Beginning with the 12th century, universities became, gradually, the main centers for shaping European culture and civilization, European elites. The development of cities and states imposed the promotion of trained, capable individuals to administer business, to master the laws. Spiritual, religious and ethnic connections ensured for centuries the attending of universities in Europe by Transylvanian youths of Catholic, Lutheran, Calvin and Unitarian religion. Romanians, most of Orthodox religion, with a tolerated status in Transylvania, had a limited access to universities in the Middle Ages. However, in the context of the Council of Florence decisions, or by converting to the Catholic religion a part of the Romanian noble elite, in the fifteenth-seventeenth centuries over 20 Romanians studied at universities in Central and Western Europe, in Vienna, Rome, Trnava (Slovakia) etc. Some of them, after completing their studies, got to occupy important positions in the Catholic Church hierarchy in Hungary, like the case of humanist Nicolaus Olahus, and others to be promoted in leadership positions at universities in Vienna and Košice (Slovakia). Gabriel Ivul was for twelve years chancellor at the University of Vienna, and between 1669 and 1672 he was dean of the Theology Faculty in Trnava.
Universities, Transylvanian Romanians, attending European universities, the Catholic path, the formation of intellectual elites.