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Among the crises of the university such as the decline of quality, loss of the independency, less of the money, the crisis of the idea of a university is the essence. So return of the university is essential including exposing the idea of the university and reconstructing the functions of the university. The article defines the idea and function of the university, and then demonstrates it in three aspects: first, seeking and making sure that knowledge is the point to understand the idea of university; secondly, clearing the relationship between knowledge, university and the state, society, life-world; at last, on the research above, the idea of the university is explored and the functions of the university reconstructed. The article points out that the idea of the university roots in life world and that the state and society put the functions of the university. The idea of the university decides on the functions of the university.