Medieval universities were founded in European countries such as Spain, England, Italy, and France from the 11th to 16th centuries. One of the factors that led to their rise was the earlier foundation of cathedral or monastic schools taught by monks and nuns. Pope Gregory VII instituted the so-called Gregorian Reforms during the 11th century that sought to teach the clergy Canon law as well as to verse in them in areas such as logic and finance to help them run their parishes. In addition, this type of learning helped the clergy form the necessary arguments to promote religion in Europe. Medieval universities became centers to train clergy for these purposes, and to train students in other courses of study, including arithmetic, geometry, Latin, music, astronomy, and other areas. Students and professors formed guilds or corporations, similar to other guilds, called universitas. Pope Gregory IV gave his blessing to these corporations in the 13th century, further promoting their rise. The universitas was self-regulating and free from church and civil law.
The Muslim contribution to medieval universities was that many Arab scholars had re-discovered the works of Aristotle and other classical scholars. In addition, the Arab world had made several discoveries in medicine and technology. Their scholarship spread to Europe, furthering the development of learning and medieval universities.