THE UNIVERSITY AND THE CITY IN THE AGE OF KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY. Colleges and universities are among the oldest type of organization, orig-inating from the medieval age. In the long historical trajectory of this social institution, it is commonly recognized that colleges and universities evolved through three stages — from the British model of gentlemen education, through the German model of scientific research, to the American model of social service. A research university is nowadays a combination of the three. Most distinctively, the history of this evolution is also an irreversible path on which the university was transformed from an ivory tower to a social institution critical to social-economic development and the welfare of the human race.