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and stimulating of a general interest in the subjects.
For the former object the syndicate provides
systematic university extension courses, and for
the latter short courses.

The special method for the systematic courses
is the result of years of experience. The courses
usually consist of twelve weekly lectures, each
lasting an hour. A printed syllabus, in pamphlet
form, is prepared by the lecturer, and supplied for
use of students.

In the hour preceding (or following) the lecture,
a class is held for those students who wish to study
the subject more thoroughly. This gives the
students an opportunity of coming into closer
contact with the lecturer, of putting their difficulties
before him, and of obtaining by questions and
discussions greater familiarity with the principles
of the subject.

The lecturer advises students as to the best
books for studying the subject of his lectures,
and the books recommended are supplied by
the syndicate's library for the use of students
during the course.

Questions are set by the examiner on each
lecture, to be answered by the students at home.
The answers are submitted to the examiner who
corrects and criticizes them.

At the end of the term an examination is held
by an examiner appointed by the syndicate. No
students are allowed to take the examination
unless they have attended regularly and have done
the weekly exercises to the satisfaction of the
lecturer. The examination is optional, but all
who qualify by attendance and weekly exercises
are requested to present themselves. It is usual
to fix 75 per cent, of attendances as the minimum
for qualification.

Certificates Issued. Certificates are awarded
in connection with the courses, indicating that the
student has pursued a regular course of organized
work in an extension class. To those who are
recommended by both lecturer and examiner a
certificate of distinction is awarded.

The certificates awarded are terminal (pass,
distinction, or honours) or sessional (pass or honours).
The terminal certificate is awarded after examination
on a course of twelve or more lectures with classes.
Two short courses of six lectures are accepted as
equivalent to a full terminal course. No student
under 15 years of age is admitted to the examina-
tion. A student who obtains the certificate of
distinction and submits to the lecturer, within
twelve months of the conclusion of the course, an
essay on a subject approved by the lecturer may
obtain an honours certificate if the essay is
recommended by the lecturer and an examiner.

The sessional certificate is awarded for courses
extending over two years, or including twenty-four
or thirty-six lectures. The honours certificate is
awarded' upon the same terms as in the case of the
terminal certificate. The Cambridge Syndicate
also awards the Vice-Chancellor's certificate and the
affiliation certificate. The former is awarded
to students who obtain four sessional certificates

108— (969)





and submit an essay of approved merit. If two
of the sessional certificates are in honours, the
student is eUgible for the Vice-Chancellor's certificate
in honours.

Short Courses are intended to awaken and
stimulate interest in literature, history, science or
art, and to serve as an introduction to the longer
systematic courses, in places where university
extension lectures have not previously been given.
As a rule they are not given at established centres,
except in cases where the longer course is found
impracticable. The short course includes lectures,
classes and weekly exercises as in the case of
longer courses, but no certificates are awarded to
students unless two short courses have been linked
together to form an equivalent of a full course of
twelve lectures and classes.

Summer Meetings. At Cambridge large gather-
ings of students take place under the auspices
of the sjmdicate. These summer meetings are
usually held in the long vacation, and last for
about a month. A plan of work is arranged
and carried out by lecturers from Cambridge and
elsewhere. Students have facilities for study in
the libraries and laboratories, and opportunities
for conference on their extension work, and the
meeting is found to provide a valuable stimulus
to students, teachers, and the movement as a

The University of Cambridge has the power of
affiliating a local lecture centre to the University.
Affiliated students then acquire the privileges
of being recognized as students affiliated to the
University, of obtaining the degree of Bachelor
of Arts in six terms instead of nine at the University,
and of entering for the Tripos examination without
having passed the previous examination. To
secure these privileges they must have pursued a
course of study at an affiliated centre, and passed
at some time an examination in arithmetic, Euclid
(books I-III), algebra, Latin, and German or French
or Greek.

The Extension Syndicate of each university
requires that the responsibility for the course shall
be undertaken by a committee specially formed
for the purpose or by a responsible public body such
as an education committee, a trade union council,
or a committee of some institution.

In many cases a special university extension
society is formed at the centre at which the courses
are held. Such a society consists of a body of
annual subscribers and resembles the literary and
scientific societies to be found in most large towns.

Students' associations have been formed in
connection with many university exterision centres
in order to carry out the work of the lectures more
thoroughly. The extension committee and the
students' committee work together to promote
the success of university extension work in the
town, and the students' association makes the
existence and nature of the extension movement
known as widely as possible.

The fees charged for courses vary in different
universities and in different courses. They include
all the lecturer's expenses as well as the hire of
sHdes for illustrated lectures, and the copies of the
syllabus supplied to students. The local com-
mittee provides all local expenses such as advertis-
ing, hire of rooms, lighting and furniture. The
lecturers provided are selected from the most highly
qualified teachers, professors and fellows of the

A periodical entitled The University Extension
Bulletin is published three times a year in the
interests of the university extension movement,
under the official sanction of the education
authorities of the universities of Oxford, Cambridge
and London. It contains reports on the move-
ment, official announcements, and articles on
subjects of interest to students. The publishers are
Hamptons, Ltd., 12 Cursitor Street, London, E.C.4.
Local secretaries can obtain parcels of 12 and
upwards at half the published price.

Local Examinations. Besides the lectures of
the university extension courses, provision is made
by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge for
the needs of persons above school age in the higher
local examination, while for schools both these
universities hold local examinations graded as
preliminary, junior and senior. (See Oxford and
Cambridge Schools Examination Board.)

In the higher local examination the subjects
are arranged in the following groups: Rehgious
knowledge, English language and literature, a
foreign language, mathematics, mental science,
physical science, music, geography, and history.
This examination is open to persons over 17 years
of age, and to younger persons who have obtained
senior local or matriculation certificates.


The movement which is generally known as
University Extension is only one of many mani-
festations of the new spirit which, during the last
half-century, has infused and largely transformed
the ancient universities. The term itself first became
current at Oxford after the appointment of the
first Universities' Commission, appointed by Lord
John Russell in 1850. It was there applied to a
number of schemes, then under discussion, whereby
the advantages of a university education might be
extended to " a niuch larger and poorer class than
that from which students are at present almost
entirely taken." Of these, one suggested the
admission of students who should not be connected
with any college or hall, a suggestion which matured
in the non-collegiate system inaugurated by the
passing of the University Education Act, 1867.
Others suggested the establishment of cheaper
halls or hostels; the permission — now largely
accorded — to undergraduates to live in licensed
lodgings; the admission of non-matriculated
students to professorial lectures, and the like.
Yet another was the scheme submitted to the
commissioners by the Rev. William Sewell, then tutor
of Exeter College, and afterwards founder and
first warden of Radley College. Mr. Sewell pro-
pounded the following question: " Though it may
be impossible to bring the masses requiring educa-
tion to the universit}^ may it not be possible to
carry the uinversity to them ? "

In that question and in Mr. Sewell's answer we
have the protoplasm of the movement that is
now specifically known as University Extension.

Mr. Sewell's suggestion was that professorships
and lectureships should be founded in " the great
centres of the manufacturing districts, and in the
midst of the densest population." It bore fruit
almost immediately in the establishment of local
colleges, several of which have since developed into
universities. The college at Manchester, which
bears the honoured name of John Owens, was
founded in 1851; the Durham College of Science
(now Armstrong College) at Newcastle in 1871;





the Yorkshire College, Leeds, in 1874; Mason
College, Birmingham, in 1875, and others later.
The Firth College at Sheffield (1879) and University-
College, Nottingham (1881), had their origin,
like the more recent " University Extension "
Colleges at Reading, Exeter and Colchester, in
University Extension " centres " established in
the several towns. There is, therefore, the closest
historical connection between the Local Lecture
movement and that for the multiplication of local
colleges and universities.

Meanwhile an important step had been taken at
Oxford, on the initiative of Sir Thomas Acland,
Frederick Temple of Balliol (afterwards Archbishop
of Canterbury) and others, for the improvement of
secondary education, then in a very backward
and chaotic condition. They suggested that the
university might at least set a standard of know-
ledge by instituting examinations for boys and
girls of school age. Thus there came into existence
local examinations.

The Local Lectures System. But, if the university
may legitimately examine students who have not
matriculated, why not teach them also ? The
answer was furnished by Mr. James Stuart of
Trinity College, Cambridge, who, on his own
account, started courses of lectures in various
provincial towns, and in 1873 induced the Uni-
versity of Cambridge to give official recognition
to such courses. Thus the Local Lectures System
came to the birth. In 1876 a society was formed
under the presidency of Mr. (afterwards Viscount)
Goschen for the provision of " Extension " lectures
in London, the work being supervised by a joint
Board consisting of representatives of the uni-
versities of Oxford, Cambridge, and London.
Oxford appointed a committee, with Mr. (now the
Right Hon.) A. H. D. Acland as secretary, to
organize similar work in 1878. Some useful pioneer-
ing work was done, but Oxford did not take any
large part in the extension movement until the
appointment of Sir Michael Sadler (now Vice-
Chancellor of Leeds University) to organize it.

Mr. James Stuart laid down the main lines of
a movement which has since expanded with
astonishing rapidity. The universities provide the
central machinery, appoint the lecturers, approve
the courses of study, conduct the examinations,
and generally supervise the whole working of an
elaborate system. In each town where an Extension
" centre " is established there is a local committee
(sometimes the existing Education Committee,
or a Co-operative Society, or a Mechanics' Institute,
or, more often, a voluntary ad hoc committee)
which is responsible for all the details of local
organization, provision of hall or classroom,
advertisement, sale of tickets, etc.; and for the
fees payable to the university. These fees vary,
according to the grade of lecturer employed and
the number of lectures given, from about 20 guineas
for six lectures by a junior lecturer up to about
100 guineas for twenty-four lectures from a " Staff "
lecturer. The fees include lecture, class, correction
of essays, syllabuses, examination, certificate, and
travelling library.

This enumeration suggests the main features of
the system. It insists (i) that the lectures (generally
6 to 12) should be arranged in systematic courses
and delivered at regular intervals, as against
single lectures on a variety of topics; (ii) that each
lecture should be followed by a class, for more
detailed exposition and the establishment of

personal contact between teacher and taught;
(iii) that students should be encouraged to (a) send
in regular essays during the course, and (5) submit
to examination at the close of it; (iv) that analytical
syllabuses with hints as to reading, etc., be
provided; (v) on a supply of standard books.

Oxford and Cambridge have established about
1,100 such centres, and have employed over 400
lecturers; London has had over 200 in the Metro-
politan area, and the new universities have also
done a considerable amount of work in their
respective localities.

The Summer Schools. Since 1888 a new and
exceedingly important feature has been added
to the system as devised by Mr. Stuart. Every
year, in August, the University of Oxford or Cam-
bridge (now in alternate years) arranges a Summer
School for extension and other students in the
university itself. The nineteen Oxford meetings
have been attended by an average of 1,000 to 1,200
students. A course of about 100 lectures, upon some
specific subject, is organized, and the lectures are
given by some of the most eminent teachers and
scholars in the universities, and by distinguished
specialists and men of letters from outside. These
annual gatherings, attended by students of all
classes and of all nationalities, not merely have
proved to be of high educational value, but have
also helped to bring scattered Extension students
into touch with the university itself, and to give
unity and coherence to the whole Extension system.

A very important outcome of the University
Extension movement is the Tutorial Class system
{q.v.), which has rapidly developed during the last
eight years.

The Extension movement, though constantly
improving its methods and reaching out in new
directions, has now passed beyond the experimental
stage, and may be regarded as having taken its
place in the English system of higher education.

J. A. R. M.

UNIVERSITY REFORM.— University reform
might naturally be assumed to be concerned with
such questions as the proper part to be played
by all the universities of the country in the system
of national education, or how we can contrive
e.g. that England shall no longer lag behind other
countries in the proportion of her population who
receive a university education. In practice, how-
ever, university reform has come to mean the
reform of Oxford and Cambridge. The reasons
for this are simple. The newer universities respond
easily to changes in the educational ideals and
needs of the country. They have fairly simple
governing bodies in which both the teaching staff
and the outside public are represented. They are
very largely supported by public money, and
thereby subject to public control. Oxford and
Cambridge, on the other hand, have very compli-
cated governing bodies. The teaching staff has, of
late years, got considerable power in these bodies,
but the ultimate power in both universities still
rests neither with the teaching staff nor with
specially chosen members of the general public,
but with a haphazard collection of M.A.'s. Both
universities with their constituent colleges are in
possession of very large endowments and have,
up till now, neither required nor obtained assistance
from public monej^ to more than a very small
extent, though there are signs that this state of
affairs will not continue. Above all, both universities
are universities of colleges. The colleges of Oxford





and Cambridge are independent corporations
with their own statutes and governing bodies. They
are immensely richer than the universities, and
do the greater part of the teaching. They are very
sUghtly under the control of the universities and
not under the control of anyone else.

Need for Reform. The independent position
thus enjoyed by the universities and colleges of
Oxford and Cambridge, has, no doubt, certain
advantages as contrasted with French or German
universities; but it naturally gives rise to the belief
that there is a great disparity between the educa-
tional ideals and needs of the nation and the prin-
ciples on which the endowments of these universities
and their colleges are administered, a belief for
which, in the past, there has been abundant justi-
fication. Further, both Oxford and Cambridge,
being residential universities, are much more
expensive than others. Hence has arisen the belief,
and again not without some justification, that they
are more expensive than they need be, and, above
all, that these two great national institutions
are too largely confined to the rich. The assumption,
then, that the problem of university reform
means the reform of Oxford and Cambridge, is not
based on any impression of the inferiority of these
universities to others, but rather on the belief that
all independent and wealthy corporations need
outside criticism and reform from time to time,
and on the sense of how important it is that the
unique powers and resources of these universities
should be used to the best possible advantage to
the nation.

Reformation in the Past. University reform in the
past has been mainly concerned with the relations
between the universities and their constituent
colleges. At the beginning of the nineteenth
century, when the agitation for reform began,
both universities were still entirely in the hands of
the colleges, and these were celibate and clerical
societies. There can be no doubt that the domination
of the colleges had been ruinous to the universities,
and that the first essential, in both Oxford and
Cambridge, was to restore the reality and power of
the university. The legislation of the fifties gave
the universities new governing bodies, awkward
enough but independent of the colleges. The legis-
lation of the seventies and early eighties, by the
abohtion of tests, by the permission of marriage to
fellows and other changes regarding fellowships, very
largely remodelled the colleges, and by its financial
clauses re-established the teaching power of the
universities. The result has been that both uni-
versities, having now achieved real being as
universities, have worked along with the colleges
in steady and continued progress. The two com-
missions of last century made the universities
largely free to work out their own salvation and
they have made good use of their powers.

Future Reform. While there is substantial
agreement as to the wisdom of past reform, there
is much less as to what is required for the future.

It is held by many that all that is needed is to
accept the general relations between the universities
and colleges which now exist, and to complete the
arrangements which are required to give the
teaching stafi complete control over the university.
The great proportion of college fellows are now
teachers. There is thus little difference of purpose
between specifically university and college teachers.
The university should be given rather more control
over college finance than it now enjoys : this

might be exercised in the election to fellowships.
Inter-collegiate arrangements for lecturing and
tutoring should be extended rather more widely.
The only important reform required, except,
possibly, the admission of women to full membership
of the university, is the abolition of the veto of
Convocation or Senate. If this were passed, Oxford
and Cambridge would then be governed by their
teaching staffs, and these may be trusted to keep
the university in touch with modern conditions.
This may be called the ideal of reform from within,
and these are roughly the lines followed by Lord
Curzon's Principles and Methods of University
Reform, proposals for the reform of Oxford,
pubhshed in 1909, and still being put into legislation.
These proposals have led to the reform of council,
congregation and the faculties, and the institution
of a Finance Board. They include a proposal for a
real university entrance examination and they have
greatly improved the self-government of the

At the other extreme may be put the views
of those reformers who look on the deviation
of Oxford and Cambridge from the ordinary type
of university as an unmixed evil, and would reduce
the colleges to hostels, make membership of a
college voluntary and concentrate all the teaching
of the universities in a strong professoriate, enriched
with the endowments of the colleges. The endow-
ments should be sufficient to make both a strong
and a cheap university.

Against such root and branch proposals, it may
well be urged that the participation of the colleges
in the teaching of the university, while it did much
harm when it practically suppressed university
teaching, has with the revival of the university,
produced the tutorial system which makes the
Honours schools of Oxford and Cambridge so
pre-eminent in all the universities of the world.
No one who is familiar with the different types of
universities can deny the great advantages of the
tutorial system as it exists in Oxford and Cambridge.
That sj^stem might be more intercollegiate than
it is, but without the colleges it could not exist.
It is and must be more expensive than the ordinary
professorial system, but in the Honours schools,
at least, it is not wastefuUy expensive. It must be
admitted, then, that the colleges which make Oxford
and Cambridge unique, are of very great educa-
tional value, and that the first ideal described
above is right in accepting, subject to minor
modifications, the general relations now existing
between universities and colleges. The real objection
to the ideal of reform from within is that no
institution can be quite satisfactorily reformed
from within any more than it can be reformed by
those who do not understand it.

Proposed Reform in the Government of the
Universities. The remaining alternative is to cure
the defect which now makes university reform
synonymous with the reform of Oxford and Cam-
bridge. At present these universities govern
themselves without the help of external opinion,
but are subject to periodical and violent interference
from without in the shape of royal commissions.
They will continue to be subject to such inter-
ferences so long as their isolation makes the general
public ignorant and distrustful of them, and
makes the universities less in touch than they
might be with the nation. If men who understand
the educational needs and ideals of the nation,
not necessarily in any sense members of the





university, had a position of real influence in the
governing bodies of both universities, there should,
in time, be no more need to talk of the reform of
Oxford and Cambridge than there is to talk of the
reform of other universities. The problem of expense
must be solved along the same lines.

The complaint against the expensiveness of
Oxford and Cambridge is partly based on a belief
that the system is more expensive than it need be,
but, even more, on the belief that a necessarily
expensive kind of education is largely given to men
who are not intellectually worth it. If Oxford and
Cambridge are to retain a special system of educa-
tion, expensive because it is special, it is essential
that this special system should be open not to those
who happen to have the money to pay for it, but
to those who are really worth it. Outside criticism

Online LibraryFoster WatsonThe encyclopaedia and dictionary of education; a comprehensive, practical and authoritative guide on all matters connected with education, including educational principles and practice, various types of teaching institutions, and educational systems throughout the world (Volume v. 4) → online text (page 49 of 83)