Henry Clerval has one main reason for coming to Ingolstadt: to get an education. In Volume I, Chapter IV, he meets Victor outside an inn, and tells him,
"You may easily believe [...] how great was the difficulty to persuade my father that it was not absolutely necessary for a merchant not to understand any thing except book-keeping; and, indeed, I believe I left him incredulous to the last [...]. But his affection for me at length overcame his dislike of learning, and he has permitted me to undertake a voyage of discovery to the land of knowledge."
The University at Ingolstadt was founded in 1472, and it was widely considered to be an important center of learning. Clerval, the son of a merchant and destined to become a merchant himself, had to work hard to convince his father that it was important for him to know more than just how to keep the books for their business. His father, disagreeing with his son on the value of a university education, finally agreed -- out of affection rather than a change of opinion -- to let him come to school.
Clerval also reports to Victor about how worried the Frankenstein family is that they hear from Victor so infrequently.