years. Notwithstanding the distance, pupils may follow their lessons and work in groups.
But is the old model of university an exhausted institution? There are some pros and cons for each model of institution. A traditional university on campus may foster long lasting relationships since physical contact is very important in the development of our own personality. It is also necessary for scientific specialties in order to carry out some tests or experiments. On the other side, on-line universities are doing well in teaching arts-related specialties. They are also appropriate to create a more proactive approach of the students towards the learning process.
In the near future we will see traditional and on-line universities teaching happily together.

José María Jiménez, C2. March 2013

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