Curzon (1909)

Background notes

The complete book is shown in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go to the various chapters.

Preliminary pages (page 3)
Contents, Letter to Vice-Chancellor

Chapter I (15)
Introduction
Chapter II (21)
Constitution of the university
Chapter III (42)
The admission of poor men
Chapter IV (76)
Scholarships, exhibitions, fellowships
Chapter V (101)
University examinations
Chapter VI (120)
Relations of the colleges and the university
Chapter VII (141)
Revenue, expenditure, financial administration
Chapter VIII (172)
Executive machinery of university government
Chapter IX (179)
Encouragement of research
Chapter X (188)
Independent subjects
Chapter XI (210)
Summary

Index (217)

The text of Principles & Methods of University Reform was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 25 September 2018.


Principles & Methods of University Reform (1909)
Lord Curzon of Kedleston

Oxford: The Clarendon Press


[title page]

Principles & Methods
of University Reform


Being a Letter
Addressed to the University of Oxford


By

Lord Curzon of Kedleston
Chancellor of the University




Oxford
At the Clarendon Press
1909


[page 2]



Henry Frowde, M.A.
Publisher to the University of Oxford
London, Edinburgh, New York
Toronto and Melbourne





[page 3]

CONTENTS

LETTER TO THE VICE-CHANCELLOR

Debate in House of Lords, July, 1907 - Reasons against a Royal Commission - Position and functions of the Chancellor - Sources of information - Purpose of Memorandum

9

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

Object of University reformers - Previous Commissions - No finality in their work - Greater facilities for change - Reform already begun - Subjects of inquiry

15

CHAPTER II

CONSTITUTION OF THE UNIVERSITY

Objects of Constitutional reform - Existing Constitution of the University - The Hebdomadal Council - Analogy to a Cabinet - Criticisms upon the three orders - Proposals for their abolition - Other suggestions - Necessity for greater administrative control - Congregation - Proposals of Commission of 1850 - Act of 1854 - Origin of residential qualification - Its consequences - Proposal to restrict membership to University teachers and officers - Counter arguments - Other suggestions - Nature of legislative powers conceded to Congregation - Numbers of Convocation - Its functions - Its actual composition - Its meetings - General desire for some reform.

Various proposals: (1) Restriction of powers to educational matters - Opposite contentions - (2) Restriction of M. A. degree - Opposite arguments - (3) Expansion of Convocation - (4) The suspensory veto - Investigation urged

21


[page 4]

CHAPTER III

THE ADMISSION OF POOR MEN

Complaints about class-composition of Oxford University - The same question in 1850 - Views and proposals of the Commission of 1850 - Affiliated Halls, Independent Halls, Lodgings - Views of later reformers - Present aspect of problem - Claims of the well-to-do as well as the poor - Duty of Oxford to the leisured classes - Standard of living - Duty of Oxford to the poor - Different classes of the poor - The Working-Classes - Nature of their appeal to Oxford - The University's reply - Opportunities provided by Oxford - The Non-Collegiate system - Its advantages and cost - Impediments and drawbacks - Desirability of greater encouragement - History of University Extension - Alleged failure to reach the industrial classes - Proposals of Working-Class Education Committee - Artisan students at the University - Ruskin College - Character of tuition - Connexion with the University - Admission of working-men to ordinary Colleges - Hostels - Public and Private Halls - Suggestion of a Working-men's or Poor men's College - Its courses, tuition, and mode of life - Appeal to an outside benefactor - The poor of other classes - The schools from which they come - Endowments for these classes - The poor clergy - Teachers in Elementary and Secondary schools - Alleged obstacles in Oxford system - Cost of living in Colleges - General average - Proposals for reduction - Suggested Conference of Bursars - University and College Fees and Dues - Suggested reduction - Opposite school of thought - Information Bureau

42

CHAPTER IV

SCHOLARSHIPS AND EXHIBITIONS - FELLOWSHIPS

History of Scholarships and Exhibitions - Changes made in 1877-1882 - University Scholarships - Distribution of College Scholarships and Exhibitions - Predominance of the Classics - Close or local Scholarships and Exhibitions - Their number and nature - Total value of Scholarships and Exhibitions - St. Edmund Hall - Scholar's dress - Limitation to poor schools and poor men - Table of Scholarships and Exhibitions held by the poor - Criticisms of the system: (1) That it is not sufficiently eleemosynary - Actual facts - Ought Scholarships to be subsidies or prizes? - Proposals to destroy prize character - To revive close Scholarship system -


[page 5]

To make Scholarships honorary - To surrender the endowment - (2) That the system promotes an unhealthy rivalry between Schools and Colleges - Nature of this competition - Suggested pooling of Scholarships - Objections - Excessive number of Classical Scholarships - Date of Examinations - Suggested inquiry into redistribution of Scholarships and Exhibitions - Subjects for which more Scholarships are required - Possible forms of procedure - Fellowships - History and changes - Commission of 1877- 1882 - Prize Fellowships - Total number of Fellows - Their receipts - Arguments against Prize Fellowships - Their numbers and distribution - All Souls College - Connexion between Oxford and the world - Duration of Fellowship and question of re-election - Suggested allocation of Fellowships on a definite plan - Modifications in Prize Fellowships

76

CHAPTER V

UNIVERSITY EXAMINATIONS

RESPONSIONS - UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE EXAMINATION - THE PASS-MAN - PASS-SCHOOLS

Compulsory Greek in Responsions - Existing practice - Nature of test - Classes whom it deters - Attitude of public opinion - Quality of the examination - Place of Greek in humanistic learning - Effect of abolition upon Public Schools - Proposed abolition - Abortive attempts - Possible reforms - Suggested abolition of Responsions - Absence of any University Entrance Examination - College Entrance Examinations - Proposals of Commission of 1850 - Their answer to objections - Changes since 1850 - Available machinery - Plea for a scientific plan of School-leaving and University Entrance Examination - Advantages of such a scheme - Its possible extension to other professions - Need for University Entrance Examination in special cases - Possible objections to above plan - The minimum required - Penalties for misconduct or indolence - Proposed action of the University - Arguments pro and con - The Pass-man - His merits and defects - Duty of the University towards him - Desirability of improving the Pass-Schools - A Business course

101


[page 6]

CHAPTER VI

RELATIONS OF THE COLLEGES AND THE UNIVERSITY - ORGANIZATION OF TEACHING

History of the question - Strengthening of the University position - Alleged domination of the Colleges - Nature of the modern complaint - The Tutorial system at Oxford - No real antagonism between the Colleges and the University - Limitation of grievance - The Boards of Faculties - Application of the term - Number of Faculties and Boards - Constitution of Boards of Faculties - Their functions and powers - Boards of Studies - Criticisms of the Boards of Faculties - Statutory power of reconstitution - Excessive regard to examinations - Imperfect control of University lectures - Especially in Literae Humaniores - Three schools of reformers: (1) Suggested use of existing powers - Delegation to a Committee - (2) Suggested creation of class of University lecturers - Question of payment - Inherent difficulties - Future risks - Form of College contribution - Proposed Central Board or Council of Faculties - (3) Suggested absorption of Common University Fund - The Common University Fund in its educational aspect - Drawbacks to proposal - Suggested examination of the entire subject - Reorganization of Studies and Examinations - Power of altering College Statutes - More safeguards required

120

CHAPTER VII

REVENUE, EXPENDITURE, AND FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION OF THE UNIVERSITY

Form of published Accounts - Gross Revenue of the University - Net Revenue - Additional resources - College contributions - Poverty of the University - Gross Revenue of the Colleges - Net Revenue - Principal items of College expenditure - Incompleteness of the Accounts - Other defects - Accounts of University Institutions - Accounts of College contributions to the University - Obscurity of existing summary - Charges of inadequate College contributions - Present scale - Its alleged inadequacy - Improving position of the Colleges - Lack of system in present method of contributions - Power of the Visitor - Claims of College autonomy - Suggested reforms - Consideration of the question urged -


[page 7]

Apparent anomalies in College financial administration - Expenditure on repairs and improvements - Internal expenditure - Diversity of scales - No outside check - Administration of College estates - Proposals of reformers: (1) Sale of University and College property - (2) Transfer to Official Commissioners - Reasons against this proposal - Drawbacks of the present system - Need of external control - Financial machinery of the University - The University Chest - The Common University Fund - As a financial body - Relations of the Common Fund and the Chest - The University Press - Financial policy of the University - The existing system - Its anomalies - Need of a Finance Office - Suggested Board of Finance - Its possible functions - Its constitution - Its relation to the Chest and the Common Fund - Its powers - Importance of financial reform

141

CHAPTER VIII

EXECUTIVE MACHINERY OF UNIVERSITY GOVERNMENT

The existing machinery - The Vice-Chancellor - Method of nomination - His duties - Suggested changes - The University staff - The Registrar - The Assistant Registrar - The Secretary to the Curators of the Chest - Absence of a University Secretariat - The Proctors - Devolution of work of Council - Insufficient centralization

172

CHAPTER IX

ENCOURAGEMENT OF RESEARCH

Complaints of lack of encouragement - Origin of interest in the matter - Functions of advanced study and Research - Duty of the University - Existing facilities - Fellowships and Scholarships - Prizes - Diplomas - B.C.L. degree - New degrees - The History School - Libraries and seminars - Laboratories - Original work now being done - Publications of the Press - Great advance - A University policy of Research - Co-operation of the Colleges - Encouragement to students

179


[page 8]

CHAPTER X

INDEPENDENT SUBJECTS

Method of election to certain Professorships - Suggested Pension Fund for the Professoriate - Plan for creating it - Theological degrees - The Theological Chairs - Greater latitude at Cambridge - Religious toleration at Oxford - Eventual opening of degrees - Possible difficulties - Higher Education of women at Oxford - History of the movement University recognition - Refusal of degrees - Reasons for granting them: (1) Interests of the women students - (2) Of the women teachers - (3) Of the University - Value attached to the degree by women - Example of other Universities - Consequences of the degree - Question of educational privileges - Question of the academic vote - No connexion with question of Parliamentary vote - Conferment of Honorary degrees - Existing practice - Suggested plan A three-years' Honour course - Arguments against the proposal - Experience of Cambridge - Complaints of shortness of academical year - Arguments in favour of extension - Arguments against - Recommendations of Commission of 1850 - Proposal of two Terms in the year - Financial objections - Suggested modification - The Indian Institute - Disappointing results - Proposals for reform

188

CHAPTER XI

SUMMARY

Ideal of Oxford University - Previous attempts at reform - Scope of present proposals - Attitude of the University - Summary of subjects submitted for examination - Conclusion

210


[page 9]

HACKWOOD,
BASINGSTOKE,
February, 1909.

MY DEAR VICE-CHANCELLOR,

I send you herewith a Memorandum on the subject of possible reforms at Oxford University, which, together with this letter, I shall be glad if you will communicate to the members of the Hebdomadal Council.

The genesis of this paper is as follows. In July, 1907, a debate was initiated in the House of Lords by the Bishop of Birmingham, himself a distinguished Oxford man, in which he asked for the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the endowment, government, administration, and teaching of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and their constituent Colleges, in order to secure the best use of their resources for the benefit of all classes of the community. Previously to this debate, the subject of such changes had been much discussed in the press and elsewhere, and Bishop Gore's speech lent form and authority to criticisms that had already obtained a wide circulation. The deficiencies which were attributed to the existing system at Oxford will be examined in my Memorandum. Here it is sufficient to notice that the speakers in the debate generally concurred that a Commission was not at the present juncture either the sole or the most desirable instrument of change, if change


[page 10]

were required; and Lord Crewe, as the mouthpiece of the Government, said that 'it was important for them to know, before arriving at a final conclusion, what the most thoughtful and competent opinion at both Universities really demanded, and also what the latter could not do of their own motion, and for what purposes legislation would be required on the recommendation of a Commission, and also whether there did exist at the Universities anything like a dead weight of obstruction against reforms which could only be removed by Statute'.

The reasons against a Commission were indeed exceedingly weighty. The previous Commissions of 1850 and 1877 had brought about great and valuable reforms in Oxford, for which University alone, both here and in the Memorandum, do I presume to speak; but some of the institutions created by them had produced results very different from those anticipated by their authors. Of all suggested or feasible reforms no one can say in advance which will commend themselves to a small body of Commissioners, however able or impartial; or, what is still more important, to the Government that may be called upon to act on their Report, or to the Parliament that may deal with the Bill of the Government. There is always the risk that some element of politics or partisanship may intrude; while, in the last resort, the changes introduced bear the inevitable stamp of exterior compulsion, and are apt to be endowed with the rigidity of statute law. Meanwhile, for a space, to judge from previous experience, of four or five years, the activities of the University are held in abeyance, there is much distraction and dislocation of everyday work, and internal reforms, which may be both necessary and practicable, are arrested. Even more in-


[page 11]

jurious, it was felt, would such a period of suspense be to the appeal for fresh funds for the re-endowment of Oxford which had just been started, and which in the space of a year and three-quarters has already brought in the considerable sum of nearly 140,000 out of the total of 250,000 asked for. Had a Commission been announced in July, 1907, there can be little doubt that the main flow of this liberality would have been staunched at the outset. I have equal hopes that it will receive a great impetus as soon as it is publicly known that the University is engaged in the task of its own amendment. Above all, it was recognized not only that the University already enjoys sufficient powers for making the majority of the desired changes, either by its own constitution or by alterations in the statutes effected with the consent of His Majesty in Council, but that it also possesses the will. On all these grounds a Royal Commission was very generally deprecated; and what amounted to an invitation was extended to Oxford, to consider the question of its domestic readjustment to modern needs.

During the course of a visit to Oxford in the latter part of 1907 I had the opportunity of hearing the views of almost every section of opinion in the University; and I was led to think that I might as Chancellor be of some use in co-ordinating the many plans and suggestions that were in the air. The position of the Chancellor in such a matter is one of some delicacy. He may find a wide discretion in the general definition of his powers as given in the Laudian Statute (1636): Cæterum, quoad Academiam ejusque regimen Cancellarii munus est, publicum totius Universitatis regimen curare, libertates et privilegia ejus tueri, necnon concordias et compositiones quascunque super iisdem, cum consensu Universitatis, inire ac


[page 12]

stabilire. He may trace a precedent in the action of Archbishop Laud himself. In more modern times the only authoritative reference to his status with which I am acquainted is contained in the somewhat indefinite language of the Commission of 1850:

'The Chancellor rarely appears in Oxford, and seldom takes any part in academic government. Still his office is one of much dignity and influence and his advice always has weight with the ruling body of the University.'

If I may say so, my own conception of the office has been at once more and less ambitious. I have felt that the Chancellor is, in truth, not so much the foremost official, as the first servant of the University, who, in such a case, may without impertinence act as the interpreter of its sentiments and endeavour to fuse and give form to the best of its ideas. In default of an external inquiry by persons specially appointed for the purpose, some one appeared to be called for in the present case who should sift the available evidence, and present to the University in succinct form the views that were found to be entertained by large and important sections of its members, past and present. For obvious reasons he could not take the place of a Commission, since he would lack equally the scope and the authority. But he might do much of the hard work of a Commission in eliciting opinions, in accumulating evidence, and in correlating needs. It would rest with the University to make such use of the materials thus collected as it might choose, and to formulate its own plan of action. Such, and such only, is the part which I have ventured, with the knowledge and approval of the Hebdomadal Council, to undertake; and its results are contained in the appended paper.


[page 13]

There has indeed been no difficulty in obtaining the fullest measure of information and guidance. The views of many reformers have been stated with great ability and amplitude in the press; and the subject is one that has well-nigh become a forum of public debate. At Oxford, many Heads of Houses, Professors, Tutors, and others have favoured me with their advice; more than one Committee of Tutors assisted me by condensing the views of leading members of that body; and my experience as Chairman of the Re-endowment Fund has brought me into contact with a wide variety of external opinion. Thus during the past fifteen months, nearly as much evidence has been under my eyes as might have been presented to a body of Commissioners; and however imperfectly my summary may reflect the advantages which it has enjoyed, at least the task of preparing it has convinced me that there exists, both among the resident and non-resident members of Oxford University, a powerful and consentient feeling in favour of certain changes, and that the moment is singularly favourable for carrying them into execution. A greater injustice could not be done to modern Oxford than to represent it as the home of stationary forces or ideas. On the contrary, the spirit of reform is probably even more active inside the walls of the University than it is among the vast and scattered constituency of non-resident Oxford men. Our object accordingly should be to establish contact and to create harmony between the most enlightened opinion within and without; and to present such a view of the responsibilities and resources of the University as shall convince the nation at large that Oxford is as capable now as ever nay more so of fulfilling its traditional part as the focus of the best


[page 14]

educational activities, the highest civic aspirations, and the most advanced thought of the age and the race.

Incidentally the Memorandum may be of some use as containing a statement of facts in regard to the present position and opportunities of Oxford which may not be familiar to all of its critics, and an analysis of the various suggestions for reform that have been proffered in such generous profusion. Whatever view may be entertained of their intrinsic merits, there can be no doubt that these have greatly facilitated the task of inquiry; while the spirit animating them has uniformly impressed me as being that of a genuine and ardent loyalty to the University itself, and a keen desire that it should be freed from all shackles that may impede the discharge of its mission to the nation at large.

It is with a sense of sincere gratitude for the help that has been so readily given to me, and of hope that the examination to which I now respectfully invite the governing authorities of the University and the Colleges may lead to good and lasting results, that I conclude this letter, begging you to assure the members of Council that I am entirely at their disposal for whatever future consultation or action they may desire.

I am, my dear Vice -Chancellor,
    Yours very sincerely,
        CURZON OF KEDLESTON,
            Chancellor of the University.





[page 15]

MEMORANDUM ON
OXFORD REFORM

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

THE object of those who are interested in the reform of Oxford is now, as it was on the occasion of previous inquiries, to adapt the structure of University government and teaching to the altered conditions of the time. Great as was the change that had taken place in the political and economic conditions of English society in the thirty years that preceded the Commission of 1850, considerable as was that which marked the space of thirty years between the conclusion of the work of the first Commission and that of the second, both were less great than the changes which have been crowded into the thirty years since the Commission of 1877. The academic problem has assumed new shapes with the immense extension of the boundaries of human knowledge, the vastly increased demand for higher education, the wider conception of the duties of a modern University, and the emergence in the body politic of social strata that had previously lain lifeless and obscure. On the other hand, obstacles that then existed to the proper performance of its functions by Oxford University have been swept away by the successful zeal of earlier reformers, and controversies that sounded like thunder in the middle of the nineteenth century now only reverberate with the thinnest of echoes as we come upon them in the retrospect of the past. The religious problem has in the main been solved; open competition has taken the place of restriction


[page 16]

and monopoly; the Professoriate has been reinvigorated and re-endowed; University studies have received a definite organization; and Colleges have been called upon to contribute from their revenues to the smaller and frequently impoverished resources of the University. Broadly speaking, this was the joint work of the two Commissions of 1850 and 1877 (aided by the Tests Act of 1871 and the Duke of Cleveland's Commission of 1872); and it is no exaggeration to say that the result of their labours constitutes a beneficent and ineffaceable landmark in the history not only of Oxford but of English education.

That much of their work, however, was imperfect, that many of the difficulties which beset them have not yet been removed, and that readaptation is as necessary now as reconstitution was then, is manifest if we compare any statement, even the most moderate, of the existing defects and requirements of Oxford with the evidence of earlier Reports. We find the reformers of 1850 engaged in the attempt to reanimate and re-enthrone the University as against the alleged encroachments of the Collegiate system, and we recognize the same note in the utterances of the present day. We find the Commissioners of that date devoting pages of print to an examination of the conditions and a suggestion of the methods by which Oxford might reopen its gates to the poor; and such is again the cry which we hear in Parliament and in the Press. One of the principal objects of the first Commissioners was the creation of a Governing Body (in the shape of a reformed Congregation) which should represent the teaching element of the University; and such is still the aspiration of those who are dissatisfied with the present composition of that body. The second Commission created the very Boards of Faculties whose organization and work are now impugned. They definitely formulated and enforced the principle of College responsibility for a portion at any rate of the expenditure of the University, and they called into being the Common Uni-


[page 17]

versity Fund. But no finality has been reached in respect of these matters, and they are still the subject of acute, though friendly controversy. The same Commission required the auditing and publication of accounts reforms which are admittedly susceptible of further improvement and extension. They carried the principle of open competition in respect both of Fellowships and Scholarships to an extreme pitch, with the consequence that a reaction has set in, and the administration of both forms of endowment is again in dispute. They made tentative provision for the endowment of Research. But the strides made in advanced study have been so enormous in the last quarter of a century that what was thought liberal in 1882 is now generally regarded as halting and inadequate.

Thus we see that at no time can there be any pause in the task of University reform, that there is a substantial and continuing identity in many at any rate of its problems, that no one Commission is omniscient or final, but that its errors have to be repaired at the same time that its achievements are acknowledged and confirmed by its successors, and that in making further changes now the University is merely pursuing, of its own initiative, a process that has twice been commended to it by others, whose work it will thereby carry to legitimate though not always foreseen conclusions.

In two respects, however, there is a material change, and this a change for the better, in the situation. When the first Commission commenced its sittings it was confronted, particularly in matters of internal finance and administration, with a suspicious and even hostile attitude on the part of the University and College authorities. My own impression is that the hearty co-operation of both may now be confidently relied upon, whether in the supply of information or the consideration of plans a condition which will greatly facilitate the task before us. Again, much of the unpremeditated sequel to earlier changes has been due to the fact that they were embodied in statutes


[page 18]

which it was difficult to alter; whereas the powers conceded to the University and the Colleges at the time of and since the legislation of 1877-82 are sufficient to enable both of them, subject to due checks, to make large and important changes in their administration, and even in their constitution.

Thus the phenomena of a readier disposition and increased power combine to differentiate the present from any previous situation, and justify the belief that the University may be able to a large extent to remodel itself. Indeed, as we proceed, it will be seen how much it has already accomplished in this respect; so much so, that to speak of reform as though it were a novel and sharply defined operation that now required to be commenced, having hitherto been ignored or delayed, would be to inflict the grossest injustice both upon the University and the Colleges. No conclusion will emerge more clearly from this examination than that Oxford, ever since the last Commission, has been and still is engaged in reforming itself, and that the steps here suggested are but the logical continuation of a process that is in course of development from day to day. The advantage of such an inquiry, and the action that may be taken upon it, will consist not in originating any new procedure, but in concentrating energies upon definite points, in accelerating the rate of progress, and in presenting the measures of amendment upon which opinion may be found to be united, in a form that will command public attention, and merit public respect. A scheme or system of reform is at once more impressive and more efficacious than the items which compose it.

Subjects of Inquiry

The points upon which attention has been concentrated as admitting of reform relate to the Government, the Endowments, the Teaching, and the Internal Administra-


[page 19]

tion of the University. These headings, however, contain so many subdivisions, sometimes overlapping each other, that a more precise classification seems to be required. I shall therefore arrange the subjects for examination in the following sequence, and shall endeavour in each case to state the grounds of complaint or criticism, the present position of affairs, the suggestions that have been made for change, and the conclusions to which our inquiry appears to lead.

I. The Constitution of the University, as consisting of Council, Congregation, and Convocation.

II. The admission of poor men, both of the professional and working classes, which will open up the allied questions of the Collegiate and Non-Collegiate systems, the University Extension movement, and that for Workingmen's Colleges, the cost of living, and the incidence of Fees and Dues.

III. The administration of Endowments - Scholarships, Exhibitions, and Fellowships.

IV. The requirement of Greek in Responsions, and the question of a University Entrance Examination, and other examinations.

V. The relations of the University and the Colleges (a) in their educational, and (b) in their financial aspect. The former branch of the subject includes the difficult questions of the Boards of Faculties and the better organization of University teaching. The second branch will lead us to discuss the principle and practice of College contributions to the funds of the University, and the desirability of a further extension.

VI. The Financial administration (a) of the University, and (b) of the Colleges.


[page 20]

VII. The executive machinery of University administration.

VIII. Facilities for advanced study and Research.

IX. Independent subjects that do not fall directly under any of the foregoing heads.

The above categories are not arranged in any assumed order of importance. No two persons would probably agree on such a matter; and the order of inquiry had better be determined by convenience rather than by any arbitrary test.


[page 21]

CHAPTER II

CONSTITUTION OF THE UNIVERSITY

THE constitutional question is placed first not because it is intrinsically the most urgent, but because it is commonly and rightly regarded as the condition of many other reforms. Where the existing form of government opposes a barrier to the consideration or execution of these, it is at least possible that a change may produce different results. Not that any constitutional change is or ought to be advocated on these grounds alone. The object of such change, if decided upon, should be to make the government of the University on the one hand more representative than it may already be of all the various classes, interests, factors, and studies that compose the academic whole, on the other hand, the most effective available instrument for shaping its policy and carrying out its aspirations. Further, the subject of constitutional reform is one upon certain aspects of which there appears to be a widespread agreement.

I need not, to an academic audience, describe with any minuteness the existing Constitution of the University or narrate its history. It is not in all probability such a scheme as would have emanated at any one moment from the brain of any one man or body of men - a defect, however, which it shares with other and even more renowned institutions. I have even seen it described by a hostile witness as the worst form of government ever devised by the wit of man. It is the result of a long historical development, in which successive reformers have endeavoured to shape to the needs of their time institutions that originated and grew up under widely remote conditions, and in the


[page 22]

progress of which chance appears to have played an even larger part than design. But in its threefold division into Council, Congregation, and Convocation, it represents a distinction which, though overlaid by fortuitous accretions, has for centuries been regarded as vital in the University, and which not even the most daring of innovators would probably wish to destroy. Our desire will rather be to retain these ancient and famous institutions, and to mould them into a shape that will better fit them for the needs of the present day, following therein the example set to us by the pioneer Commission of 1850.

The Hebdomadal Council

The Council, as reconstructed by Lord John Russell's Act of 1854, consists of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, the ex-Vice-Chancellor for a certain period after the expiration of his term of office, the two Proctors, and eighteen members elected by Congregation for six years, in three orders of six each, i. e. six Heads of Houses or Halls, six Professors, and six Members of Convocation of five years' standing. Of these eighteen half retire (but are re-eligible) at the end of three years. There is a form of minority voting, each voter giving for three vacancies only two votes. In its composition this body betrays obvious traces of its origin. The places set apart for Heads of Houses typify its succession to the old Hebdomadal Board composed entirely of Heads of Houses (plus the Proctors) as it existed from 1631 to 1854; the places reserved for Professors indicate the avowed desire of the Commission of 1850 to restore and fortify the Professoriate as representing the University side of academic teaching and administration. The elections are conducted more or less on party lines; i. e. the opposite political parties as a rule run candidates for the vacant posts. But too much can, I think, easily be made of this apparent solecism; since, so long as party distinc-


[page 23]

tions continue to divide men, in a University as elsewhere, it is certain that some form of party selection and election will take place, and the Hebdomadal Council of Oxford shares this infirmity of the human mind (which not even statutory interference would avail to eradicate) with other and equally august institutions.

The object of such a body as this - intended to be the supreme executive and administrative organ of the University, the author of its policy, and the sole (or almost the sole) originator of its legislation - will not be in dispute. If a political analogy be permitted, it should be, like the Cabinet in our political Constitution, a body of the ablest and most influential men, representing the various departments of University administration, both studies and business just as the Cabinet of the day is chosen by the Prime Minister (though in a sense indirectly nominated by his following) to represent both the various sections and the best talents of the party that is in power. Does the Cabinet of Oxford University answer to this description?

I say nothing here of the system under which it works, or of its capacity and methods as a business organization. They will be more appropriately discussed under the Internal Administration of the University. I confine myself for the moment to its composition. The complaints that are made in this respect are the following:

In the first place it is urged that the Heads of Houses are over-represented, since, in addition to the obligatory group of six, they possess the Vice-Chancellor, the ex-Vice-Chancellor (for a time), and sometimes a Head, who has been elected, not as a Head, but as a Professor or as a member of Convocation. The last-named privilege, conceded by the University Act of 1854, and also enjoyed by the Professors (i. e. a Professor may be elected not merely in the Professorial group, but also as a member of Convocation), is not strictly consistent with the purpose of the groups, and ought, in all probability, even if no other change were made, to be withdrawn.


[page 24]

Secondly, it is contended that Heads of Houses ought to be chosen, not because they are Heads, but because of their personal qualifications; and that their academic eminence as well as the greater leisure which they enjoy will always ensure their representation in adequate numbers in the University Cabinet. There seems to be force in this contention; and although it may be true that under the present system Council is sometimes fortunate enough to obtain the services of a Head (or a Professor - for the same argument applies to the Professoriate) who would not otherwise have consented to stand, it is probably also true that Heads (and Professors) have sometimes been elected who would not have been chosen but for their special qualification, or who have retained their seats because there was no one else in the same category available or willing to stand.

Thirdly, the complaint is made that Council does not sufficiently represent the teaching of the University, and that important studies are at times entirely unrepresented in its ranks. Such has been the case, for instance, in recent years with Modern History. From this some have proceeded so far as to urge that there should be direct representatives on Council of the various Faculties, or at least of the more important Faculties, and, for similar reasons, of University Institutions. In practice, however, it would probably be found very difficult to equate the Faculties, since unless the number of Council were raised, all could not hope for direct representation; while Council, as the Cabinet of the University, has a great deal of business to discharge, only a portion of which concerns any one Faculty or Institution. Moreover, if the categories are to be abolished, it would appear to be undesirable, if not unwise, while destroying one set of limitations, to set up another in their place, which in the future might prove to be equally inelastic or unsatisfactory. It would seem to be better, if a question affecting a particular Board of Faculties or Institution is coming before Council, that the Board or the Institution should be invited to depute a


[page 25]

representative or representatives to confer with Council or a Committee of Council on the subject.

On the above grounds I have found a very general consensus of opinion that it would be desirable to abolish the existing orders in Council; though individuals of influence have argued to me in favour of retaining this or that category in its present form, and some authorities are, I believe, in favour of grouping Professors and officials in one order, and throwing the remaining order (of two) open to election by Congregation. It is not clear that this would make much difference in the present situation. If, on the other hand, only one order were to disappear, it would seem to be both invidious and unnecessary to retain the remainder. On the whole the solution of which a member of Council gave notice last year, and which I understand is only temporarily postponed, would seem to be the best, viz. that the class system should be abolished altogether, and that the entire eighteen places should be thrown open to M.A.s of five years' standing. There would still doubtless be party Candidates and party Elections. But the former would be chosen because they were the best men for the purpose; and although the University might not obtain a more eminent Governing Body than that which it has hitherto enjoyed, Council would probably become a more representative body (in which Heads of Colleges and Professors would still possess a full and proportionate voice), and would therefore inspire even more general confidence. The term of office should perhaps be for three years. It is in the power of the University to effect the above alteration with the consent of the Privy Council.

I have not here discussed the wider question which has been raised in some quarters of the conversion of Council into a much larger body, working in the main through Committees and subCommittees, and conducting its proceedings, less by informal conversation than by public debate. It has been suggested that the present Council is


[page 26]

already too large to constitute an effective Cabinet. But if we revert to the political analogy, we shall find that its strength is barely in excess of that of political Cabinets in recent years; while the heavy burden of work devolving upon it necessitates numbers sufficient to constitute the various Committees without which it would break down. There is the further risk, in the case of any larger body, of the gradual growth of an Inner Cabinet, absorbing the most important powers and functions of the whole, and only partially taking the latter into its confidence. I have assumed, therefore, that if a change be contemplated, the numerical strength of Council will remain as at present. Neither have I discussed the suggestion sometimes put forward of giving publicity to the discussions of Council. Cabinets - if the political analogy be again permitted - are universally and rightly treated as confidential bodies; there is no lack of publicity at Oxford in the next ensuing stage of debates in Congregation: and so long as Council has not the power to burke or closure the due ventilation of subjects upon which a large body of academic opinion may be agreed, there would seem to be no advantage in converting its procedure from the dignified privacy of a Board of Directors into the more turbid atmosphere of a Municipal Council.

Assuming, however, that Council is reconstituted on some such lines as those which have been sketched, the question then arises whether, even if it be rendered more representative in character, it will have become a more effective instrument for carrying out the policy and the will of the University. At a later stage of this Memorandum an examination will be attempted of the system by which the University conducts its administration, in respect both of policy and of finance. We shall inquire into the constitution and working of the University Chest, which acts to some extent as a Treasury, and of the Delegacy of the Common University Fund, which is a great receiving and spending department, possessing almost independent powers. There are also three other


[page 27]

great Delegacies, that of Local Examinations, that for the Examination and Inspection of Schools, and the University Extension Delegacy, which cover the entire field of the relations of the University to outside teaching. The only obligatory link between these bodies and Council is the Vice-Chancellor - though of course it may be and commonly is the case that other members of Council sit upon the various Delegacies or Boards - and he only knows their business if he actually attends their meetings. One of the first acts of a reformed Council, or indeed even of an unaltered Council, would appear to be the construction of some plan by which the various strands of University business can be drawn more closely together, and the Cabinet of the University can be enabled to exercise more direct and efficient control.

Congregation

I pass to Congregation which, as at present constituted, consists of a number of ex officio members (such as high University Officials, Heads of Houses or Institutions, Professors, and Examiners) and a much larger number of members qualified by residence for twenty weeks of the year within one and a half miles of Carfax the total being somewhat over 500 persons. A more striking illustration could hardly be given of the fortuitous character of the constitutional development of Oxford University than is afforded by the recent history of this body.

Once a guild, composed of all the Masters and Teachers of the University, the Commission of 1850 found that the Congregation of that day had greatly sunk in importance and powers (the majority of these having been usurped by Convocation), that it had lost all rights of legislation, and was leading a shorn and perfunctory existence. One of the main objects of the Commissioners was the resuscitation of this body and the restoration of governing powers to


[page 28]

the teaching element in Oxford. In view of what has since occurred their words are of no small significance:

Our purpose is to bring together a body not unmanageably large, and composed of such men as from their high position, their literary character, and their close connexion with the University, might be expected to supply a Council of wise and liberal temper, alive to academical interests, and not likely to degenerate into a mere popular assembly. It seemed to us that such a body might be found in the House of Congregation, once important, but now a shadow. This House consisted originally of the actual Teachers of the University. We propose to restore this state of things, with some modifications, and to remodel the House according to what we believe to have been its spirit and purpose in ancient times.
Accordingly they proposed a House of somewhat over 100 members, to be composed of the Heads of Houses, the Proctors, the Professors and Public Lecturers, and the Senior Tutor of each College.(1)

But the result was in almost pathetic contrast to these intentions, and is the most eloquent extant illustration of the vicissitudes that may result from Parliamentary action.

In the first place Lord John Russell's Government in 1854, in creating the new Congregation, forgot at the same time to disestablish the old; and accordingly there still exists by the side of the present House another body known as 'The Ancient House of Congregation', consisting of Heads of Houses, Doctors and Masters of two years' standing, resident Doctors, Professors, and Examiners. The functions of this body are limited to the mere formality of the granting of ordinary degrees and the confirmation of the appointment of Examiners; and it only calls for mention here as an accidental survival of the past which has slipped like a fossil from some earlier age into a later geological formation. I have not heard that even the most ardent of reformers would wish to disestablish this venerable and innocent archaism.

(1) In the Congregation then existing there were no College Tutors at all.


[page 29]

But the next unforeseen development was more serious, and in its consequences has been absolutely subversive of the designs of the Commissioners of 1850. In the passage of the Bill through the House of Commons an amendment was carried admitting to the new Congregation all Masters of Arts domiciled within what were then the approximate residential boundaries of Oxford. The object was partly to make Congregation an epitome of Convocation, which it is by no means essential or even expedient that it should be, partly to include the large number of private tutors or coaches, who were at that date a very important and valuable factor in the tuition of the University, and had much of the Honours teaching in their hands.

But how little were the actual consequences foreseen. Oxford was then a small provincial town clustered round the towers and quadrangles of the University, and its academic population was almost wholly celibate in character. Since then an enormous change has occurred. Not only are Professors and Tutors to a large extent married men, living where they can find suitable residences in the suburbs of the town, but those suburbs, with the growth of the city, have spread out far and wide in every direction. Meanwhile the central position, the excellent railway connexions, the educational advantages (not of the University alone), and the perennial beauty of Oxford have attracted thither a large non-academic population, drawn from different classes and professions - the male members of which, including retired civil servants and clergy, military officers, doctors, solicitors, &c. - if they already possess or can take a M.A. degree, and happen to reside within the one and a half miles limit, become members of Congregation and have a direct voice in the legislation and internal government of the University.

Thus we are confronted with these unintended results. In place of a body of over 100 members, which by the natural growth of the University would now probably have risen to something over 300, we have a chamber of more


[page 30]

than 500 members. For a teaching qualification has been substituted a residential or geographical qualification, i.e. votes are enjoyed by M.A.s not because they bear a part in University teaching or administration, but because they reside within a given area; and so arbitrary is this test that while a College tutor living outside the radius can possess no qualification at all, a colonel or a tradesman residing inside it will be a member of the de facto legislative assembly of the University. It cannot be denied that theoretically at any rate a body so composed differs fundamentally from the conception of its founders.

In practice of course only an insignificant fraction of the 500 appear or vote upon ordinary occasions: while even important votes rarely attract a House of more than 250 members. The argument, however, that functions are defensible or are deserving of retention because they are rarely employed is one that has a somewhat two-edged application. It is probably more pertinent to remark that occasions are well known in which the residential qualification has led to decisions which a more strictly educational franchise might have reversed: and that both attendance and voting are apt to be capricious in their nature.

If the Commissioners of 1850 were right in their view of the place that a reformed Congregation ought to fill in the government of the University, then assuredly the present constitution of that body is open to attack. It is not, and as long as the residential qualification remains unchanged it cannot become, a Senatus Academicus or representative assemblage of the teachers of the University. Such apparently is the view of those members of Congregation, 130 in number, who, under a recently passed Standing Order of Council, have petitioned that Council should submit to Congregation a Resolution restricting the membership of that body to those who hold or have held University or College appointments, or are directly concerned with the studies, teaching, or administration of the


[page 31]

University.(1) This change, if carried into effect, would be doing now what the Commissioners desired, what Lord John Russell desired, and what Mr. Gladstone desired, to do more than fifty years ago. But, as a logical corollary, it should carry with it the extension of the one and a half miles limit: otherwise the removal of the larger anomaly would still leave the smaller unredressed; and we should have teachers residing inside the zone possessing the vote and teachers residing outside it disfranchised.

I have so far stated the case only of those who favour the above-named change, and of whom I am one. But there will be others who deprecate any change at all, and whose views are deserving of serious attention. It is argued by these that a more restricted Council will be a less broad-minded Council, that an assemblage confined to University dons will be disposed to regard University matters from too exclusively academic a standpoint, and that the non-academic fringe admitted by the existing qualification brings in a current of fresh air from the outer world. By the most conservative spirits it is even defended as a useful drag upon hasty legislation. More weight would, it appears to me, attach to these arguments if the views of the outside world upon the administration of Oxford (which are perhaps hardly in any case to be found within one and a half miles of Carfax) did not already find an adequate outlet in the existence and powers of Convocation. I will not here anticipate what may have to be said upon that head. But a constitution, the three elements in which should represent respectively (a) the best intellects and most representative personages of the University, in Council, (b) the resident teaching element, in Congregation, and (c) the great outside body of M.A.s, in Convocation, would appear to give proportionate play to each of those great interests, and to be both a fairer and a better balanced organization than that which at present

(1) This Resolution was brought before Congregation on January 26, 1909, and was rejected by 165 votes to 133.


[page 32]

exists. It is not unreasonable that the experts should have the first word in academic legislation even if the last be left to a wider constituency.

I do not know exactly how far the new qualification suggested by the petitioners would carry us or where it would stop. The claims of private coaches are not perhaps now so potent a consideration as they were formerly, owing to the degree in which the need for those once indispensable auxiliaries has been superseded by modern improvements in tutorial teaching. Another class whom it might be a pity to exclude are M.A.s resident in Oxford for purposes of advanced study or Research.

It has occurred to me that if for any reason the line proposed to be drawn should be thought too exclusive, it might be possible to remove such apprehensions by giving to a reduced Congregation the power to co-opt a certain number of additional members from among resident M.A.s; or power might be given to those resident M. A.'s, who would lose their existing rights, to elect a certain number from their own body to represent them in Congregation. These, however, are merely tentative suggestions.

I have heard the further arguments that a reduced Congregation would be a body in which the larger Colleges, from their superior numbers and organization, would gain at the expense of the smaller, and in which the Colleges as a whole would gain at the expense of the University, the latter being better able as a rule to count upon the votes of the fringe. These are aspects of the case of which the University itself will be the best judge.

Two other questions a reformed Congregation would probably wish to examine on its own account. The first is the exact nature of the powers as regards the initiation, amendment, and enactment of legislation conceded to it. As regards initiation, although more than fifty years ago the first Commission proposed that Congregation should


[page 33]

have the power of originating measures,(1) no step has been taken in that direction until last year, when the Standing Order, already referred to, was passed by Council, providing that a petition presented by 100 members of Congregation, after being referred to the Boards of Faculties or Professors concerned, shall be submitted as a Statute or Resolution to Congregation unless the Board concerned is against it. If the report of the Professors or Boards is adverse, Council may still proceed. The right of amendment, so long fought for by Congregation, has been enjoyed by it since 1870. But the powers of Congregation in both respects are necessarily circumscribed, and will probably require to be in the future enlarged. The second question is the nature and definition of the subjects which, under the existing law or practice, are referred to Congregation. A perusal of its proceedings has inclined me to think that a great many petty matters are brought before that body which might well be settled by some less cumbrous form of machinery. On the other hand, many matters are referred to and require the assent of Convocation which could perfectly well be disposed of by Congregation.

Convocation

In approaching the subject of Convocation we are entering a region of greater difficulty and more divergent opinion; Convocation, alike by its constitution and the exercise of its powers, having afforded a battleground of enduring controversy, as strenuously defended by one school as attacked by another. The factors with which we are dealing are as follows. The present number of Convocation (which in 1852 was 3,300, and in 1868, 4,000) is over 6,700: and it consists of all M.A.s and Doctors of Oxford, whether resident or non-resident, who have

(1) Report, p. 256.


[page 34]

kept their names on the books both of the University and of any College or Hall.

Its functions are the following. It elects the Chancellor of the University. It elects the University representatives in Parliament. It confers Honorary and Diploma Degrees. It sanctions petitions to Parliament. It transacts much of the ordinary business of the University by means of Decrees. Above all it has the final voice in all University legislation, confirming or rejecting (without the right to amend) the Statutes passed by Congregation. Other powers formerly enjoyed by it - principally the election to Professorships - have been taken away by successive Commissions; but its surviving prerogatives, both of election and rejection, render it, at important and dramatic moments, a constituency or tribunal (for it can hardly be called an assemblage) of imposing authority.

In theory the constitution of this body, which is supposed to be coextensive with the graduates of the University, is unimpeachable and democratic. But the practice differs widely from the theory. For in the first place it represents not all graduates, but only such graduates (B.A.s) as have thought it worth while or have possessed the means to pay 12 to the University to obtain the M.A. degree, in addition to such fee as their College may require for the same step, and who further have either compounded or have continued to pay to the University and the College such additional annual fee as either may exact. Out of the total number of B.A.s it is calculated that only one-third proceed to the M.A. degree and become members of Convocation. In other words the franchise is not primarily educational but pecuniary: and the Pass-man who can afford the cost becomes a member of the governing body of the University, while the Honours man who cannot afford it does not. And secondly it is a matter of common knowledge that while it contains representatives of many and diverse classes, the two classes who are most strongly represented in the ranks of Convocation are the members


[page 35]

of the clerical and scholastic professions who find it of value to retain their connexion with the University. However this may be, it is indisputable that Convocation contains only a minority of those who have proceeded to a University degree, and that in its representative aspect it is sectional rather than catholic.

For obvious reasons so scattered a constituency is apt to be singularly modest in the exercise of its powers. Though a week never passes without the consent of Convocation being required and given to some University measure, the main body is not, of course, summoned for the purpose; and it is only on rare occasions, when large or controversial issues have been raised, that the party organizations are set in motion and that voters in any number assemble in Oxford, though even then the maximum vote constitutes only a relatively small fraction of the total number on the register. Nevertheless such vote, be it large or small, is final; and legislation upon which Council and Congregation may be united is lost unless it can obtain this ultimate sanction.

There are those who find in the rareness with which these powers are exercised arguments both for and against their continuance. To some it appears an intolerable thing that academic opinion should, especially on academic matters, be liable to be completely overridden by a largely non-academic body. Others protest against the final decision being committed not to a body representing the entire graduate community of Oxford men, but only to an arbitrary section of that community. A third party welcome the existence of an outside, even if somewhat^ haphazard tribunal, and lay stress on the fact that only three times during the last half century has its interposition been of a drastic or conspicuous nature. According as these views are held with greater or less intensity, so is the attitude of men determined when they approach the question of change. The conclusion to which I am led by an anxious study of the matter is that of the so-called


[page 36]

reformers every one without exception is in favour of some amendment; that a number of persons not deeply interested in most of the subjects of internal academic reform yet feel keenly and even passionately upon this, a few having gone so far as to refuse me any help to the Oxford Re-endowment Fund so long as Convocation remains unreformed; and that of those who advocate the status quo the majority do so less from any belief that we have an ideal constitution than from a consciousness of the difficulties of the task of reform, and a knowledge that the assistance of Parliament may in all probability be required to solve them.

Assuming that some improvement is possible and desirable, the schools of thought into which I have found intelligent opinion divided may be thus classified. First are those - and they have remained a powerful body since the lead was given to them by the late Professor Jowett - who would leave to Convocation the picturesque prerogatives of electing the Chancellor and Burgesses of the University, and the pleasurable participation in College feasts that follows the retention of a name on the books; but who would deny to Convocation any power of interference in 'the internal government of the University', or in 'educational matters'. I am not aware that any attempt has been made to define with precision what these phrases imply; but it is probable that their authors intended to include as much inside, and to leave as little outside, them as possible. Convocation would in that case be shorn of its veto in University legislation. It is not clear whether its surviving privileges would be sufficient to induce men to accept the pecuniary sacrifice of qualifying for it; or whether this initial curtailment might not before long be treated as an argument for their complete extinction.

The holders of these views would appear, however, to ignore certain considerations to which great value is attached in many quarters. Is it desirable that in all


[page 37]

matters affecting its own teaching and administration the University should be all-powerful within itself, and that except for the rare and fitful interference of Parliament, its resident members should decide its own destinies? If Congregation be remodelled on the lines before indicated, and if Convocation be virtually disestablished, would not this be setting up the revised Congregation, admirable for the preliminary discussion of all academic matters, as both the first Court of Inquiry and the final Court of Appeal? Would it not be handing over the University to an oligarchy of resident teachers, to some extent detached from the outside world and independent of its criticism? There are surely many questions in which the judgment of an external court (if only we can be assured of its independent and authoritative character) will be of much value. Further, is it not of supreme importance to maintain the connexion of Oxford with its old members, and, through them, with the nation at large? The nation is beginning to take a keen and absorbing interest in the problems of higher education: it regards with a jealous eye the administration of all educational endowments: it scrutinizes while it respects the older Universities. At such a moment might it not be ill-advised to contemplate the severance of any link that can unite Oxford with the country, and enlist in the interest or defence of the University many thousands of its own sons 1 For reasons such as these it appears to me that any attempt to sweep away Convocation as the final Court in University matters would be doomed to probable failure.

Second is the school of opinion which would propose to reform Convocation in the direction of rendering it more intellectual. Proposals are now before Congregation for confining the degree of M.A. to those who have either taken an Honour School or something more than the mere Pass course. This is to some extent the revival of a suggestion that was made by the Commissioners of 1850, who after discussing and rejecting (upon the evidence of


[page 38]

Archbishop Whately) the proposal to make the higher degrees in Arts, Theology, and Law tests of merit at the time of their being conferred, went on to say:

We are of opinion, however, that the degree of M.A. might be freed from some of the anomalies before mentioned, if it were reserved for those who had either passed the Final Examination in two at least of the above-named Schools, or who had obtained the highest Honours in one.
Moreover, it would be a reversion to the original theory on which Convocation was based, viz. that the M.A. degree which gave entry to Convocation, and a share in the government of the University, was a certificate of proficiency as a teacher.

There is much to attract in the proposal to invest the M.A. degree with a positive educational value. Nevertheless it is open to consideration whether - apart from the great length of time that must necessarily elapse before the new standard of the Oxford M.A. degree could become one of general application, apart from the difficulty of establishing such a standard at Oxford unless it were also accepted at Cambridge, and apart from the obstacle created by the vested interests of the existing M.A.s and members of Convocation - the suggested restriction of the M.A. might not have independent consequences, scarcely to be viewed without apprehension. At the present time there is nothing but a pecuniary distinction between the B.A. and the M.A.; i.e. the B.A. of a certain standing by signing a cheque can convert himself into a M.A.; and there is nothing to point to a lower educational standard in the case of the lower degree.(1) But if the M.A. is in future to be an Honours

(1) I have not here discussed the question whether there is an advantage in retaining the two degrees, i.e. the B.A. and the M.A. Some authorities, I believe, are in favour of amalgamating them. The reasons for the existence of the two degrees, and for the interval of time by which they are separated, are partly historical, partly disciplinary, and partly financial. The financial aspect of the case raises the question of University and College degree fees, which will be examined later on.


[page 39]

man, or a Diploma-man, or a Prizeman only, will not the B.A. degree then become the inalienable badge of the Passman? and if it be replied that this is the object in view, may we not inquire whether it will be wise thus to depreciate the lower degree and to deter the average Oxford man from taking it? Further, if a man can only become a M.A. and a member of Convocation by taking Honours, or a Prize, or a Diploma, may there not be a temptation, in the event of Convocation greatly falling in numbers (with a consequent loss to the revenues of the University), to lower the standard of the Honour Schools? Again, there are many who will contend that the distinction between the two degrees, if created, will be both arbitrary and artificial, since there is no fundamental difference, in quality or merit, between the low-class Honours man and the better Pass-man. These are considerations which will, I am confident, be present in the mind of Congregation when they discuss the matter.(1)

Suggestions have been made in some quarters for confining the degree of M.A. and the consequent membership of Convocation to those who have had experience in teaching or in Research work. But this would surely be regarded as an unduly narrow and almost pedantic restriction, and would defeat its own object.

Third comes the view of those who instead of reducing Convocation would expand it, and instead of reconstituting it on the basis of an oligarchy of learning, would endeavour, by a reduction of the present fees to a relatively nominal amount, to make it truly representative of all those who have passed through an Oxford course and taken an Oxford degree. This would be a genuinely democratic proposal and, if it could be carried out, would broad-base the government of the University upon the affection and support of a wider constituency than that provided by any other scheme. But

(1) The proposal was debated in Congregation on March 2, 1909, and was rejected by 136 votes to 108.


[page 40]

there are practical difficulties which cannot be ignored. If the project appealed to the great majority of Oxford men, it might justify itself even on financial grounds. But if it failed, the pecuniary sacrifice might be very great, and the compensation small. Again, if the numbers of Convocation were raised thereby from 6,700 to 10,000 or 12,000, where in Oxford would be found the meeting-ground for such a host? And if they did not attend, would not the vote be subject to the same reproach of capriciousness as now? A minor difficulty with so scattered and heterogeneous a constituency would be this. When and in whose interests would the dates of discussion and voting be fixed? Saturday is the only possible day for a large number of laymen. But it is an impossible day for the clergy. There would be grave objections to voting by proxy. In fact, the University might find itself confronted with all the drawbacks associated with intermittent control by a body of absentees.

Fourth is the scheme of action which, leaving the existing composition of Convocation untouched, or but slightly changed, would settle the question of its powers, upon an analogy not uncommon in the political world, by some form of the suspensory veto. It might for instance be enacted that if a statute were passed by Congregation by a certain majority in two successive years, it should become law unless it were thrown out by Convocation by an equivalent or some other majority. Or it might be laid down that if a measure passed Congregation by a certain majority, it could only be rejected by a certain majority of those voting in Convocation. Many variations of this form of limited prerogative will suggest themselves. These ideas of reform seem to follow the line of least resistance: and, in proportion as Convocation rarely exercises its existing powers, so might its members consent voluntarily to a diminution of them that would scarcely be felt in practice, while it would remove many of the objections now raised by unfriendly critics.


[page 41]

Such are the views which I have found to be entertained in different quarters about reforms in Convocation, and which I have endeavoured to present in as judicial a spirit as I can command. The subject is one which deserves a more exhaustive treatment than I have been able to bestow upon it: and I doubt not that Council will be ready to consider, not one scheme only, but any plans that may be supported by a sufficient weight of knowledge and authority for dealing with a problem that cannot be indefinitely postponed.





[page 42]

CHAPTER III

THE ADMISSION OF POOR MEN

CONSTITUTIONAL questions, however, are of greater moment to the inner world of Oxford, which realizes their importance, than they can be to the outside public, which is less concerned with machinery than with results. Of all the criticisms passed upon modern Oxford, none can compare in the earnestness, amounting often to vehemence, with which it is urged, or in the interest which it excites, than the complaint that neither the education, the endowments, nor the social advantages of the University are sufficiently open to the man of humble means. This charge is often couched in somewhat rhetorical language. We are told that Oxford is a place where the standard of living is high, and that of learning low; that it is the resort of idlers and loafers; that its endowments, intended for the poor, are wasted upon those who do not require them; that it is out of touch with the main system of national education, of which it ought to be the apex and crown; and that it is, in fact, the University of the leisured classes instead of the nation. Even Bishop Gore did not shrink from describing it in the House of Lords as 'a playground for the sons of the wealthier classes', and as 'not in any serious sense a place of study at all'. I have quoted the above phrases all of which are taken from recent speeches or writings on the subject, because they condense in picturesque form impressions which are widely and, no doubt, honestly held on the subject, and because neither shall we convince our critics unless we close with their charges, nor shall we be


[page 43]

able to amend ourselves unless we know of what it is that we are accused.

It is an illustration both of the vitality and the complexity of the problem that precisely the same complaints were before the Commissioners of 1850, and that many pages of their Report, and no small number of their recommendations, were devoted to its solution. The fact that the charge still survives is no proof that their diagnosis was wrong or that their remedies have failed. On the contrary, it will be easy to show that in many directions conspicuous progress has been made in opening the resources of Oxford to the classes referred to; while any one familiar with recent history will know that there is at the present time a preponderance of opinion in the University in favour of such further advance as may be required. A comparison of the present situation with that of 1850 will be useful rather as indicating how the problem has itself changed, in consequence of the immense political and intellectual upheaval that has marked the last half-century, and perhaps also as reminding us that we are dealing with social and economic conditions that will not invariably or mutely yield to paper reforms.

The Commissioners of 1850 deliberately declined to cater for the poor as such. The poor man for whom they sought to provide must satisfy two conditions before he could profit by their sympathy. He must 'have received the previous training indispensable for an academic career'; and his education must be such as would qualify him for the service of 'the State or the Church'. In other words, they contemplated enabling the poor man, who had the requisite ability, to become a clergyman or to fill any public or professional office; but they were more concerned in helping real ability than they were in compensating real poverty. The remedial measures proposed by them notably the argument for open Scholarships bore the impress of this idea. Indeed, in abolishing the limitation imposed upon many Scholarships in respect of particular


[page 44]

schools or localities or of founder's kin, they indirectly legislated against the poorer classes, preferring the advantage of a higher standard of scholastic attainment to the mitigation of poverty as such. Now that Oxford has ceased to be a training ground mainly for the Anglican Church, and that social classes are knocking at the door who were then content to remain outside, the question of the admission of the poor has assumed a very different aspect. The other remedial measures discussed or proposed by the Commissioners of 1850 either failed of their object or were not attended with the desired results, in some cases because academic opinion was half-hearted or divided upon them, in others because no action was taken on those sections of the Report. Thus the Commission advised dependent against the experiment of Affiliated Halls conducted on cheaper terms (a scheme which again finds favour with some modern reformers), partly because of the cost of building, but mainly because they dreaded the revival of social distinctions in the University based on wealth and poverty. They were also distrustful of the plan of Independent Halls, though willing that the experiment should be tried. They thought that life in lodgings connected with the Colleges, as widely practised at Cambridge, was worthy of trial but would not materially reduce the cost of living. They recommended, however, that students should be allowed to become members of the University without becoming members of a College or Hall, but living in private houses under the superintendence either of Colleges or of responsible individuals - at a cost which they estimated at 200 for a four years' course - a suggestion which was the direct parent of the Non-Collegiate system, though it did not take practical shape till many years later, in 1868. Thus the action of the Commission of 1850, while useful to us in indicating the permanent difficulties of the question, leaves us with the general impression that it has now to be examined afresh, in the light of more modern experience.


[page 45]

For a time after the events of 1850-54 the subject would appear to have languished. Mark Pattison frankly criticized the system of open Scholarships on the ground that they had become mere educational prizes and did not provide for the poor man; but he was averse from creating a class of poor men holding special Exhibitions with a poverty qualification. His solution was the Non-Collegiate, or, as he called it, the 'lodging-out' system; but he attached more importance to raising the character and reputation of the teachers - as a means of widening the circle to which Oxford should appeal - than to any expedients for recruiting a larger number of students. When Jowett wrote his Memorandum in 1874, the problem of the poor was identified by him with the problem of University Extension - as the phrase afterwards came to be employed - i.e. with the foundation of colleges and lectureships in the large towns. The Commission of 1877-82 - apart from the organization created for Non-Collegiate students - did not deal with the matter directly at all.

In more recent times the discussion of the question has suffered from the defect that little or no attempt has been made to distinguish between the various classes to whom the term 'poor' has been generically applied. All sections of the community below the richer middle classes - all sections, in fact, who require some assistance to enable their sons to partake of an Oxford education - have been lumped together under a single designation; and the failure of many of the plans proposed has been due to the fact that measures suitable to one section have been wholly unsuited to another. Further, the economic changes in modern society necessitate a more scientific distinction; for the middle and professional classes who could legitimately be called poor half a century ago are now much wealthier, and adopt a higher standard of living; while the classes who may now fairly be described as poor did not at that time aspire to a University course.

Before, however, we proceed to analyse the needs of


[page 46]

the present day, there are certain anterior propositions for which I should like to claim acceptance, and the well neglect of which appears to me to have been a source of very common error. The first is this. In opening the University to the poor, we do not wish to close it to the rich. In providing assistance to the man who cannot come without it, we must equally consider the man who requires no such aid. Indeed, in a sense he is indispensable to the former, for without his pecuniary contribution to the University there would not be that surplus, without which the University and Colleges in combination could not pay their way. Oxford is not now, and never has been, a purely eleemosynary institution. It exists not merely for the purpose of helping the poor to make their way in the world, but for giving that broad and liberal education, which has always been associated with its name, to rich and poor alike. It is from the free and happy mingling of both classes in a society than which there is none in the world more exempt from aristocratic temper or prejudice, that the glory and the benefit of Oxford spring. Without the amenities with which the wealth of earlier benefactors has endowed it, and which some portion of its existing means are required to maintain, without the refinement that springs from the enjoyment of those resources, and without the good fellowship and mutual respect that are born of contact between men of different stations and upbringing, not merely in the lecture room or examination hall, but in the quadrangle, the college garden, the debating society, the playing field, and on the river, Oxford could never have fulfilled its mission and could not now fulfil it to the nation. If by some ukase [decree] the doors of the University were to be closed tomorrow to the prosperous and well-to-do, and were to be opened only to those of humble means, two results would inevitably ensue. Firstly, the intellectual standard would be lowered; and secondly, the University would in truth become the University not of the nation but of a section of it, and


[page 47]

the first to discover and to lament this fact would be the poorer classes themselves.

Further, in educating the so-called upper classes, may we not claim that Oxford is fulfilling a duty every whit as national and as imperial as in stretching her resources to the uttermost for the assistance of the poor? Much denunciation has been heaped, ever since Mark Pattison's day, upon the wealthy pass-man, who is supposed to devote to sport all the time that he can spare from the neglect of learning. In so far as he is convicted of idleness let him be taken in hand and reformed. There will be more to be said upon that head later on. But in so far as he represents a particular stratum in the national life it is important that he too should not be denied the advantages of a University course. It is as desirable that Oxford should educate the future country squire, or nobleman, or banker, or member of Parliament, or even the guardsman, as it is that it should sharpen the wits of the schoolmaster or the cultivated artisan. Without endorsing the popular cant about the 'governing classes', we know that the former type may be, and often is, called upon to take a prominent part in public life, and he is immeasurably better fitted to do so by the experience that he has under- gone and the equipment that he has received at Oxford or at Cambridge. Such men do not impede the real work of the University, they do not prevent a single scholar or a single poor man from matriculating; they are better situated under a relatively strict discipline at Oxford than if they were let loose upon the world. Indeed, we have only to look to foreign countries, where the sons of the richer classes are in too many cases leading lives of irresponsible frivolity or dissipation, but where many an envious eye is cast upon the system that is here so frequently assailed, to realize that we have in our old Universities a mechanism for training the well-to-do to a sense of responsibility and a capacity for public affairs which it would be the height of folly to throw away.


[page 48]

The second proposition upon which I would venture is that the standard of living at Oxford, and indeed at any academic institution, is primarily created by the majority of the students who frequent it. It may be that economies are possible in College management and administration, and this too is a subject that will call for discussion; for extravagance is as unnecessary in the case of the well-to-do as it is oppressive in the case of the poor. But no curtailment of expenditure that is capable of being effected, no redistribution of wealth that might take place, can permanently bring down the Collegiate system of living at Oxford, differing as it does toto coelo from the practice of Scotch or German Universities, to the level of economy that is possible in those places. The inestimable advantages of the College system, with its associations of mingled tenderness and pride, and the moral influence of its society and training, cannot be had without paying a certain price for them. Even the plant, in use for six months of the year alone, requires to be maintained. But it is not the University or the Colleges in the main that fix this standard. It is determined even more by the pocket-money furnished by the parent to his son, by the atmosphere of comfort from which he proceeds at home, and to which he returns for his vacation, and by the tone of clubs and societies, in the formation of which the University, as an academic institution, plays no part. The University can do two things to alleviate the incidence of what is sometimes felt as a burden by the poorer classes. It can create special opportunities or facilities (by the use of its endowments and otherwise) for enabling them to participate to the fullest extent in the advantages that are more easily accessible to the well-to-do; and it can wage war against superfluous luxury. But as long as the community at large becomes wealthier and more prosperous - as it is doing from day to day - so long is it certain that its scale of living will be reflected in those Universities and public schools which enlist its confidence; and the extreme critics might more fairly preach their


[page 49]

crusade in the drawing-rooms of society than in the common-rooms of Oxford.

Subject to these reservations, which I think should be present in our minds, and which the experience of the past, in spite of half a century of reformatory efforts, is sufficient to establish, I hope that we may, in again considering the claims of the poor, do so with the most earnest desire to extend and amplify the work of our predecessors, and, if necessary, to build upon new foundations.

We may differentiate between the social strata with Different whom we are now called upon to deal according to their occupation or their earlier education. If we adopt the former test we shall place in one category the industrial or wage-earning or artisan class, popularly known as the ' working-man ', and in another category the professional class in its many ramifications. The distinction between these two may be otherwise expressed (with substantial accuracy) as that between the men who wish to remain in their order, but desire a University education as a means of raising themselves within it, and the men who hope by means of a University education to rise in the social as well as in the intellectual scale. If we apply the educational test, we shall place on the one side those who, owing to the necessities of a wage-earning life, have probably had no education since they left the Elementary School; on the other side those who have passed through both the Primary and Secondary Schools and have come to Oxford assisted by the many Exhibitions and Scholarships which are open to students in those circumstances. In either case the distinction between the two classes is fundamental. The University, in my judgment, will fail in its duty to the nation - of which both are powerful and indispensable elements - if it does not endeavour to provide with equal anxiety and liberality for both; but it will require to provide for them by different means.


[page 50]

Needs of the Working-Classes

I will begin with the case of the wage-earning classes; and herein my task is much simplified by the labours of the Joint Committee of representatives of the University and of working-class organizations which sat last year, and whose singularly able and attractive report was issued in December, 1908. They deal with one facet only of the problem which we are here discussing, but it is perhaps the most important.

It is clear that for the first time since their appearance as a political force, and largely in consequence of it, many of the working-classes of this country are looking with eager eyes to Oxford to assist them in the task of preparation for their new and arduous responsibilities. Their feeling towards the older Universities is no longer one of hostility, though some suspicion, which it is fortunately in our power to disperse, may here and there exist; the cry to disestablish and disendow is not loudly heard. They turn to Oxford, not because they are enamoured of its beauty or romance - although those of them who have already entered into residence are far from being indifferent to these attractions - but because they associate its name with that liberal and humane scheme of mental training which no modern or provincial University can give to them, but which they regard as indispensable for the part that they desire to play in the national life; and perhaps still more because they think that they have an indefeasible right to share in a great national inheritance.

The nature of the service which they ask of Oxford is equally clear. They are under no illusion as to their own shortcomings. The extension of the franchise, participation in local government, and the increasing influence of trade organizations have given them power, but power unaccompanied by knowledge. This knowledge, which an education arrested at the primary stage is unable to furnish, can alone enable them to wield their power for the advantage,


[page 51]

primarily of their own class, but also of the nation. Hence the best among them seek that training in citizenship which the study of political and economic science and of social and industrial history will give, and which Oxford, with its traditions of a wide outlook on public affairs, is more likely than any other University to bestow. Lord Sherbrooke's gibe about 'educating our masters' has had an unexpected development; for they now come to us and plead to be educated themselves.

Where this demand is genuine and disinterested, there should be no doubt as to the nature of our response. An opportunity may thus be afforded to Oxford of sustaining its mediaeval reputation as the University in which the poor found special encouragement, of proving the democratic spirit that has always coexisted with surroundings of opulence and splendour, and of exerting a powerful influence upon what will, in a literal sense, be ' the governing classes' of the future. It is well that, when the problems of labour and capital are being debated, or when a future Parliament is presented with a Socialist program, some at least of the working-men's representatives should speak with the advantage of a University training. It is well, too, when the educational appliances of the country are being overhauled, as must from time to time occur, that there should be spokesmen of the industrial classes, whether inside or outside the House of Commons, who will possess a first-hand knowledge of the conditions of Oxford. The influence that the University will exercise upon these classes cannot, we hope, fail to be beneficial: the influence that they will exercise upon the University will depend largely upon the conditions of their residence and teaching, which I will presently discuss; but, if the right lines are pursued, the advantage should be mutual.

First, however, it is desirable to give some idea of the opportunities already provided by Oxford for working-class education; since it would be unjust to assume that by Oxford, a start is for the first time being made - although a great


[page 52]

impetus may be expected from the direct appeal now addressed to the University - and since, here as elsewhere, the development of existing efforts and institutions may often suggest to us the simplest line of advance.

The Non-Collegiate System

The Non-Collegiate system, though intended for the relief of the poor, was not designed for, and has not in the main been utilized by, the working-classes as such. It has been a useful medium of University instruction to all those who, for whatever reason (whether of means, or age, or nationality, or earlier education, or ulterior object), were not able or did not desire to enter a College. Thus it has been taken advantage of by students who had already graduated in other Universities, by married students, and students above the ordinary age, who come to Oxford for post-graduate or specialized studies, such, for instance, as probationers for the Indian Forest Service, and candidates for Research degrees. The members of Mansfield College who do not desire to take the ordinary degree, but wish to pursue some special study, also belong to this body. One provision in particular by which persons are admitted by the Delegates without examination, provided they can show evidence of fitness for the object in view, is marked by great liberality, and admits of much elasticity in operation.

But it is as a means of providing an economical education for the poor that the system must here be considered. The opportunities that it offers in this direction are manifold, and the care that has been bestowed upon it by the University deserves the fullest recognition. Managed by a representative Delegacy of University authorities and tutors, controlled by a Censor who devotes his entire time to the supervision and instruction of the students, equipped with a select staff of tutors both for the Honour and the Pass Schools, and provided with a special building (containing library and reading-room as well as with the popular attractions of sporting and


[page 53]

debating clubs, the Non-Collegiate system endeavours to give every privilege except that of life inside a College which the University has it in its power to bestow. Further, its education is most moderate in cost. The entrance fees and dues (to the University and the Delegacy combined) amount to 10; the annual cost of board and lodging (in the lodgings licensed for the purpose), education, and examination, is about 52 (this does not, of course, include travelling, books, dress, incidental expenses, or cost of living in the vacation): the total annual expenses at Oxford of such a student are about 70. In addition there are open to these students one Scholarship of 50 per annum, and about a dozen Exhibitions of 25 per annum and upwards - the gift in the main of the Clothworkers' and Leathersellers' Companies. I have recapitulated these advantages because they appear to be insufficiently known outside of Oxford, and because they are open to a working-man equally with any other class of the poor. I concur with those who have recently advised that the merits of the Non-Collegiate system should be more widely advertised, and that more funds might reasonably be given to the Delegacy, and that more Exhibitions of 20 to 30 per annum should be provided for qualified students either from within the University or from without.

At the same time there are certain aspects of the system which have hitherto impeded its larger success and against which it seems difficult to guard. Though the unfortunate earlier title 'Unattached Students' - invented by the Commission of 1850 and repeated in the Act appointing the Commission of 1877, but wisely dropped in the Statutes made by the Commissioners themselves - has now fallen into desuetude, the present designation is scarcely less cumbrous, and might perhaps be improved upon. Might it not be possible, for instance, to describe the students as University students'? Again, I am led to think that though there has been a marked improvement in the arrangements for their instruction during the past twenty years, these


[page 54]

are still susceptible of some improvement. Moreover, the students are little known in Oxford society and are seldom seen in College rooms. The fact is that the attempt to furnish them with a College organization cannot compensate for the absence of College buildings and the exclusion from College life. The endurance of the collegiate ideal is indeed one of the most remarkable and the most eloquent features of modern Oxford. For it reveals to us the real secret of the Oxford spell, and shows us the lines upon which the treatment either of the poor or of any other branch of the Oxford-seeking community must be handled if it is to be attended with success.

It is probably for these reasons in the main that the maximum number of Non-Collegiate undergraduates in residence, which in the four years 1878-1881 averaged 202 per annum, has in the last two years been not more than 166 and 172 respectively. But this decline in numbers has also been due to the introduction of stricter regulations; while it is consoling to learn that, although some of the best students seek to join Colleges where they can, the percentage of migrations has greatly diminished. This is a testimony to the advance which has been made in tuition. The system now fills a definite and exceedingly useful place in the organization of Oxford life and teaching: it deserves a wider publicity and greater financial support. Under different conditions it might one day play a more conspicuous part; and I commend its interests to the attention of Council But it is clear that we shall not find in it a comprehensive solution of the problem of the poor, though it may afford one method by which the students of institutions such as Ruskin College might be admitted to the University if it were so desired.

The University Extension System

The term University Extension has been used in the last half-century with two very different connotations. In the sense in which it was employed by the first Commission


[page 55]

and by Mark Pattison, it meant, to quote the latter's words, 'not merely an addition to the numbers attending Oxford, but the admission to its benefits of a class which has been hitherto excluded by social position or income'; and hence all the earlier suggestions which were made under this title were directed to providing more opportunities at Oxford itself for the admission and teaching of poor men. Then came Jowett and others preaching that Oxford should go out, as Cambridge, under the impulse of Professor James Stuart, had begun to do, into the large towns and cities, providing examinations and teachers, and planting colleges in the great centres of population. This movement took effect in the schemes started at both Universities for Extension lectures, which subsequently developed into the present imposing system of classes, and lectures, and examinations, managed at Oxford by a Delegacy, which has been one of the most successful instruments in popularizing Higher Education in the last quarter of a century. The title has thus been appropriated to a more literal interpretation of the words, and is now generally used to signify University work outside the University. It has in fact been the first step in a movement of which we are now approaching the second. Hitherto Oxford has been going out to furnish its help, and by so doing has encouraged the desire which is everywhere finding such articulate expression among those whom it has reached, to come to Oxford and complete the process of education within the walls of the University. Apart from this, the Extension movement, by the local interest which it has aroused, has been the direct parent of the Colleges that have been started, in connexion with the two older Universities, in some provincial towns, and has powerfully stimulated the demand which has led to the creation of Provincial Universities.

The financial necessities, however, of a system which had to be self-supporting (for the only charge directly imposed upon the University has been the cost of the Central Office and Secretary(1) have prevented its feelers - though nearly

(1) On the other hand, it must not be forgotten that the Colleges have [footnote continues on next page]


[page 56]

half a million students have been reached from stretching out to the industrial classes, whose needs we are now examining; and it is therefore not surprising that the recent Working-Class Education Committee in their Report should have frankly pointed out the reasons for this failure. They are contained on pp. 36-9 of the Report and are thus summarized in the Table of Contents: (a) it is too expensive; (b) it necessitates the attracting of large audiences; (c) the teaching is not systematic; (d) it is too much withdrawn from the University.

Proposals of the Working-Class Education Committee

The Committee then proceed to formulate their proposals, which are: That Tutorial Classes of not more than thirty students should be established in selected industrial towns, the plan of study, lasting for at least two years, to be drawn up by the work-people and the University in consultation, the teachers to be appointed and half paid by the University, and to receive the status of University lecturers, so as to give them an official rank in Oxford and to maintain a connexion between the two branches of the alliance that will benefit both. At the end of two years it is proposed that a certificate should be awarded by the Extension Delegacy, of a character to satisfy the requirements of the Committee for Economics (or other similar Committees) for the admission of students, not being members of the University, to Diploma courses; and that a new Diploma course be established in Political Science (for which the Trustees of the University Re-endowment Fund have already offered to create a Lectureship), perhaps ultimately to develop into a School of Politics and Economics, with suitable Chairs attached to it.

[footnote continued from previous page] lent substantial assistance, in some cases by contributions to the Delegacy Fund, in others (Balliol and Christ Church) by the appointment of a specially selected Fellow or Senior Student for the purpose.


[page 57]

I have merely summarized these recommendations, because they deal principally with the case at a stage anterior to that with which I am concerned, and will be considered on their own merits by the University. Indeed, Tutorial Classes have already been held during the present winter at eight industrial towns, and steps have been taken to deal with the Economic and Political Science Diplomas in the manner proposed. I am here more directly interested in the measures to be adopted at the University, for accommodating these working-men students when they arrive in Oxford to complete the course for which their provincial studies in the classes will have prepared them. The work at earlier stages is a voluntary addition to the responsibilities of the University - just as is the task which it has elsewhere undertaken in the examination and inspection of Public and Secondary Schools. As such, it is admirable; but it is no part of the life of Oxford itself.

The artisan students may of course enter any College or Hall; or they may join the Non-Collegiate body, requiring in either case the assistance of Scholarships or Exhibitions for the purpose. These endowments may be created for them either by the Labour organizations or the Local Education Authorities in the parts of the country from which they come; or they may be provided by the University or Colleges; or they may be awarded by the two in combination. What Oxford can do in this respect will be more clear when I deal with the subject of Scholarships and Exhibitions in a separate chapter. For the moment it is sufficient to recognize (1) that the cost of living, under whatever system they reside, must be cut down as low as possible; (2) that even so, some pecuniary assistance will be required to enable them to meet it. The working-man will in some cases be married, and will leave a wife and family behind him who must be maintained in his absence: at Oxford he will be drawing no wages, and he will be of a class to whom the term pocket-money is almost unknown.


[page 58]

Ruskin College(1)

At this stage it seems desirable to allude to the one institution already existing at Oxford, which has hitherto to a large extent supplied the needs of resident working-men. Ruskin College was founded about nine years ago; and although it has no formal connexion with the University, it has received every encouragement, while retaining the support of the trade societies and organizations by whom it was founded and is endowed. The broad facts are well known that it provides for some fifty or sixty students of the working-classes, between the ages of twenty and thirty, drawn for the most part from the North of England and from Wales, that these are all or mostly engaged in trades (miners, weavers, cotton spinners, blacksmiths, painters, compositors, joiners, are among those who have passed through), that they receive teaching and write papers and essays, and are examined on subjects of political, social, and economic science, some staying for a two years' course, but the majority for only one, and that the cost of their board, lodging, and education for the entire year (for, unlike the ordinary University student, they cannot afford to take vacations) is only 52. At the end of their time these men go back to their towns and trades; but my own inquiries among them convinced me and the conclusion is honourable to them that with the desire to

(1) These paragraphs were in print before the recent events that have brought about the temporary closure of Ruskin College. The incidents referred to appear to have been the result of an attempt to utilize the institution for the purposes of a particular propaganda, and they are of importance as indicating the risks that may attend a movement which though to some extent connected with the University is yet outside of it, and is unaffected by University traditions or discipline. I have decided to leave the paragraphs unaltered, because no friend of the working-classes can wish that this temporary set-back should permanently arrest either the desire of the industrial classes to profit by an Oxford course, or the willingness of the University, subject to reasonable guarantees, to provide it.


[page 59]

improve themselves is associated the desire to rise, and that many aspire to qualify for such posts as Secretaries of Trades Unions and Councils, or of Friendly and Co-operative Societies, as members of Local or Municipal bodies, or, in the last resort, as Labour M.P.s.

Oxford has extended a warm welcome to the new-comers. University men of the highest standing serve on the College Council; College tutors and lecturers place their services at the disposal of the students; the latter are at liberty to attend all University lectures; and they are invited to take part in the debates of the Oxford Union. The title ' College ' might lead the ignorant to suppose that the inmates are accommodated in a structure of some size or importance. This is far from being the case, the house in which they reside being on the same scale of modesty as their entire scale of living, and the men themselves do the service of their rooms. The friends of the College have, however, obtained a site for a new building, and are endeavouring to raise 20,000 for that object.

Some well-wishers of this institution have suggested that a closer connexion between it and the University might be established by making it a licensed lodging-house or hostel or by converting it into a Private or Public Hall. The Committee before referred to have made no such recommendation, and have confined their suggestions on this point to the hope that more money may be provided for Scholarships and Exhibitions at Ruskin College, both by Colleges and by external bodies. It is not certain that the College itself desires incorporation with the University, since neither its studies nor its students, as they at present exist, harmonize with the University courses or degrees. Should individual members of the College wish to become regular members of the University on the basis of Non-Collegiate students, or to proceed to a degree, it is improbable that the University would place any obstacle in their path. Should the College, however, prefer to remain outside the


[page 60]

University, its independence will continue to be respected, and the encouragement hitherto given to it will, I am sure, be in no degree modified or withdrawn.

The Committee, however, have themselves pointed out that the effect of restricting working-class students to Ruskin College would be to give rise to a false impression that it is the wish of Oxford to put them off with some kind of unofficial recognition, and to confine the ordinary Colleges to men of other social classes. Such a misunderstanding would, they add, be most lamentable.(1) From this they proceed to argue that special arrangements should be made for admitting working-class students to the ordinary Colleges. There is nothing in theory to be said against such a proposal, and much in its favour; and an attempt is already made by some Colleges to meet these or analogous requirements by providing rooms on a very modest scale of furniture and rent. But it would, I think, be a mistake to suppose that the standard or cost of living at the ordinary College can be brought down to a point which will enable working-men (except with a larger assistance in each case from Scholarships than is likely to be forthcoming) to enter them in any great numbers; besides which, there will always remain the difficulty of equating the educational, wholly apart from the social, position and requirements of the man who has enjoyed little education since he was twelve or thirteen, and the man who has come to Oxford as the result of an educational process that has lasted till he was eighteen or nineteen. If therefore we limit ourselves to the anticipation above referred to, we shall, I fear, court disappointment; nor will the University, in my judgment, have dealt in a sufficiently broad or generous spirit with the claim that is presented to it. There is the further practical difficulty that while the Colleges are in vacation for six months of the year, the working-man is compelled, for the reasons that I have given, to be in residence for the whole,

(1) Report, p. 77.


[page 61]

or nearly the whole; a difficulty which does not appear to me to be solved by the suggestions of the Committee, that the working-class students should all be congregated in a single College during vacation, and that they should then be lectured to at Ruskin College or by teachers from outside.(1) I am afraid that the first suggestion is not practicable, and that the second, even if practicable, might involve a serious dislocation of studies.

Hostels or Halls

Other suggestions that have been made are that Colleges should build Aedes annexae or Hostels attached to themselves for the special accommodation of poorer men, including working-men; or that such Hostels should be created independently of the Colleges, whether of the academical type or under private supervision. If they are to be effective, these institutions would in practice require to be cheap corporate lodging-houses, with a common table, under competent supervision: they would in fact be a direct reversion to the practice of the Middle Ages.

The College Hostel idea possesses the initial advantage that funds might in some cases be available for the purpose, and that Colleges could build and control the Hostel, if the ground were forthcoming, of their own initiative and responsibility. If a Hostel not attached to a particular College were started, it should probably be placed for economy's sake in some less expensive and less highly-rated portion of the town for which purpose the statutory one and a half mile limit of residence would have to be extended. In both cases, and particularly in that of the independent Hostel, the difficulties of discipline and control would be considerable; and there would remain the danger, which led the Commission of 1850 to regard all these proposals with suspicion, that a distinct line of social cleavage

(1) Report, p. 81.


[page 62]

might be created between the well-to-do man and the poor man, the College student and the Hostel student, and that in endeavouring to subsidize poverty we might in reality penalize it. It does not appear to me, however, that any prognostications, whether favourable or the reverse, are of much value unless supplemented by experience: and a single Hostel, started upon these or similar lines, would do more to answer the question than have done the a priori disputations of fifty years.

As regards Public and Private Halls, it is notorious that the movement of the past half-century has been in the direction of gradually eliminating the former, so much so that only one now survives,(1) namely, St. Edmund Hall, upon which sentence of ultimate absorption was passed by the last Commission, although an effort is now being made to save its independent existence, and there are many who think that, with some improvement, it might be rendered of great advantage to poor men. Private Halls do not appear in modern times to have attracted much favour. There are at present only three of them, and their united muster of undergraduates is not much over fifty. Neither their constitution nor their character qualifies them to provide a comprehensive solution of the Working-class or indeed of the Poor problem.(2)

A Working-Men's College

I am inclined to take a wider outlook, and to hope that the University may itself, with outside assistance, attempt a solution. Given the unquestioned desire of the

(1) As late as 1872 there were five: St. Alban Hall, since united with Merton; St. Mary Hall, since united with Oriel; Magdalen Hall, which became the nucleus of Hertford; New Inn Hall, since united with Balliol; and St. Edmund Hall, which still survives.

(2) The number of students in a Private Hall, and in any Aedes annexae attached to it, taken together, is limited by Statute to twenty.


[page 63]

working-classes to come to Oxford, and not merely to hang, so to speak, upon the outskirts, but to penetrate to the sanctuary of University life, it seems to me that the satisfaction of the need should not be left to private enterprise or to a necessarily somewhat precarious combination between academical and external interests, but that it should be recognized and regulated by no less a body than the University itself. There is always a danger that a Working-men's College, outside the University, and subject neither to its influences nor its discipline, may develop into a club dominated by the narrow views of particular political or economic schools, recruiting itself solely from one party, and out of touch with many of the best elements in academic life. As has been well said, we do not want merely to attract to Oxford the 'Hot-heads' or the 'Hot-hearts' of Labour. My own idea is that instead of, or in addition to, utilizing the existing machinery of the Collegiate and Non-Collegiate systems, we should found at Oxford a University Workingmen's College, not confined to artisans alone but embracing - according to its size and capabilities - the members of all those classes who are too poor, even with financial assistance, to enter the ordinary Colleges, or to spend half the year in vacations. Such a College should have a fixed scale of cost, if possible not more than 60 per annum; a large number of maintenance Scholarships or Exhibitions should be attached to it, which I would appeal to the richer Colleges to contribute. But the education should not be given for nothing, since a purely gratuitous benefaction would sap the sense of self-respect; and a University education is deserving of some sacrifice, if not on the part of the individual (who may be too poor to afford it), at least on the part of those from whom he comes. I would similarly ask the Colleges to elect or to lend Fellows who would constitute the staff and conduct the tuition. The Principal would be appointed by the University.


[page 64]

The members of the College would be matriculated, and subject to academic discipline, but the conditions of their study and residence would differ from those of other undergraduates. They would not as a rule proceed to a degree, since they would not have the requisite leisure for a three years' course. The normal course should be one of two years, leading to one of the Diplomas already granted or hereafter to be created by the University; but it should not be confined exclusively to Sociology and Economics, since it is doubtful if of themselves these are capable of ensuring a liberal education. There should be an admixture of History and Geography and English Literature and Natural Science. The working-man or the poor man whom we wish to encourage is not the man who comes to Oxford merely in order to obtain a sketchy acquaintance with political problems, or to practise the arts of the popular speaker. I do not think that Oxford is a proper palaestra [place: in ancient Greece, a wrestling school or gymnasium] for such exercises. The type that we desire to assist is the man, however humble his origin, who comes as a genuine learner and student, anxious to acquire not so much superficial attainments as a sound and solid education.

If any student, after receiving his Diploma, wished to stay on and to take a degree, he should be at liberty to do so. Some of the Diploma subjects are already included in the degree course, so that the holder of a Diploma is already some distance on his way to a degree. The College would remain in session throughout the vacation, special arrangements being made for lectures and tuition. A connexion would be maintained between the College and the country by means of the enlarged activities about to be undertaken by the University Extension Delegacy. Indeed, I would go further than recent suggestions have done. For I would ask the Colleges from time to time to grant Fellowships to the teachers who were thus spreading the influence of the University outside; and I would make them the means through their classes of


[page 65]

sending up the picked pupils of the year to the Oxford Working-men's College, in order to carry their training to its logical conclusion. The taint of poverty would not cling to the College any more than it does to Keble College, which claims at a somewhat higher cost to provide ' sober living and high culture of the mind ' for a particular class of students whose training is to be a ' Christian training, based upon the principles of the Church of England '. In Keble also the tutorships and lectureships have not infrequently been held by Fellows of other Colleges.

The students of our hypothetical College would enjoy all the intra-mural and extra-mural advantages of the Colleges and the University in combination; all would not be drawn from the same class, and the tradesman's, the business man's, and even the poor gentleman's son, would mingle with the artisan. The link between them would be humble means and the needs of frugal subsistence; and the indescribable glamour of College society would soon hold them in its thrall and leave its mark upon them for life. The College could exist side by side, and without risk of competition, with Ruskin College, since there would always remain a large class of working-people who would prefer to be detached from the University, and exclusively to manage their own affairs. Those who aspired to College life (and the Committee have reported that there is a genuine and widely spread desire to this effect) would go to the one: those who demanded complete independence would remain faithful to the other.

For the creation of such an institution, the land and the buildings, as well as the endowments, are required; and we must look for these in the main to external help. Fain would I hope that these words may fall under the eye of some public-spirited benefactor, to whom the idea may appeal of thus opening the doors of England's oldest University to the new applicants for its bounty. He might fill a conspicuous gap in the educational equipment of the nation; he might open a new vista of public useful-


[page 66]

ness and fame to Oxford; and his name would worthily be added to that long and illustrious list, beginning with Humfrey Duke of Gloucester and ending with Martha Combe, widow, that is read out by the preacher of the University sermon upon Sundays in the Bidding Prayer in St. Mary's Church. The scheme itself may be susceptible of much improvement, and I have not ventured beyond outlines; elaboration would be for a later stage. But with such a benefactor, if he were forthcoming, both University and Colleges would surely join hands in the endeavour to translate the conception into reality.

The Poor of other Classes

From the artisan poor I pass to the poor of other classes. These may be subdivided according to their occupations, into the sons of persons of humble means, such as the tradesman, the farmer (the yeoman class who formerly provided the great bulk of the provincial students who flocked to Oxford has now well-nigh disappeared), the teacher in Primary and Secondary Schools, the poor clergyman; and the small professional man, the solicitor, lawyer, land agent, doctor, &c., who desire to enter their sons for their own professions, or aspire to give them access to the public services of the country.

Or, as before indicated, we may distinguish between the pupil who comes to Oxford from the superior Secondary Schools and Grammar Schools, organized on Public school lines, and the pupil educated after leaving the elementary school in schools of the Municipal and County Council type, dependent mainly on Government grants and public money, and preparing their students principally for business avocations. Of the former class a considerable number come to Oxford, and it is important that we should retain our hold upon them, since they form the core of the respectable professional middle classes. Hitherto they


[page 67]

have looked to the older Universities for the education of their sons; but with the growth of public grants to Secondary Schools, followed by popular control, there will be a tendency to divert this current to the Provincial Universities, such as Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds. Its loss would be a great injury to Oxford.

Of the second class the number that comes to Oxford is small. But we must strive to attract the best, for they will be the leaders in the upward movement of the lower middle classes that is the distinguishing mark of contemporaneous social evolution; and it is therefore of great importance that their early training should be conducted on liberal rather than utilitarian lines, and that they should meet their more fortunate contemporaries on equal terms and should understand their point of view. A worse disaster could hardly befall English education than that the seven new Provincial Universities should become the exclusive resort of the poor and unpolished man, and that Oxford and Cambridge should be reserved for the rich and cultured.

In respect of special endowments, this class is well provided for. The provision made, firstly by Scholarships from Elementary or Secondary Schools, and later on by Town or County Council Scholarships,(1) by College or City Company Exhibitions, and by private generosity, is very considerable. It does not happen to be extensively advertised, and its range and liberality are imperfectly known even in Oxford. As a matter of fact the boy coming from a County Council School is often better endowed than the son of a professional man from Marlborough or Clifton. I know of one rich College in which eleven poor men hold Scholarships and Exhibitions averaging 133 per annum. The opportunities open to this class are indeed so generous that the standard of attainment is sometimes with difficulty maintained; and while the columns of the news-

(1) The number of County or Borough Council Scholarships held by Oxford students appears to be in excess of fifty.


[page 68]

papers are open to denunciations of the idle rich, the phenomenon of the idle but well-endowed poor passes unnoticed and unashamed.

One class of the struggling poor is extremely well provided for - a relic of the times when Oxford existed almost wholly as a training-ground for the Church. These are the poor clergy. In many Colleges there are Scholarships and Exhibitions reserved for the sons of the clergy, sometimes with a limitation of locality, generally with no geographical limitation at all, and as a rule with a poverty qualification. Similar provision exists for candidates for Holy Orders, irrespective of parentage. In this respect the University needs to make no addition to its bounty.

There is another class for whose assistance something has been done, but to encourage whom it seems to me that and a further and special effort ought to be made. I speak of the Teachers in Elementary and Secondary Schools. A Day Training College has been founded at Oxford for the preparation of Elementary Teachers, and support is given to this institution both by the University and the Colleges. The University has established a Delegacy which is recognized by the Education Department as the Committee of the College, so that the students, who are required to matriculate and thus to become members of the University, can earn their Government allowance of 25 or 40 for residence in Oxford during three years. The support from the Colleges takes the form of Exhibitions or grants in aid. For Secondary Teachers there is a special course culminating in a Diploma; and the interests of this class are also supervised by a special Delegacy. But the work has suffered much in point both of numbers and finance by the uncertain policy of H. M. Government in abolishing the Register of Teachers, the existence of which acted as an incentive to teachers to qualify. The Elementary Teachers and many of the Secondary Teachers belong to the class of persons of humble means. The University can undertake no more honourable duty than the education of


[page 69]

those who will mould the thought of the future. More encouragement might be given to both grades by Scholarships or Exhibitions, but the real obstacle in the path of teacher-students who are proceeding to a degree is compulsory Greek in Responsions.

With regard to all the classes, however, of whom I have been speaking - i.e. the poor of every grade - the existence or the liberality of endowments will not compensate those who are not so fortunate as to obtain them; and it may be that even in spite of subsidies in pecuniary or other shape there are features in the Oxford system which act as a deterrent to the entry of poor students or prevent their multiplication, and which it might be possible to alleviate or remove. Whether these relate to the cost of living in Colleges, to the incidence of University and College Fees and Dues, to the distribution of endowments, or to the nature and subjects of Examinations - and they fall as a rule under one or other of these headings - it is incumbent upon us to give them our serious attention.

Cost of Living in Colleges

This is one of the oldest of complaints. The Commission of 1850 in solemn tones deplored the excessive cost of residence at the University, which they said varied at that time from 370 to 450 for the full four years' course (excluding caution-money, travelling, clothes, wine, and amusements). All included, they thought that a son cost his father 600 in four years, or at the rate of 150 per annum. Since those days the outlay has been in many ways reduced by the superior arrangements now made by the Colleges,(1) and by the vigilant efforts at

(1) e.g., rooms are now, as a rule, let furnished, in place of the old and costly system of buying furniture at a valuation. Where this survives the amount is sometimes lent by the College. A similar arrangement is applied to linen, crockery, and plate. Rooms are let [footnote continues on next page]


[page 70]

reduction inspired quite as much by the volition of the College authorities, as by pressure from outside. On the other hand there has been the steady rise in the material well-being and standards of the classes frequenting Oxford, to which I have before referred, and which pulls in the opposite direction.

I have previously given the figures for the Non-Collegiate system. Keble (where all meals are in common) makes a fixed annual charge of 85. From a detailed inquiry in all the Colleges, I have ascertained that the minimum outlay for which a careful undergraduate can reside in the majority of Colleges is 100 per annum, though in some it will be less, that the average outlay is about 120-130, and that rich men spend more. To these totals a sum of from 8 to 12 per annum for a four years' course should be added, for clubs, fees and dues, and tips to servants.

These estimates exclude the cost of living in vacations, and that of travelling, clothes, books, pocket-money, wine, and tobacco. It must be remembered that in the University and College Dues, in the Tuition Fund, and in the maintenance of Establishment, there is an irreducible minimum of cost, no small part of which is paid for the advantage of residence inside the College walls.

Many proposals have been made for curtailing the expenditure thereby imposed upon poor men. It has been suggested that two or three Colleges might be thrown into one, with the result of a considerable saving in respect of College officers and servants; or that existing Colleges should be remodelled so as to provide single rooms, instead of sets of rooms, for the average undergraduate; or that

[footnote continued from previous page] on a carefully graduated scale of rents. Many Colleges have established Common Room Stores where groceries, wines, and fruit can be bought at a fixed tariff. In many cases there is a limit to the expenditure in buttery or kitchen. College Clubs are consolidated, and a subscription, covering the whole, can be paid through the College.


[page 71]

the less wealthy Colleges should deliberately shut their doors against well-to-do students and cater exclusively for the men of modest means. No one of these suggestions would, I think, command confidence as a general panacea, and any too radical revolution in College internal economy or the College fabric might be attended with consequences at which even the most intrepid of reformers would stand dismayed. More fruitful appears to me to be the suggestion that there should be a conference of College Domestic Bursars, to discuss the management of College kitchens, maintenance charges in general, and the purchase of supplies. An examination of the published College Accounts is sufficient to show that there is a wide diversity of systems, and that what is a source of profit to one College is accepted as a loss by another. A searching examination (with the aid of some expert external assistance) might result in valuable economies; it would certainly introduce greater system; and it might mitigate the ill effects of competition in local markets.

Fees and Dues

An even more favourable ground of inquiry is suggested by the system of Fees and Dues paid to the University and Colleges. For an undergraduate pursuing the ordinary course to a B.A. followed by a M.A. degree, these are as follows:


[page 72]

Fees and Dues are one of the main sources of income of the University. From this source (which includes many fees, such as Lodging Fees, Proctorial Fines, Research degree Fees, &c., not mentioned above) the University received in 1906 an income of 37,892, in 1907 an income

(1) I have not included in these caution-money, usually about 30, of which part is commonly returned upon taking a degree, and the remainder upon the removal of a name from the College books; nor Tuition charges, as a rule from 22 to 25 per annum, because neither of these affords a reasonable ground of reduction.

(2) One very poor College charges 8 5s, one 5 5s, thirteen 5, one 4, one 2, one 1 10s, and two 0. These charges are in a few Colleges somewhat reduced in the case of Scholars and Exhibitioners.

(3) These vary so greatly that it seems best to give the figures:

(4) This is not paid by any one who compounds.

(5) The College Composition charge varies in different cases from half the University fee to the same fee.


[page 73]

of 38,954, and in 1908 an income of 40,678. From Admission and Degree Fees the nineteen Colleges whose accounts are published annually by the University (Keble is not included) derived in 1907 an income of 6,900.

An examination of the charges here summarized will I think lead to the conclusion that in some cases a reduction may reasonably be considered, and that the University and Colleges have it in their power, by a joint reduction, to lighten a burden that cannot generally fail to weigh heavily on the poor man. The two in co-operation might find it possible to reduce the combined fee for M.A., if not for B.A., and the combined Composition Fee. The Colleges are of course at liberty to charge what Degree Fees they may please, for, although the University confers the degree, it is by College tuition in the main that it has been won, but a somewhat greater uniformity of charge might be introduced. The University Fee of 12 for the M.A. degree would appear to be excessive, and it is not difficult to comprehend why so many men, having taken the B.A. degree, at an average cost of 7 10s to the University plus 3 14s 6d to the College, i.e. a total of 11 4s 6d., remove their names from the books at this stage, partly because they are tempted by the recovery of the caution money (which in all probability had been paid by their fathers four years earlier), partly because they are deterred by the 12 to the University plus an average of 4 9s 6d to the College, i.e. a total of 16 9s 6d, which is the additional fine before they become M.A.s and members of Convocation. Similarly the charge for re-entry, in the case where a man does not compound, seems to be unduly high, and within my own knowledge has chilled the penitence of many who regretted having taken their names off the books, and contemplated a return. On the other hand, if the University were seriously to consider a material loss of income by any reductions of the above character, there are certain respects in which it might fairly recoup a portion, at any rate, of the sacrifice. The idea has been mooted, and appears to be well worthy of


[page 74]

examination, that all resident graduates should pay an annual fee for the use of the privileges and institutions of the University, which they now enjoy for no higher payment than the non-resident, who is unable to make any use of them at all. A slight increase in the very moderate charge for University Dues might also not unreasonably be asked from those who would profit so materially by a reduction of Degree Fees, if this were decided upon.

Before leaving this branch of the subject I should mention that I have encountered an opposite school of thought, who argue that the fees at present charged by the University err on the side of moderation, and that they ought to be raised all round. They contend that the University is in the position of a club which has rebuilt and greatly enlarged its premises, thereby offering increased advantages to its members; and that it is entitled, therefore, to demand an enhanced entrance fee and annual subscription. There may be plausibility in the argument, but at a moment when we are considering how to open an Oxford career to larger numbers, and to induce more students who have completed it to keep alive their connexion with the University, it might be ill-timed and unwise. Nor should we forget that half a century ago the Commissioners of 1850 pointed to a reduction of fees as a means of opening the University to larger and poorer classes than those from whom the majority of students were even then drawn.

The case has so far been mainly considered from the point of view of its effect upon the University. But the College standpoint must not be disregarded. Just as the University Fees and Dues are a large source of income to the University, so, though in a less degree, are the College Fees one of the means by which the Colleges are enabled to give an education to their undergraduate members.(1) If it were not for the endowments possessed by them, they could not educate their students,

(1) The majority of the larger Colleges derive from this source an annual income of from 400 to 600.


[page 75]

as they now do, under cost price. Since the newer Schools have been established, e.g. in Natural Science, English Literature, and Modern Languages, for which many Colleges cannot provide teaching of their own, they find themselves compelled to pay out nearly the whole of the Tuition fees received from their students in these subjects to outside teachers. This is a tendency which is likely to increase; and it may well be that ultimately a College will not be able to carry on its tuition without subsidizing the Tuition Fund from corporate revenues or raising its Tuition fees. College Fees and Dues may be regarded from this point of view as a deferred contribution to the expenses of tuition; and unless the lowering of fees were to lead to a considerable increase in the number of men paying them, Colleges might have to draw more heavily upon their corporate revenues in the future.

Two other subjects of paramount importance are raised by the consideration of increased opportunities for the admission of the poor to Oxford. These are the use that is made of Scholarships and Exhibitions, and the impediment that is alleged to exist in the compulsory requirement of Greek at the initial stage of any University course leading up to a degree. The former of these questions is a portion of the larger problem of administration of the endowments enjoyed by the Colleges for the advancement of learning; the second raises the issue of the University examinations as a whole. I propose accordingly to treat them in separate chapters, although both of these will be in direct logical sequence to the subject hitherto under discussion.

A suggestion has been made by the Tutors' Conference that a Bureau should be established at Oxford for the special information of parents and others with regard to the facilities offered by the University for the admission and education of the poor. Such an office might be started independently, or in connexion with the reorganization of the central office of the University which I shall propose later on.


[page 76]

CHAPTER IV

SCHOLARSHIPS AND EXHIBITIONS - FELLOWSHIPS

THE administration of the endowments possessed by the Colleges in respect of Scholarships and Exhibitions raises one of the most disputed issues of academic controversy, and calls for a patient investigation based on an accurate knowledge of the facts.

Without tracing the history of the Scholarship system at Oxford to its origins in the Middle Ages, or following its progress down to modern times, we may state broadly that up till 1850 Scholarships and Exhibitions were conferred upon students drawn from particular schools, localities, or families with which the founder had possessed a direct connexion; and that after that date the modern system of open competition, decided by examination, took its place. In their anxiety to increase the number and range of those to whom Oxford should offer its benefits, the Commissioners of 1850 abolished with certain exceptions the close Scholarship system, and they calculated that by a redistribution of funds 500 Scholarships of 50 per annum and upwards should be available at Oxford, of which at least 100 would be vacant annually. In the interval before the second Commission the idea of equalization of value had gained ground, and we find Jowett, in his Memorandum (1874), arguing for 500 Scholarships per annum, to be held for a maximum of four or five years, at an equal value of 80 per annum, and the bestowal of a larger number upon Physical Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Hebrew, the Classics being already sufficiently provided for. These views commended themselves to the Commission of 1877, and the new Statutes enforced the limitation of value and tenure, while maintaining the idea of free and open competition. As regards Exhibitions, it


[page 77]

was provided that the larger proportion should be noncompetitive and given privately to meet the needs of those requiring assistance, while some of those left open to competition were similarly restricted. Thus for half a century, down to the present day, Exhibitions have on the whole been eleemosynary in character; but Scholarships, with few exceptions, have been the reward of intellectual merit, or prizes open equally to the well-off and the poor - although in practice, as will be seen, they are largely monopolized by the latter.

A certain number of Scholarships are in the gift of the University. A few of these, like the Abbott Scholarships (for the sons of poor clergy) and the Squire Scholarships (for intending clergy), are in the nature of Entrance Scholarships. The majority of the remainder are either the rewards of academic distinction (such as the Hertford, Ireland, Vinerian, Eldon, and the Scholarships given for proficiency in Hebrew, Sanskrit, and Chinese) or encouragements to advanced study and Research (vide Chapter VIII of this memorandum). They need not enter seriously into our present calculations.

Scholarships and Exhibitions given by Colleges may be distinguished according to the subject in which they are awarded:

(1) The number here given does not include Senior Scholarships. [footnote continues on next page]


[page 78]

In the above table the term 'Classics' must not be too literally interpreted; for in very few Colleges, if any, is the examination or the award purely classical. In every case the Essay and General Paper count for much; and in some Colleges, History and (to a slight extent) Modern Languages have their weight even in the award of 'Classical' Scholarships and Exhibitions.

The most noteworthy features of the above table - to which I shall revert later - are (a) the predominance of the Classics, (b) the meagre place conceded to 'other subjects', i.e. other than Classics, Mathematics, Science, and History. When I add that the contents of this category refer principally to Scholarships for Music, Divinity, the Indian Civil Service, and Research, it will be seen how small a portion of the outer field of learning is at present touched by the Oxford Scholarship System.

Further, the Scholarships and Exhibitions may be classified according to their greater or less degree of restriction. Though the system of close endowments was abolished as a general rule by the Commission of 1850, there remain many exceptions. The limitations are of various classes: to Counties or parts of the United Kingdom (e.g. Wales at Jesus), to Dioceses (e.g. Carlisle and Manchester at Queen's), to Universities (e.g. Glasgow at Balliol), to Public Schools and other large and leading Schools (e.g. Winchester at New College, Westminster at Christ Church, Merchant Taylors' at St. John's, Manchester at Brasenose, Blundell's School, Tiverton, at Balliol, and the Hastings' Exhibitions at Queen's, open to seventeen schools in Cumberland, Westmoreland, and York-

[footnote continued from previous page] Further, the ' Total Number ' can only be stated roughly. In the table given in the text all Scholarships and Exhibitions are regarded as being held for four years; whereas some are held for less than four years, and a few are prolonged for a fifth year. In the Calendar for 1909 the actual number of Scholars (excluding Senior Scholars) appears to be about 530, and of Exhibitioners (including Bible Clerks) about 246.


[page 79]

shire). In many years these local Scholarships or Exhibitions are thrown open for want of good candidates, so that there is a point below which the standard of attainment is not permitted to be lowered.

Here, too, mention may be made of the Leaving Scholarships or Exhibitions given at a large number of schools, in order to carry boys on to the University, and of the endowments provided by special local Scholarships, and the Exhibitions of City Companies.

The number of Scholarships and Exhibitions with a local restriction is:

In the majority of these cases there is no poverty qualification, but from the circumstances of the case the bulk of the recipients are in need of assistance.

Very often there is in the terms of trust or bequest, even of open Scholarships, a distinct reservation for poor men. To this class belong the Hulme Scholarships at Brasenose, the de Brome Scholarships at Oriel, the Oades and Stafford Scholarships at Pembroke.

The Bible Clerkships at All Souls, Oriel, and Queen's are the last survivors of a once numerous class. They are, in practice, benefactions to the poor.

Oriel has two Scholarships (the Hughes and Neale) specially confined to members of certain Co-operative Societies. These are almost unique as being direct endowments of Labour.

Exceptional provision (as has been pointed out) is made in many Colleges for the poor clergy and for those who are destined for the Church.


[page 80]

The remainder of the Scholarships and Exhibitions are either open - a condition which applies to the large majority of Scholarships - or confined to the poor a condition which applies to the large majority of Exhibitions.

The total sums paid out by Colleges in Scholarships and Exhibitions in 1907 was 52,890 15s 10½d or just short of 53,000. The large majority of Scholarships are of the value of 80 a year for four years, but Hertford has some of 100 per annum (under special Statutes) and Brasenose and Jesus also. The Exhibitions vary from 30 per annum, or even less, to 70, while the Snell Exhibitions at Balliol are about 100 per annum, supplemented by a Newlands Scholarship of 80.

The figures of St. Edmund Hall (the sole surviving Hall) are not included in the published Accounts: but a sum of from 150 to 200 a year is devoted to exhibitions of 10, 12, 15, or 20 for the assistance of poor men. Should St. Edmund Hall be united with Queen's, the Statutes of the Commissioners of 1877-82 contemplate the creation of twenty-four Exhibitions of 25 each as soon as the revenues of the College permit.

Scholars at all the Oxford Colleges wear the Scholar's gown (with the exception of the Rhodes Scholars, who are elected on a different basis, and are really a class of picked commoners) and in some Colleges dine at a separate or Scholars' Table in Hall. The majority of Exhibitioners do not wear the Scholar's gown, but in some Colleges they do so. In former days the Scholar's gown was a badge of social inferiority. Nowadays it is regarded and in some Colleges envied as a mark of intellectual distinction. This is a significant and a most healthy symptom.

An attempt was made by one of the recent Tutors' Committees to ascertain by detailed inquiries the proportion of the total sum given in Scholarships and Exhibitions at Oxford that is explicitly limited by statute either to poor schools or to poor men. The figures given by them were as follows:


[page 81]

In addition they ascertained that there exists in the hands of the Colleges a discretionary fund expended by them privately and without competitive examination for the assistance of poor men, amounting to at least 3,000 per annum.

I owe to the kindness of the College authorities a further and independent table which applies to the entire total of the 504 Scholars and 230 Exhibitioners the double test, (a) of those which are confined by the conditions of foundation to poor men, (b) of those which are actually held by poor men using the wood ' poor ' in both cases to signify those who were in need of help in order to come to the University.

It would seem from these figures and from the facts that I have named that the facilities given by the Oxford


[page 82]

Scholarship system to almost every class of poor man (exclusive of the artisan class, whose case has been specially discussed) are not illiberal. The endowments may not be sufficiently advertised, and they may admit of a more comprehensive and methodical distribution. But the provision is not meagre, and it is supplemented by grants from private funds and the Exhibition Fund known to few but the recipient and the College authorities which amount collectively to a very substantial additional endowment of poverty.

Nevertheless the system is the subject of much criticism, which it behoves us to consider.

First is the complaint that, though partly eleemosynary [charitable], the system is not wholly or sufficiently eleemosynary, and that a large proportion of the Scholarships, at any rate, are enjoyed by those who do not need them. Second is the charge that the system of open Scholarships, decided by competitive examination, promotes an unhealthy rivalry between the schools, and leads to an undignified scramble between the Colleges for the best men. Third is the charge that, owing to this internecine competition, there is no University policy as to the subjects for Scholarship examinations or as to the standard of attainment required. Fourth is the allegation that the great predominance of Classical Scholarships gives an undue advantage to the large Public Schools and penalizes the smaller Secondary Schools. I will examine each of these charges in turn.

The complaint that Scholarships originally intended as a benefaction for the poor are held by those who have no need for them is directly connected with the inquiry in our last chapter as to the means that exist or can be created at Oxford for encouraging the admission of persons of humble means. It appears to be sincerely believed in many quarters that at some time there has been an extensive misappropriation by which the endowments of one class have been absorbed by another. Bishop Gore, while giving no countenance to such a theory, expressed the


[page 83]

opinion in the House of Lords that two out of five (or 40 per cent) of the Scholars of Oxford do not need their emoluments for their education. The Bishop of Oxford - himself a former Head of a College - at once challenged these figures, and said that the proportion was in his belief more like 10 per cent. A very competent Oxford Tutor has published the calculation that of the total number of Scholars the number who could have afforded to reside at Oxford without the aid of their emoluments is not more than 6 per cent. The figures which I have given lend much more support to the smaller than to the larger estimates; and they are confirmed by the replies which have been given to me by almost every College authority whom I have consulted on the matter. The answer is well-nigh unanimous that the number of cases in which the holder of a Scholarship could afford to dispense altogether with his emoluments, or could have completed a University course without them, is small. In such cases the emoluments have in a number of instances been either wholly or in part returned.

This is not tantamount to saying that the great majority of Oxford Scholarships are held by the positively poor. Poverty is a relative term, and it is difficult to fix the point at which pecuniary assistance passes from being a useful aid to a sine qua non of a University education. The majority of Oxford Scholars are the sons of professional men, with incomes of varying amount and description. A Scholarship or an Exhibition is often the means of enabling the father of such a man to give a better education to his other children, which they might otherwise have been denied, and the man himself to enjoy that margin of amenity at the University which permits him to associate with his fellows without any sense of humiliation, and to reap from Oxford society some of its most valuable benefits. Such a man is not of course a pauper; but his presence at Oxford and the influence exerted upon him are probably not less beneficial to the community than would have been


[page 84]

the case with the working-man or the artisan whom he is popularly supposed to have kept out.

The real answer to the question lies in the much larger issue, whether the first Commission were or were not right in their policy of half a century ago, and what is the conception which we should ourselves entertain of the part to be played by Scholarships in the education of a great English University. If Scholarships ought to be purely eleemosynary in character, then the present system will not escape reproach; although if we were to abandon it we should at once be confronted with the difficulty of selecting the new claimants for our bounty, and in determining their studies, and should incur the double risk of bringing men to Oxford who might not profit by its courses, and keeping away others who would. If, on the other hand, Scholarships ought to be the reward of merit, then we cannot ensure that in every case the poor man will win them; and inasmuch as there is no generally accepted method of testing intellectual merit other than by examination, we are committed to the rivalry between schools and colleges which so many deplore.

Perhaps we shall be assisted in arriving at a correct judgment if we examine the remedies that have been proposed by those who for one or other reason are dissatisfied with the present state of affairs.

Among those who would like to recover or to increase the eleemosynary aspect of Scholarships, the extreme proposal appears to be that all Scholarships should be abolished, excepting those possessing a poverty qualification, or that even if some Scholarships be left as prizes, all Exhibitions at present open should be made close, and confined to poor men, and their number greatly increased. Apart from the legal and legislative difficulties of such a course, it appears certain that if it were adopted the intellectual standard would deteriorate rapidly, and that in the long run we should find that we had merely exchanged the fairly well-to-do man with some brains for the poor man without them.


[page 85]

Another class would go back upon the action of the 1850 Commission and revive the close Scholarship system as applied to localities and schools, spreading the scheme over wider areas, and mapping out the country into districts, to which the Scholarships should be assigned. Much may be said on both sides of this question, which there is not space to develop here. But on the whole it appears most unlikely that the action of the early reformers, or the reasoning upon which it was based, will be overturned; and I observe that the recent Working-Class Education Committee did not regard this as a practicable solution.

A more daring suggestion is to divide Scholarships and Exhibitions into two classes, (1) Honorary, and carrying no emoluments, to be competed for by the clever and well-to-do; (2) Eleemosynary, to be competed for or enjoyed by the poor. No proposal that would involve the revival of paid Scholars as an inferior order or renew distinctions between classes resting solely on wealth is likely, I think, to find permanent favour in Oxford, even if it were not detrimental, as this must be, to the general standard of learning. A variation of this idea is to treat all Scholarships as University Prizes, but without emolument, to invite rich and poor alike to compete for them as they do now, and then in the case of the poor prize-winner, but of him alone, to endow the prize with 20 or 50 or 80 or 100 per annum according to the measure of his need. I say nothing of the difficulty of carrying such a pecuniary discrimination into effect, but it is surely very doubtful whether the effort altogether to sever honour from emolument is capable of being attended with success. Just as the rich author is not averse from receiving the royalties of a successful book, so the well-to-do student is as much stimulated by the prospect of winning a money-prize as is the poor one. The amount of the prize may not be vital or even important to him, but nevertheless it is the spoil of his own brains, and though he may be willing


[page 86]

to hand it back after it has been won, it is doubtful whether he would compete were it not to be won at all. Again, there is the conscientious difficulty with which the average winner of moderate means would be confronted in deciding how far the endowment was or was not essential to his education. But there is also a wider point of view. One object of the University should surely be to urge the clever commoner to the pursuit of scholarship by every means in its power. If we take away the tangible reward while we only leave the empty honour, we shall very likely find that we have sacrificed a valuable incentive to the industry of the well-to-do classes, without at the same time either greatly encouraging or relieving the poor; for whereas the former are likely to be repelled by the certainty that they will get no money reward at all, the latter are equally likely to be dismayed by the uncertainty as to what exactly they may get. Where a poorer student will work hard for a Scholarship of 80 or 100, will he do the same for a Scholarship the emoluments of which are insecure, being indeed entirely at the discretion of the College authorities?

A more restricted but more feasible suggestion is that which has recently found much favour in both Universities (Oxford and Cambridge), and has already been put into practice by some Colleges. It has assumed both a looser and a more stringent form. Both forms contemplate the resignation of some portion of the emoluments of a Scholarship or open Exhibition. But in the one case it is suggested to the parent or guardian of the successful candidate that while entitled to the full payment the latter should surrender the whole or such portion of it as his circumstances may permit. In the other, it is proposed that the legal right to payment beyond a fixed sum, e.g. 25, should be cancelled (if necessary by legislation or by modification of trusts), and that the whole or a portion of the remainder of the total emolument now paid should only be given upon a confidential declaration by the


[page 87]

parent or guardian as to the requirements of the Scholar. In either case the sum that would be thus saved by the Colleges would constitute a fund to be administered by them for the special relief of poorer men. This scheme in the first or looser form has secured a very large measure of support at Oxford, and is in operation in some of the Colleges there. At Cambridge it has been the subject of a conference between representatives of some of the more important Colleges, and has also, with some modifications, been adopted in particular cases. One practical difficulty has to be guarded against in the acceptance of any such scheme, viz. the risk that a powerful or popular College, from the balance placed at its disposal by these renunciations, supposing them to be at all considerable, might increase the number of its Classical Scholarships (the total of which at Oxford is already in excess of the requirements), and might thus still further draw away candidates from the smaller and poorer Colleges. But this difficulty would be met by the limitation in College Statutes of the number of Scholarships to be offered. These schemes may be useful so far as they go, but I observe that the WorkingClass Education Committee describe them as an unsatisfactory palliative, and the more drastic of the two proposals has not so far met with widespread favour. They remind us, however, of the facts that, in any serious attempt to vary the emoluments of Oxford Scholarships obstacles of law as well as moral scruples have to be encountered, co-operation between a large number of Colleges is almost essential to ensure success, and without an agreement between Oxford and Cambridge no very considerable or far-reaching change can be hoped for.

The second and third charges brought against the existing system, which relate to its effect upon the students and the examinations, contain much truth; although they are only part of the wider arraignment that may be directed against the system of competitive examinations at large. There is something undesirable in the spectacle of the sharp


[page 88]

boys at the leading Public Schools being steadily and remorselessly sharpened for the exclusive object of winning for their school the blue ribbon of this or that University Scholarship, the reputation of the school being enhanced or diminished according to their success or failure, and there is something still more regrettable in the spectacle of the annual scramble for these sharp boys at a particular season in the year by the Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge.

At the same time it is possible to exaggerate the evil influences of this system, both upon the Public Schools, the Colleges, and the boys; and if we contrast it with that which it replaced, it is not open to doubt that the competition for University open Scholarships has proved an immense stimulus to Public Schools (as contrasted with the olden days, when the Scholar on the School Foundation moved on without an effort to the College Foundation); that it has widened the range, if it has not raised the level, of scholarship among the students, and that it has tended to keep up the intellectual standard in the Universities. The rivalry is at each stage a rivalry, not for any ignoble object, but in intellectual efficiency. Every system has its weak points, and those of the competitive examination system are notorious. But it is not easy to see what alternative is to take its place, when through half a century of remonstrance and abuse, it has steadily strengthened its hold not upon England alone, but upon the civilized countries of the world.

At Oxford, however, a definite suggestion has been made for obviating the least desirable features of the annual competition for scholars that is held by the Colleges in December. It is that the whole of the Scholarships should be pooled, that they should be treated as University Prizes (with or without emolument), and should be awarded by examinations held two or three times in the year by the School Examination Delegacy or by a specially appointed University Board. The scholars would be distributed among the various Colleges, much as the Rhodes Scholars now are, both Colleges


[page 89]

and candidates being allowed some liberty of choice - an extension, in fact, of the system already adopted in the combined College Examinations.(1)

It is not clear, however, whether this would really produce the desired effect, or be an advantage to any of the parties concerned. If the number of Scholarships remained the same as now, the cleverest boys would still tend to go to the Colleges whose Scholarships enjoy the greatest reputation - indeed more so, for they would not be distributed by natural causes; while the poorer Colleges would still get the residue and might indeed be worse off than before, for their freedom of choice would be restricted, and they would lose the chance of obtaining an occasional prodigy. If, on the other hand, it were proposed to diminish the number of Scholarships, it does not seem likely that the consent of the Colleges would be obtained. Still less would the more powerful Colleges acquiesce in a change - similar to that which was introduced into the Civil Service in India, when it was found that all the candidates who had come out at the head of the list and enjoyed a freedom of choice, pronounced for the most popular or the healthiest Provinces - by which the successful students should be evenly distributed among the Colleges without option on either side. Again, it is doubtful whether a University Scholar under the new conditions would regard it as nearly so great an honour to be one of several scores of similar Scholars (even though he went, for example, to Balliol) as to have won the first Balliol Scholarship. Further, although the standard of attainment necessarily differs considerably in the various College examinations, it is not clear that a single examination by a single Board, even though it introduced greater uniformity,

(1) The present combinations for Classical Scholarships and Exhibitions are: (1) Exeter, Oriel, Brasenose, and Christ Church; (2) University, Corpus Christi, and New College; (3) Trinity and Wadham; (4) Queen's, St. John's, Hertford, and Keble. There are other groups for Mathematics, Science, and History.


[page 90]

might not at the same time sacrifice a variety that is useful and stimulating. Different College examinations with different standards will tend to produce different types, all of which are ground up against each other in the great mill of University examinations.

The weak point in the present system appears to be not so much the multiplicity of types or standards as the fact that owing to the great number of Scholarships that are given for Classics (a system that has its roots in the close connexion between the older Universities and the chief Public Schools) the prizes are in numerical excess of the candidates worthy to win them, and the intellectual level of a Scholarship in some Colleges is thereby lowered. When we see that places in the Third and even the Fourth Class in Honour Moderations are taken by wearers of the Scholar's gown, and that Scholars of all types do not invariably occupy that position in the Class Lists which we should desire (I exclude, of course, all cases that are explicable by illness), the mischief must lie deeper than in the manner or method of examination alone.

There is a smaller anomaly in the operation of the present system which appears to deserve attention. As has been remarked, nearly all the Scholarship examinations at Oxford and Cambridge are compressed into a few weeks in December. Considerations of expediency and self-interest are responsible for this course. But it has two drawbacks. A candidate who is incapacitated by illness or otherwise may, owing to the limit of age (nineteen), forfeit his entire chance; and candidates are driven to compete on equal terms whose ages may differ by nearly twelve months.

My own solution of the Scholarship difficulty - in so far as I may without presumption offer one - would lie in a different direction. The entire reasoning of this Memorandum, both up to the present point and later - the figures of the existing distribution of Scholarships and Exhibitions, the excessive number that are awarded for the Classics, the appeals for support that come with increasing and irresistible


[page 91]

force from so many quarters, the desirability of connecting our courses not merely with the great Public Schools but with the Secondary Schools of the nation - all of these are arguments not so much for a reduction in values or a voluntary return of emoluments - though these are compatible with any system as for a redistribution of our Scholarships and Exhibitions on a broad and systematic, but on no quixotic or impracticable, scale. If we take the total of 53,000 now expended annually by the Colleges on these two forms of endowment, and if we place alongside of this the table of existing distribution (page 77), is it possible to contend that the bounty of Oxford at present percolates through all the channels that are waiting and worthy to receive it, or that it irrigates the entire field of learning?

The History School is well furnished with Scholarships, Exhibitions, and Prizes; and there is already spent on the teaching of Modern History at Oxford a larger annual sum than in any University in the world. Whether Mathematics and Natural Science are equally well provided for the members of those Faculties will know; but complaints have not reached me that the number of Scholarships is inadequate; while cases have been cited to me of Scholarships withheld only because candidates were not forthcoming. Very different is the case when we turn to the newer courses, or recapitulate the needs that have already been established in this paper. A list will perhaps best indicate the subjects in which Scholarships and Exhibitions would be eagerly welcomed, if they were forthcoming.

A. For the Encouragement of the Poor.
i. The Non-Collegiate system.
ii. Ruskin College.
iii. A new Working-men's College.
iv. At ordinary Colleges.
v. Elementary and Secondary School Teachers.
B. For English Literature.

[page 92

C. For Modern Languages.

D. For Post-graduate study or Research.

E. For subjects (other than Classics) included in any of the University courses.

F. For University Scholarships (should it be desired to make, on a limited scale, the experiment which I have already discussed, and to place a certain number of College Scholarships at the disposal of the University for distribution between the Colleges after a University Examination).

Of the first heading (A) I have previously spoken. B and C would lend a much needed encouragement to the 'modern sides' of Public Schools. A new School of English Language and Literature has been founded at Oxford, as also a School for Modern European Languages. But neither the competence of Professors nor the excellence of a curriculum will atone for the paucity of students; and the obvious method by which to attract the latter is to offer them the inducements to come.

The case for more Scholarships in advanced study and Research is further dealt with in Chapter VIII.

My list does not pretend to be exhaustive, and will admit of enlargement by those who are in closer touch with the requirements of the schools and of the different classes in the community who are looking to a University career. If the idea were so fortunate as to find favour with the Colleges and the University, a possible form of procedure would be for a Committee of both to frame a plan of redistribution, or a General Fund might be formed by the surrender of certain Scholarships and Exhibitions, and this fund might be administered by a Board composed of representatives of both, proceeding upon a definite plan; or, in the last resort, each College might submit and carry out, subject to University sanction, a redistribution scheme of its own. It is impossible to act without the voluntary co-operation of the Colleges, who are principally and intimately concerned. Moreover, they will know how


[page 93]

far they are hampered either by trust deeds or by arrangements with particular schools; and where a modification of the Statutes is called for. Should it be found possible, however, to effect some such redistribution of existing revenues as I have ventured to recommend, it appears to me that the Oxford system would have a satisfactory reply to the charges directed against it, and with the minimum of general disturbance would be able to devote its resources to that which is the object of all Scholarships and Exhibitions, namely, the encouragement of intellectual effort, coupled with the opening of a University career to those members of every class, and notably of the poorer class, who aspire to share in its blessings.

Fellowships

The question of Fellowships does not arise directly out of that of Scholarships and Exhibitions, in so far as these are regarded as a means of furnishing a University education to persons of humble means. But the subject of University endowments for the reward or encouragement of learning cannot be considered without reference to them; and they may therefore be discussed in this place.

The history of the Fellowships of Oxford has been marked by many contrasts. We need not here follow their earlier vicissitudes, from the days when the Fellows were members of almost monastic communities, observing a definite rule of life (they were the graduate, just as the Scholars were the undergraduate, members of the mediaeval Foundations), down to the middle of the last century. The first Commission found them a powerful body nearly 550 strong, appointed by favour from a narrowly restricted class, drawing large but irregular stipends, all unmarried and in Holy Orders, holding office for life, and mostly living away from Oxford. The Commission made many


[page 94]

excellent recommendations, the majority of which unfortunately were not carried out. One great and invaluable reform was however introduced - Fellowships were thrown open to general competition - but the clerical and celibate restrictions and the life tenure remained. In the interval between 1854 and 1877 many changes had taken place in Oxford. Clerical tests were abolished, college offices began to be held by laymen; in the suburbs of the town there sprang up a populous quarter which invited matrimonial residence. Simultaneously with the desire for the final extinction of the old monopolies and disabilities, a strong plea was urged for the creation of a new type of Fellowship, terminable but distinguished, and constituting both a prize and an endowment. Prize Fellowships were earnestly advocated by Jowett and others, on the grounds that they would provide (a) a reward of ability, (b) an opportunity for independent study, (c) a stepping-stone to professional careers, and (d) a link between the residents of Oxford and the outside world. 'To have a large proportion of their ablest members' (wrote Jowett) 'scattered among the professions and still retaining their connexion with them, must add greatly to the prestige and influence of the Universities, and also act beneficially on the professions themselves.' When the Commission came to draw up its Statutes, these views prevailed, and three classes of Fellows were created by them, viz.

I. Professorial Fellows, i.e. Fellowships attached to University Professorships.

II. Official or Tutorial Fellows, i.e. Fellowships held by the Educational Staff of the College.

III. Ordinary, often popularly called Prize Fellows.

Of these classes the last-named represented the dominant belief that Fellowships were an important link between the University and the nation. It was decided that the Prize Fellow should possess not more than a certain income (generally 500 per ann.); he was under no obligation to reside (after a year of probation) or to serve


[page 95]

his College in any capacity; he received 200 a year for seven years. Prize Fellowships were awarded after examination, the Statutes providing for their even distribution between every branch of study or knowledge recognized in the various Schools of the University. They were in fact, as the name indicates, the apotheosis of the theory that a Fellowship is a reward of ability rather than a condition of service.

Financial difficulties have prevented the scheme of the Commissioners from being carried into full execution. Christ Church was to elect at least one 'Non-official Student' (as they were there called) in each year, and the total number, as soon as practicable, was to be ten. In twenty-seven years they have only elected five. All Souls was to elect three similar Fellows every year; they have never elected more than two and sometimes only one. The Commissioners further provided for seven Research Fellowships at All Souls, to be filled at the rate of one per annum. In the 27 years that have passed since the Statute (1881), the College has only been in a position to elect to these Fellowships on three occasions. Magdalen and some other Colleges have given their Ordinary Fellowships, under a wise system of rotation, for various subjects; while the Colleges as a rule have utilized their powers to fill ascertained gaps in the work either of the College or the University. In this connexion it is to be noted that some Colleges possess and use the power to give Ordinary Fellowships on condition of the performance of University work or of Research; and it will be found that many Ordinary Fellowships recently conferred have been of this type.

At the present time there are 315 Fellows of Oxford Colleges (including the Professor-Fellows and the Canons of Christ Church), of whom a little more than 220, or 70 per cent, are on the Collegiate Staff, or are engaged in University or College work. A certain number of Fellows on the Old Foundation (i.e. before 1877, and even before


[page 96]

1850) still survive; and as these disappear, the Colleges will be better able to discharge their obligations to the University.

The total amount that appeared in the College Accounts of 1907 as having been paid to Fellows was 61,550 19s 10d. But this is far from being an exhaustive statement. For it did not include the Fellowships of the Professor-Fellows, which formed a considerable portion of the total of 20,352 13s 2d returned by the Colleges as having been paid in the same year (partly in Fellowships, partly in Professorial salaries) to that class; nor the Professor-Canons of Christ Church, who are paid out of the Chapter Fund. Neither did it include large sums enjoyed under the terms of independent trusts by the Fellows of Hertford, BallioL and Oriel. Of the sum of 62,653 16s 3d entered in the same year as having been spent in College Tuition, the main portion would also have passed into the hands of the Fellows of Colleges. But as this is in the nature of payment for service rendered, and is in no sense an endowment, it is not reckoned here. Owing to the manner in which the College Accounts are published, it is difficult to state exactly what is the total sum expended in Fellowships at Oxford.(1)

An attack upon Prize Fellowships has been a feature of almost every recent scheme of University Reform; and as this attitude indicates a complete revulsion from the views that were prevalent only a quarter of a century ago, it may be as well to state the grounds upon which it rests. The Prize Fellow is described by critics of this school as an absentee; who, in the majority of cases, has neither inducement nor compulsion to remain and work in Oxford; who does not, as a rule, require his emolument, because he is on the threshold of a lucrative profession, who in return for

(1) The Commission of 1872 gave the whole amount paid by the Colleges (including Tuition Fees) to Fellows in 1871 as 101,171 4s 5d out of Corporate Income, and 1,293 18s 9d out of Trust Funds, or a total of 102,465 3s 2d. (vide Report, Synoptical Table B).


[page 97]

it makes little or no contribution to the learning or educational efficiency of the University, and who might, to all intents and purposes, as well take his cheque for 1,400 and disappear. This seems to me a prejudiced and exaggerated statement; and an examination of the circumstances of individual Prize Fellows would probably suggest a modification of view. The attitude of mind, however, is valuable as testifying the increasing desire that the endowments of Oxford shall be devoted to the direct and immediate service of the University whether inside or outside it: and that neither intellectual merit nor public distinction shall create any claim to participation in them unless it accepts this obligation.

In practice the anomaly, if it be such, is one of small dimensions, and resolves itself mainly into a criticism of the single institution of All Souls. In the great majority of Colleges the principle is now generally acted upon that an Ordinary Fellowship shall be given as part payment for work still to be done. There are so many educational calls in Oxford, and the demand for qualified persons as teachers or students is so great, that the majority of Colleges cannot afford to give a handsome bonus even to the most promising absentees.

All Souls is in a different position, because it is not a teaching College, and was deliberately selected by the Commission as a means of satisfying needs and offering rewards differing from those which subsisted elsewhere. Whether it is desirable that there should remain a single institution which offers a highly-valued prize to the ablest young men (because, although the examination is in 'subjects connected with the studies of Law and History', it is conducted in such a manner as to be a test of all-round ability), drawing them from all Colleges without distinction, assisting their entrance into public or professional life, keeping alive their interest in and association with the University for a number of years, infusing the influence of Oxford through their agency into many and diverse spheres of action, and


[page 98]

presenting, if not a succession of historians and jurists to the University, at least a number of distinguished public servants to Church and State, is a question upon which I am not qualified to pronounce. The College has never shown any insensibility to the movements of public opinion \ and may be relied upon to devote its endowments, within the limits permitted to it, to the best interests of the University, as these take different shapes from time to time.

Even if Prize Fellowships are destined to take a subsidiary position in the future, there is one unquestioned advantage which they possess and which it would be a pity to sacrifice. I speak of the link between Oxford and the outside world. Every movement in the direction of making the University more academic, more strenuous, more absorbed in teaching or in learning, tends also to make it more self-centred, and less susceptible to external opinion. Every bridge therefore that can be built between Oxford and the nation is of public value; and every passenger upon such a bridge is rendering useful service. In order to maintain this connexion Colleges might be obliged to elect two Fellows from their old members for a term of seven years. These might be given a small allowance for travelling and living in College, where they would enjoy all the rights and privileges of Fellows. But they would draw no other emoluments and should not be eligible for re-election. Or the conditions under which Honorary Fellowships are given - usually as a compliment to some eminent man - might be so revised as to admit of being employed for this purpose. Some such scheme should be especially welcome to the small Colleges, which are only 'run' with great difficulty in existing circumstances.

Ordinary or Prize Fellowships are held for a term of seven years and with certain limited exceptions are not renewable.

Official or Tutorial Fellowships are held so long as the office or tutorship for which they form part payment is


[page 99]

retained, and they are renewed from time to time concurrently with reappointment to the qualifying position; and Fellowships appropriated by Colleges under their Statutes or of their own spontaneous action to Professors or University officials are renewed in the same way.

Fellowships for Research, i.e. definite learned or literary work, are also usually held for a period of years.

The question of renewal, however, is not unattended with difficulty. It would appear to be the natural course that when the work is finished, the Fellowship should cease also. But it is not always possible to pronounce in this way. Research may be indefinitely prolonged, sometimes without any very definite result, and it is not easy in such a case to say whether prolongation of the Fellowship is justifiable. Probably some Fellowships ought not to be renewable under any conditions, and in regard to Research some Colleges have taken refuge in making them terminable without the possibility of re-election.

For myself I would like to see, as in the case of Scholarships, an examination of the entire system of Fellowships and their allocation on more scientific and harmonious lines. At present a College may assign one of its Ordinary or Prize Fellowships to any purpose agreeable to itself, provided that it is in conformity with the Statutes; and it is naturally guided in doing so, firstly by the interests or requirements of the College, and only secondarily by those of the University. Without infringing this principle, good might result from more consultation and from an attempt, renewed from time to time, to map out the entire area of University and College requirements, and to distribute this imposing income in the manner best calculated to promote the advancement of learning. One College might promise a Fellowship for one subject, another for another; there would be method instead of accident, and co-operation in place of caprice. In this way large gaps in University teaching might by degrees


[page 100]

be filled; Fellowships might be provided for University Extension, or for Tutorial work among Non-Collegiate students and in Working-men's Colleges and Halls; and a definite scheme might be constructed of Research Fellowships, spread over the whole field of advanced studies. The falling in of Old Foundation Fellowships would facilitate the process. I am encouraged in making this suggestion by the fact that the consultation of which I speak has already to some extent begun. There is an increasing disposition on the part of the Colleges to confer with the University on the vacation of a Fellowship, with a view to determining what department of University work stands in special need of assistance.

At the same time smaller reforms might be introduced in the case of Prize Fellowships (in their narrower application). The principle of return of emoluments already applied to Scholarships might where practicable be more widely acknowledged. The property limit which disqualifies might be lowered. Prize Fellowships might be given for a shorter term or might be forfeitable unless certain conditions are satisfied. Some Colleges have already modified the system by obtaining changes in their Statutes enabling them to give Prize Fellowships for seven years, upon condition of three or four years being devoted to College or University work.

An examination of the subject by competent authorities would doubtless lead to many fruitful suggestions. I have here done little more than indicate the outlines of the problem, and invite attention to its importance.



[page 101]

CHAPTER V

UNIVERSITY EXAMINATIONS

RESPONSIONS - UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE EXAMINATION - THE PASS-MAN - PASS-SCHOOLS

Compulsory Greek in Responsions

IN the pathway of every endeavour to open the University to wider classes or to the poor, stands the vexed question of Greek in Responsions - a question which no scheme of reform can overlook, and which cannot be permanently ignored.

Under the existing law, an Oxford student cannot enter any examination leading to the B.A. Degree (whatever the School which he proposes to take) until he has passed Responsions or one of the examinations that are accepted as an equivalent for it. The knowledge of Greek therefore that is required to pass Responsions or its equivalents is the irreducible minimum without which no degree, either 'pass' or 'class', can be obtained. Preliminary Examinations in Science and Jurisprudence, involving no Greek, are open in place of Moderations to any candidate for a Final Honour School. But this relief has not been carried a step further back; and, for all such, Responsions and Greek in Responsions are still obligatory.

Opinions may differ as to the degree of Greek knowledge that is required for this purpose, and still more as to its value; but, even on the lowest estimate, a test that requires some acquaintance with Greek grammar, and either an unprepared translation from Greek, or a translation from a selected Greek book, cannot but be a formidable barrier to those who have either not studied Greek at all or do not wish to study it. The fact that an ignorant but clever man


[page 102]

can 'get up' the necessary amount of knowledge after a few months' labour, or that a stupid man can scrape through by an effort of memory and luck combined, does not make the situation better, but worse, since it means in the former case that time is consumed which might be better spent, and in the latter that the mental value of the test is nil.

In the earlier pages of this Memorandum some attempt has been made to describe the various classes who are appealing to the University for admission, or who might with no great difficulty be drawn within its influence. Setting aside for the moment the working-man, who, if he does not aspire to a degree, is not affected by the Greek question in any form - although, should he wish to graduate, it would at once become an insurmountable obstacle - we find that so long as Greek is maintained as a compulsory subject in Responsions, it either closes the door completely, or acts as a positive deterrent, to the following classes:

(i) It keeps out some of the best products of our Secondary Schools - where neither the teachers nor the pupils have inherited the classical tradition, and in many of which Greek is not taught at all. These are the schools to which I before referred as recruited mainly from the professional classes or the trading-classes, and as preparing their students for professional or business occupations. The best of them still look to Oxford and Cambridge as the finishing course for their pupils. It is imperative that we should not lose our connexion with them, and that they should not turn aside their affections to younger or more sympathetic institutions.

(ii) It prevents us from educating the teachers in those Secondary Schools where Greek is not required. For why should they learn that which will be of no more use to them?

(iii) It frightens away many of the best men from the 'modern sides' of our larger Public Schools. In their preparation for active professions they have very likely said good-bye to Greek altogether before they have left


[page 103]

the school stage. Will they come to the University if the first condition of entrance is that they should resume it?

(iv) It operates very hardly upon those students who propose to take a degree - in Mathematics or Science in fact, upon all those who do not come to Oxford primarily for a literary training. To a less but still to an appreciable extent it affects the Modern History student.

In all of these classes we are yearly losing a large number of students, because their parents will not send them to Oxford to waste half a year or a year in Greek; or if they do send them to Oxford, it will be at the intellectual cost to the pupil of several months spent in previous ' cram '. The aggregate of these classes is, perhaps, still a minority. But before long they will be in the majority; and we might then feel that we had forfeited an opportunity of winning or retaining their confidence which would not recur.

In the course of my experience as Chairman of the Oxford Re-endowment Fund I have found no question upon which some sections of public opinion feel more strongly than this. One would-be benefactor of Oxford wrote to me that he was prepared to make a contribution of 30,000 towards a definite scientific object at Oxford, if I could assure him that the barrier of compulsory Greek would be removed. Though my own sympathies were entirely with him, I was not in a position to give the assurance that he desired, and the Fund still lacks this noble increment.

Could it be shown that the examination itself, either by the instruction that it gives, or the qualities that it tests, is a valuable stage in a young man's education, we might run some risk in order to retain it. But I have found no one to contend that this is the case; on the contrary, the most unsparing criticism of it emanates, as a rule, not from the scientist or the mathematician, but from the classical scholar. To an academic audience I need not labour the point that the degree of classical knowledge


[page 104]

required to pass Responsions is no criterion whatever of scholarship; and that a modicum of Greek acquired by 'cramming', and forgotten almost as soon as learned, is a travesty of learning, and almost an insult to the tongue of Thucydides and Aeschylus and Homer. It is indeed merely a continuation of the ordinary Fifth Form studies of a Public School. But to the general public, who are vitally interested in the matter, the consideration should surely appeal that in order to retain this contact with the hem of the classics, English History, English Literature, and Natural Science are dropped altogether from the scheme of Responsions (which, be it remembered, is to a large extent the Entrance Examination of the University), and that a student may, therefore, pass the first milestone of his Oxford career without any acquaintance with the elements of general culture.

The above remarks are uttered in no spirit of disrespect to the Greek language or to those works which are the priceless possession of humanity and a treasure-house of the noblest thoughts and the most artistic achievements of the race. They are all arguments, not against Greek in education, or even against Greek in Responsions at Oxford, but only against compulsory Greek in Responsions. By all means let Greek remain as an optional language or a special subject for those who wish to take it up. But let it not therefore be forced upon those who do not, in the mistaken idea that the fate of the Classics hangs upon so slender a thread.

Greek will always retain its place in any scheme of catholic or humanistic culture, because it is indispensable to the student who wishes to know whence our most enlightened ideas sprang or to study their embodiment in the finest works of art. As such it will be learned for its own sake as long as learning exists, and it enjoys an advantage with which even Latin cannot compete. But that is a very different thing from forcing a transient acquaintance even with the greatest writers of antiquity,


[page 105]

upon a young man whose study is too superficial to enable him to learn their deeper lessons, and whose main concern is to forget that which he has reluctantly and often mechanically acquired. If the average Oxford Pass-man were to be examined at the age of thirty upon his knowledge of Greek, what relics would as a rule survive amid the general debris?

It would be a more serious objection if the disappearance of Greek as a compulsory subject in Responsions were likely prejudicially to affect our Public Schools. It would probably mean the final disappearance of Greek from certain of our Secondary Schools where it is now somewhat reluctantly pursued. The larger Public Schools would require to make an alteration in their curriculum for those of their pupils who did not mean to pursue Greek at all. But this they have already done in the case of boys on the 'modern side'; and for all candidates either for Pass Moderations or still more for the Honour School in Greats, i.e. the best of the pupils who are proceeding to Oxford, as also for those who propose to take it as an optional subject in Responsions (if that examination continues to exist), Greek would still retain its place. I believe that a large proportion of Public School Headmasters and Assistants are just as convinced of the desirability and necessity of reform as the most ardent of University reformers; and that they would welcome a relief from the task of forcing Greek into unfit and irresponsive recipients, which would give them time for building up a solid foundation in the majority of their pupils of Latin, English, Mathematics, History, and Elementary Science. In any case, the University should surely decide its own destiny; and although there may be a considerable fall in the numbers who will study Greek, if it ceases to be compulsory, the reduction will not affect the class who do real justice to the study, while the vitality of Greek as a branch of humane culture must be weaker than its bitterest opponents could conceive, if


[page 106]

so moderate an encroachment upon its sway were to produce the cataclysm that is sometimes feared. A more practical consideration is the attitude that Cambridge University may be disposed to assume towards any such proposal.

These views lay no claim to do full justice to the arguments that may be employed on either side of this long-standing controversy. They are merely stated here because I ought not to make to the Governing Body of the University so earnest a representation as that which I here submit, without indicating the particular reasons that have led me to this conclusion.

The question itself is a 'stricken field' of academic warfare. It has been discussed on numerous occasions in the University. As recently as November 11, 1902, a Resolution that Greek and Latin should be alternative subjects in Responsions was debated in Congregation, and rejected by 189 votes to 166. On November 29, 1904, a Statute making Greek optional for candidates in Mathematics and Science was also thrown out in Congregation by 200 votes to 164. Since then various attempts have been made to modify the rigidity of the existing test, and to convert Responsions into a more humane and reasonable Examination. Each of these attempts has ended in failure, and the failure is not to be regretted if it now leads to a reconsideration of the larger issue, and a treatment of the question by courageous instead of piecemeal or tentative remedies.

My own view, as I shall presently argue, is that Responsions should cease altogether to exist. But if that is found to be impossible, then the University may perhaps be willing to consider its reform. At least let it be remodelled so as to make it the avenue to a reasonably literary education for a greater variety of men. Many such schemes will suggest themselves. If a group of compulsory and a group of special or optional subjects were drawn up, of which the former should be of moderate dimensions, while the latter


[page 107]

(out of which the candidate would be obliged to select one or two) were fairly large, there might be put into the compulsory group Elementary Mathematics, and Latin (as now), Elementary Science (unless this were found to entail too low a standard), and English History or Literature, and into the discretionary group, Greek, Modern Languages, and a more advanced knowledge of Natural Science and English History or Literature. Those who hold, as I do, to the old ideal of Oxford education, may fairly claim that, if compulsory Greek be abolished, some literary equivalent should be substituted for it. The youth who comes to Oxford may reasonably be asked to show a knowledge of Latin, and of some other of the great languages, studied as Greek and Latin now are, in relation to their best literature. I have only ventured upon these suggestions because I would not like it to be inferred that the disappearance of compulsory Greek alone will convert Responsions into a useful examination. For the same reason I would deprecate the abolition of compulsory Greek in the case of mathematical and science students only. There is no reason why we should not have mercy upon the general student also.

Suggested Abolition of Responsions

Here, however, I am brought to the consideration whether it is desirable to retain Responsions at all, or whether this examination, which is half an Entrance Examination and half not, and which is as unsuitable, in its methods and subjects, for the former object as it is ill adapted for a University Preliminary Examination, should not be altogether abolished, and its place taken by an Entrance Examination conducted under better auspices and by appropriate authorities.

The practice of the University in respect of an Entrance Examination must first be stated.


[page 108]

It might appear strange, if it were not true, that a test for admission to its privileges is a matter from which the University deliberately dissociates itself. Only in the case of the Non-Collegiate students is anything in the nature of an Entrance Examination required by the University; and this (which is of a very unexacting description) is only conducted by the Delegacy, because the latter is treated for the purpose as though it were a College. In all other cases it is the Colleges who have been conceded or have acquired the power of deciding who shall or shall not be members of the University.

Every College has an Entrance Examination of its own, differing in character and standard, but the majority accept Responsions or one of the equivalent examinations as a substitute (either in whole or in part), and many require a student to have passed Responsions before he comes into residence. Thus Responsions has drifted into the position of being a sort of Entrance Examination; and the spectacle which was once common of men coming into residence at Oxford before they have passed it, and staying on long after they have failed to pass it, is now rarely seen.(1) Oxford and Cambridge are, I believe, the only Universities in the world in which this system prevails. It has grown up because of the circumstances in which the Colleges themselves grew up, and because throughout their joint history there has never been any clear division between the functions of the University and those of the Colleges, the latter being corporate bodies with their own laws and regulations, separate from, and in most respects independent of, the University. It is much as though Eton and Harrow were to admit boys to membership, not upon an Entrance Examination conducted by themselves, but upon whatever examination each of the house-masters might choose to

(1) To meet this abuse, where it occurs, it has been suggested, supposing the system to remain unchanged, that no undergraduate should count his terms of residence for a degree until he has passed his Entrance Examination.


[page 109]

enforce for his individual house. The result is, firstly, that the University has no voice in determining the conditions of its membership; secondly, that there is a' wide variety of standard created by the Colleges. A man who is rejected in one College may even pass on and obtain admission at another, the scale of requirement descending in proportion to the character and reputation of the College.

So startling an anomaly could not escape the notice of the first Commission, and one of the many wise recommendations made by them, but unhappily disregarded, was the institution of a University Matriculation Examination. In this they were specially influenced by the opinion of Archbishop Whately, who wrote:

I have long been convinced that the very first step should be a University Examination, preliminary to Matriculation. If everything else be put on the best possible footing, and that one point be omitted, you will have a plan which will look well on paper, but will never work satisfactorily.
Archbishop Whately argued the case in the interest both of College teaching and University examinations, which, he said, were both lowered to meet the case of immature schoolboys, and of the Public Schools, to whom the reform would act as an 'inestimable stimulus'. It would be unfair to assume that there has not been a great improvement in all these respects during the past half -century. But the principle of the reasoning remains unshaken.

It is important to note the manner in which the objections to this proposal were met by the Commissioners. To the plea that the University might lose some portion of its numbers, and therefore of its power and influence, they replied that such losses would be more than counterbalanced by those whom their reforms would attract: to the objection that many young men of station and influence might be excluded by such a test, they replied that a great advantage ought not to be sacrificed for those who,


[page 110]

if unimprovable, deserved no sympathy; but that in truth the desire of this class for a University education was so general that they would strive to qualify; and to the argument that in order to avoid excluding many persons who ought to be at the University, the standard must be made so low as to exclude none, they retorted by the suggestion that the names of those who passed should be printed in two divisions, those who had passed creditably and those who had merely passed.

The Entrance Examination proposed by the Commission was to be in the same subjects as Responsions; but - a remarkable illustration of the distance that we have travelled since then in the public attitude towards the Classics - in order to meet the case of those candidates who might not have a good classical education, they proposed that the failure to write (not Greek, but) Latin might be compensated by proficiency in Mathematics.(1)

Although circumstances have changed greatly during the past fifty years, there is a resemblance in the arguments employed and in the answers given that renders them worthy of more than passing attention. But the changes have been in the direction not of aggravating but of removing the apprehensions that were then entertained, and of strengthening and not weakening the case for reform. In the first place the standard of College Entrance Examinations has been greatly stiffened, so that the man who can overcome this obstacle ought not to be deterred by the other. Secondly, it would not be at all necessary that the Colleges should surrender their own Entrance Examinations, if they desired to supplement the University test by a higher one of their own, and in this way the standard would be maintained. And thirdly, the machinery for holding a University Matriculation Examination now exists (at any rate in outline), whereas fifty years ago it would have had to be created.

(1) Report, pp. 69, 70.


[page 111]

I allude of course, in the last sentence, to the system of examinations and certificates as conducted by the Local Examination Delegacy, and the Delegacy for the Inspection and Examination of Schools, which is the Oxford half of the Oxford and Cambridge Joint Examination Board. Already, in so far as this examination takes the place of a University Entrance Examination, it is much better suited for the purpose than Responsions. But where it exempts from Responsions, it contains compulsory Greek, and if Greek is only to be an optional subject, some modification will be required.

A Joint School-leaving and University Entrance Examination

We have reached a point, however, in the argument at which reference must be made to the views of those who would like to see the matter dealt with on wider principles, and by the most powerful authorities. If it be conceded that there ought to be a University Entrance Examination, and that this Examination ought to take the form of a School-leaving Examination (for it is really the work of the schools that is being tested), why, it is asked, should we not aspire to a broader solution in which the Government might assist? Ought not the matter to be settled as it is in Germany and Austria, and some other foreign countries, on a scientific and national plan? A little while ago Professor Silvanus Thompson described our present scheme of Secondary Education in England as terminating in a mere muddle, a disorganized chaos, in which matriculation and school-leaving examinations are all jumbled up together, with an uncertain multiplicity of standards, and with no consistency, uniformity, or plan. Perhaps co-ordination has been carried further than these words would seem to imply. Nevertheless, the


[page 112]

avowed demand of this school of opinion is for a universal and elastic system of School-leaving examinations conducted by the Universities in consultation with the Government and with the masters of Secondary Schools.

This scheme, it is argued, would be of great advantage to the Universities, whom it would relieve of much vexatious and time-consuming work; it would act as a stimulus to the Secondary Schools, who would have a definite goal before them, and who would be brought thereby into much closer and more intimate connexion with the Universities; and it would be valuable to those professional bodies and others who require a test of proficiency in applicants for employment and do not know where to obtain it.

Such an ideal has much to recommend it, and is one in which, if it were deemed practicable, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, who are especially concerned, might properly take the lead. They could approach the Public Schools and invite them to join in the organization of such an examination, the friendly assistance of the Government being at the same time invoked to co-ordinate the national system of Secondary Education so as to form an intelligible whole. The examination, if established, need not admit to Oxford alone, or to Oxford and Cambridge alone. It might, with some varieties or alternatives, be so adapted as to admit to all Universities, and to many professions. Oxford does not, I imagine, demand a special examination for itself. Its effect upon its students is produced when they are resident in its midst, not as they march up to its doors. All that it requires is evidence of reasonable proficiency for entering upon its courses, and this is a test of what the applicant has done at school, much more than of what he is going to do at the University. Perhaps the best form of Government aid would be the creation of a Joint Committee of the examining bodies, and of the Board of Education, and the grant to such a Committee of statutory powers by which the professional


[page 113]

bodies would be required to accept all examinations recognized by the Committee.

In whatever form such an examination were instituted, if it were instituted at all, the University would still require to have an equivalent examination of its own for candidates who had been educated at home, students from foreign or colonial Universities, and those who for cases any good reason had been unable to take the School-leaving examination. This should not be a matter of any difficulty.

It may be thought, however, that such a plan as that which has been discussed is in advance of the necessities of the case and the time. The intervention of the Board of Education may be deprecated; the Board itself may not be desirous to add to its labours. Other Institutions, Boards, and Delegacies which at present conduct Matriculation examinations may not favour so bold a departure from existing practice. Doubt may be felt as to its effect upon the relations between the Universities and the Schools; and the possibility of too high a degree of uniformity may be feared.

If these considerations prevail, it should nevertheless be possible to make a substantial advance in a direction already opened up. Much has been done recently by arrangement between Oxford and Cambridge, London, and the Scotch and Northern Universities in respect of mutual recognition of Certificates; and in this way a more or less uniform standard for Certificates testing school-work is in process of being evolved. In Oxford, however, the existence of Responsions with its limited range of subjects, by the side of the Certificate examinations, has hitherto prevented the latter from embracing more than a small proportion of candidates. The minimum now demanded would appear to be a further co-ordination of the existing examinations; and, on the part of Oxford, either the reform of Responsions, by the requirement of a wider and more liberal range of subjects, as well as the abolition


[page 114]

of compulsory Greek, or preferably, as argued in an earlier paragraph, the elimination of Responsions altogether. For my own part, I should like to see the University grapple with the problem on broad and courageous lines.

Methods of Expulsion

The question whether the University should intervene to prescribe those who are fit to enter it also raises the question whether it should similarly prescribe those who are unfit to remain. As in the case of admission, so here, the University has resigned the greater part of its prerogative into the hands of the Colleges. It is true that, for conspicuous offences against the discipline or morals of the University, the latter, through the Chancellor's Court, or through the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors, can impose the penalties of rustication or temporary banishment from the University, or of permanent expulsion. But the young man who offends, not by public violence or gross misconduct, but by indolence or incapacity, is dealt with, not by the University, but by the College, and is or is not sent down by the Master and Fellows, with the result that here again is a wide variety of standard, some Colleges requiring their members to pass the various University Examinations within a fixed time, others allowing a much greater laxity.

It seems reasonable that the College should exercise a preponderant voice in deciding whether a man is fit or not to remain one of its members. But it is not unreasonable that the University should also lay down broad rules of qualification and disqualification. The more advanced reformers have proposed what is called the ' two-plough standard J; i.e. that any man who has twice failed to pass a University Examination should be sent down. A less drastic proposal is that any one who fails to pass the Intermediate and Final Examinations within


[page 115]

a statutory number of terms should be sent down. Other suggestions have been made from time to time.

The two familiar objections are, of course, raised: (a) that any greater degree of stringency would lower the general academic standard, because the examiners would be under the constant temptation to strain a point in order to prevent the University from suffering by the loss of its members; (b) that the number of delinquents would be so great as seriously to deplete the Colleges. This has not, I believe, been the experience of those Colleges which have been strong enough to impose a limit, and the reply seems obvious that if the test is made a little more stringent in the case of all, greater effort will be devoted to satisfying it, without imposing any strain upon the conscience of the examiners.

We must remember, however, that there is such a person - and he is not an uncommon type - as the poor Pass-man, poor in intellect and previous training as well as in funds, and that the weapon which it is so easy to sharpen against the idle rich will not fail to strike also at the backward but industrious poor. Such men often experience no small difficulty in passing even the easiest Pass-Schools leading to a degree; and we must be careful not to wound them with the shot that is intended to 'bring down' a less deserving quarry.

The entire subject is one upon which it would be rash to dogmatize; but it appears to merit the careful attention of the University.

The Pass-Man and Pass-Schools

All of these questions in the last resort raise the issue - upon which so much controversy has been expended - of the position in the University and the deserts of the Pass-man. The idle type of this class has been subjected to nearly half a century of denunciation, and the picture of the youth who goes to Oxford in the main to pursue some branch of athletics or sport, who despises all culture, and


[page 116]

who either fails ignominiously in his examinations or only scrapes through them by a few weeks of tardy and unblushing 'cram', is one that never fails to 'draw'. Oxford doubtless contains such men, and they are in truth an inevitable feature of any institution which is frequented by the wealthy classes, and where the standard of living is relatively high. It is within my knowledge that they are found equally at American and German Universities, which are often held up to us for imitation. So long as the British public maintains its present attitude towards athletics, and a man who makes 100 runs in the University Cricket Match is looked upon as a greater hero than the man who takes a Double First, this sentiment will tend to be reflected in the life and tone of the richer Universities.

Moreover, there is such a thing as the idle Honours man; and in the whirlwind that beats round the head of the friendless Pass-man it is surprising that his more guilty brother is allowed to escape unscathed.

The Fourth Class Honours man is often, as regards either education or industry, in no very superior position to the better type of Pass-man. As regards personal culpability the Scholars whose opportunities and endowments merely lead them into the Third or even Fourth Class of an Honours School, are, it may be contended, in a worse. But the way in which to deal with the idle Pass-man is surely to remove him or make things difficult for him because of his idleness, rather than to denounce him for his extravagance or his sport. Moreover, my own recollection is that sport at Oxford is compatible with a very respectable standard of intellectual efficiency; and that to abuse the athlete because he plays much football or rows on the river is as unfair as it would be to abuse the working-man because he does neither.

But a greater injustice is committed when the idle Pass-man is taken to be a type of the Pass-man in general, and when the sins of the individual are visited upon the class.


[page 117]

The pages of this Memorandum have, I hope, testified to an earnest desire to broaden the basis and to raise the intellectual standard of the University at every available point. I shall not therefore, I trust, be suspected either of Philistinism or reaction if I say that it appears to me to be a part of the function of Oxford to educate the Passman; and that, if it is to continue to deserve the name of a University, it has few more important duties to perform than to give a good general education to the man of birth and means. To convert him into a useful public servant is as honourable a task as it is to convert the artisan into a useful citizen, or the solicitor's son into a good solicitor; and many of the men who in later life have done the greatest justice to Oxford have been those who never took more than a Pass degree. Moreover, as I have pointed out a little earlier, there is a poor Pass-man as well as a rich one, and a Pass-man whose education has been neglected, as well as the Pass-man who^has deliberately neglected his education. Both classes have to be borne in mind. I do not feel much sympathy, therefore, with the argument that the Pass-man ought to be effaced in order to tap new social strata; for I see no reason why all these strata should not exist side by side; and, as I urged at an earlier stage, it is in their co-existence and juxtaposition, engendering good fellowship and toleration, that the service of Oxford resides. It is not necessary, accordingly, to take up the position - though it is true - that without the Pass-man Oxford would not be able to pay its way, and that the well-to-do students really provide the balance that enables Oxford to perform its multifarious work.

This attitude, however, need not deter us from an endeavour to improve the Pass-Schools if a case for improvement is made out. When we read that in the years 1901-6 one out of every seven candidates for Pass Moderations and the Law Preliminary failed two or more times, and one out of every eight in the Final Pass-Schools, we have a case for the greater disciplinary strictness which


[page 118]

has been advocated. But while enforcing penalties in such cases, we may at the same time consider the larger question whether the examinations themselves are precisely suited to the bulk of the candidates who enter for them. Some improvement has been made in the Pass-Schools in recent years; but it is worthy of consideration whether an even wider range of alternatives, guiding the Pass-man into practical courses and offering a greater stimulus to his intelligence, might not be discovered. The subject is one that calls for expert inquiry inside the University rather than discussion without, and it will doubtless not be lost sight of in the consideration of educational reforms.

A Business Education

There is one subject in which I should like to see the University interest itself, namely the creation of special facilities for the education of business men. Some of the recently instituted Diplomas, notably those in Political Economy, Geography, and Agriculture, are of service to different types of this class. But I was painfully impressed when in the pages of a magazine a few years ago I read the opinions of a number of representative commercial men upon the advantages or the reverse of a University education for the young men who enter their offices. The verdict in the majority of cases was that Oxford gives the wrong sort of training, and that the men are turned out too old. Another symptom of this attitude is to be found in the large financial contributions which the merchant princes are in the habit of making to the younger Universities as compared with Oxford and Cambridge. I should like to see a substantial two years' course with instruction in Modern History, Commercial Geography, Political Economy, the methods of Accounting, and the principles of Exchange, culminating in a Diploma, specially constructed for the requirements of a business career.


[page 119]

Such a course might well be arranged by the co-operation of the Committees for Geography and Economics with the Modern History Board. Those men who were able to spare time for three years at the University, and who desired to profit by the general scheme of education which is associated with the name of Oxford, and which is as valuable for a business as for any other career, might, for the purpose of obtaining a degree, combine a selection of the subjects in this course with some of the more general studies already provided for in the University. Among the latter, Modern Languages, i.e. a good knowledge of at least one Modern Language, might find a place.





[page 120]

CHAPTER VI

RELATIONS OF THE COLLEGES AND THE UNIVERSITY - ORGANIZATION OF TEACHING

University and College Lectures

I NOW approach that which has been the most difficult of academic problems ever since the University crystallized into its present form, viz. the reconcilement of the Colleges with the University, and of the Tutorial with the Professorial system. First called attention to by the writings of Sir W. Hamilton in 1831, it loomed large before the Commissioners of 1850. Page after page of their Report testifies to their anxiety concerning the readjustment of these relations. Such phrases as 'the Colleges have absorbed the University and drawn to themselves its functions', 'the Tutors have become the sole authorized teachers of the University', 'the monopoly of the Colleges', and 'the University must be restored to its proper superiority', occur with impressive frequency, and were employed by the Commission to justify the majority of their reforms - for instance, the reorganization and re-endowment of the Professoriate, the liberation of Fellowships and Scholarships, and the creation of the Unattached Students. The duty of the Colleges to the University was carried a step further in the financial measures ordered by the Commission of 1877, and in the creation of the Common University Fund; while the better organization of studies and control of examinations under the eye of the Professors was believed to be provided for by the Boards of Faculties and Boards of Studies that were simultaneously called into being.


[page 121]

Since the reforms of 1882 there has on the whole been a steady, though often unrecognized, progress in the direction of strengthening the University. The increase in the number of Professors and other University Teachers has been especially striking; their number, as given in the Calendar for 1908, being 110. Of these 9 represent Theology, 7 Law, 31 Medicine, Natural Science, and Mathematics, and 63 Arts and Letters. Their stipends, paid by the University and the Colleges (apart from fees), amount to 40,000 per annum.(1) They divide the instruction of the University with the College Tutors and Lecturers, of whom there are about 150, and who are remunerated partly by College Fellowships, partly by contributions from the College Tuition Funds. The presence of so many Professors on the Governing Bodies of the Colleges also gives the University a direct voice, which formerly did not exist, in collegiate administration and instruction.

Nevertheless the complaint that the Colleges still dominate the University has been actively revived, and is in the forefront of every call for University reform. This is due partly to the great improvements that have taken place in the Tutorial system, enhancing its utility and influence and practically extinguishing the once flourishing system of private tutors and coaches; partly to the Inter-collegiate system of Lectures that has enabled the Colleges to concentrate their instruction and sweep large numbers of men into their lecture-rooms; and partly to the rapid development of knowledge and subdivision of its branches, for dealing with which the Colleges possess an unrivalled organization ready to hand. Accordingly it is once again represented that the University is not master in its own house, and does not adequately control its own teaching. The commonest form in which the complaint arises is as follows. A College appoints A or B to be a lecturer because he is a Fellow, or appoints him a lecturer and

(1) Vide p. 146 n.


[page 122]

then gives him a Fellowship. Straightway he becomes a University Lecturer, without being required to furnish any proof of his qualifications; and he continues to be one, the Boards of Faculties, who are supposed to control the Lecture-list when submitted to them, failing to exercise any real supervision. This, it is pointed out, is unsatisfactory to all parties; to the University because its staff has been increased without its knowledge or consent; to the College because it is furnishing from its own staff an officer, who, though paid exclusively by itself, is doing outside work; to the Tutor because he receives no return for his service to the University; and to the system of instruction at large because too many lecturers are apt to be appointed, too many of them lecture on the same subject, and (it is said) too many lecture who cannot lecture at all.

Such is the protest which is now raised in many quarters. If it were inspired by any hostility to the Tutorial system as such, or were likely to be directed to its injury, it would not, I trust, meet with our sympathy. For if there is any product of which Oxford has special reason to be proud, which has stamped its mark on the lives and characters of generations of men, and has excited the outspoken envy of other nations, it is that wonderful growth of personal tuition which has sprung up in our midst almost unawares, certainly from no design of any founder or reformer, and has simultaneously provided the student with an instructor - half master and half friend - and the University with a corps of volunteer teachers which its own resources were powerless to organize or supply. Moreover, it would be unfair to assume that the Colleges have abused their unique opportunity. They are as much interested in providing good general teaching as in providing good private teaching; it is their interest to appoint, and they have generally appointed, not inferior men, but the best men. Only it does not follow that the best man to be a tutor is the best man to be a lecturer, or that the man who exercises the greatest personal influence is equally at home with a large class.


[page 123]

I would further express a hope that in any discussion of the matter the assumption may be avoided that there is any inherent or intentional antagonism between the University and the Colleges in this connexion. The propositions laid down by the Commission of 1850 as to the interdependence of the two are loyally and universally accepted. A University of Colleges, as was then remarked, Oxford is, and a University of Colleges it must remain. Each is indispensable to the other; without their co-operation Oxford cannot carry on its work; and the object of all well-wishers of the University must be to obtain the maximum of advantage from each, not separately, but in conjunction. It needs but a small acquaintance with Oxford men to recognize that while the University has many claims upon their affection, the College as a rule has much greater. The reverse is the case with our Public Schools, where the loyalty of an old Etonian or an old Harrovian is rather to the school than to the house. We need not here discuss the reasons for the difference, which are obvious: it is enough to recognize that in the College feeling we have the most powerful sentiment to which we can appeal in the case of Oxford men; and that any attempt to injure or subvert the Colleges, even in the interests of the University, would excite widespread resentment. But in the present case no feeling of jealousy between the two need be aroused; the views to which I am giving expression are the views not of University Professors only or principally, but of College Tutors and Lecturers, enthusiastically devoted to their Colleges, but if possible even more devoted to the cause of teaching, for which Colleges and University alike exist, and to which their own lives are dedicated. In all classes there is manifest the same ungrudging admission of the right of the University as a great Teaching Society to control the instruction which it offers.

It should also in fairness be pointed out that the criticisms above referred to do not apply equally to every department of teaching. Science at Oxford is necessarily


[page 124]

taught on centralized lines, although the existence of the College Laboratories (which have been a growth of the last twenty-five years) gives the Colleges some control, and the larger and wealthier Colleges can afford to attach to their staffs tutors in some of the branches more widely pursued. Again, the new but still struggling Schools of Modern Languages and English Literature are being centrally organized, and, till they become more popular, will remain outside the College schemes of tuition. There seems, however, to be some fear that contention may be aroused between the University and College points of view. Diploma courses are also outside of College arrangements. Their number is increasing, and their adjustment to the curricula of the Schools will be one of the main problems of the future. Those, however, who advocate their unrestricted multiplication, and urge that all courses should be open to outsiders, as are those in Political Economy and Geography, might do well to realize that their policy, if carried into effect, will fatally disintegrate and must in the end destroy the Collegiate system altogether. On the whole it is not in the smaller and newer Faculties, but in the older branches of study, and notably in Literae Humaniores, that the want of co-ordination and the lack of control are most urgently felt.

Boards of Faculties

Mention has been made of the action or inaction of the Boards of Faculties as one of the main factors in the situation; and as the question of reform turns largely upon their constitution and powers, it seems desirable at this point to say something on the subject.

When the word Faculty was first employed in University nomenclature, it seems to have meant the branches of study in which the University grants degrees. These were five in number Arts, Music, Theology, Medicine, Law; the three last-named being denominated Higher


[page 125]

or Superior Faculties, because a student can only proceed to them after taking a degree in Arts.

In the Act of 1882, however, which contained the scheme of the Commissioners of 1 877, a new definition was applied to the word.

In and for the purposes of this Statute, the word "Faculty" shall denote any branch or aggregate of branches of the studies pursued in the University, which for the time being shall be represented by a separate Board.(1)
By the same Statute, Boards were appointed for the four main Faculties of Arts, Theology, Law, and Natural Science; but the Faculty of Arts was subdivided into the three sub-Faculties of Literae Humaniores, Modern History, and Oriental Languages, each with a separate Board; and the Faculty of Natural Science was also subdivided into the two Faculties of Medicine and Natural Science (including Mathematics), each of which received a Board. This classification, however unscientific and obsolete, has lasted ever since, and we thus have seven Faculties and seven Boards of Faculties, although the University continues to grant degrees in four Faculties alone. Music stands quite apart, inasmuch as no residence or academic standing is required for a degree.

Having created the Faculties the Statute then proceeded to constitute the Boards of Faculties who were to control them. These are composed of three classes: (1) all the Professors and Readers lecturing in the subjects of the Faculty, (2) a number of elected members, returned by the College Tutors and Lecturers in the same Faculty, not to exceed the ex-officio members in number, and (3) a smaller number of co-opted members. This constitution will presently turn out to be of some importance.

The main functions of the several Boards were defined as follows: to receive from the University Professors and Readers notice of the lectures which they propose to give

(1) Stat. Tit. V.


[page 126]

in the ensuing term in any of the subjects of the Faculty, in arranging which they are to have 'due and reasonable regard to the recommendations of the Board of the Faculty'; to receive from the Heads of Colleges a similar schedule of the lectures proposed to be given under their authority; to meet, or to appoint a Committee of their own body to meet, for the consideration of the schedules; to recommend alterations either in the subjects, or in the days and hours proposed, if satisfied of their importance; and finally from the schedules, when settled, to frame a list for final publication. Then ensues this provision:

The Board shall not alter any schedule without the consent of the person named in it. But if a recommendation made by the Board as to any Schedule be not acceded to, the Board may, if they think fit, exclude the Schedule or the part of it affected by such recommendation from the list, unless such Schedule was sent in by a Professor or University Reader. In the last-mentioned case the Board shall not exclude the Schedule, but may, if they think fit, report the fact to the Vice-Chancellor.
These very considerable powers are enhanced by the fact that, if a College were not represented by one or more lectures on the official list, other Colleges would be disposed not to admit its members to their lectures except on payment of a fee; the principle being generally admitted that every College contributes a lecture, if not every Term, at least in the course of the year.

By the same Statute, six Boards of Studies were constituted for the supervision of certain stated examinations, these being composed of representatives drawn from the Boards of Faculties.

These bodies in combination, i.e. the seven Boards of Faculties and the six Boards of Studies, are thus invested by law with the control of all the examinations of the University, and with the supervision of its entire scheme of lectures, University and Collegiate. We have now to consider the degree in which they are qualified to dis-


[page 127]

charge, and the manner in which they actually discharge this duty.

First among the criticisms passed upon the existing organization of the Boards is that they are not at all generally representative of the University teaching which they are intended to control. New Boards are wanted in some cases: a further subdivision of existing Boards in others, with a possible revision of the electorate. One of the Tutors' Committees recommended that the Board of Faculty for Literae Humaniores should be subdivided into three sub-Faculties Classics, Ancient History, and Philosophy each with a Board. Modern Languages and English Language and Literature have to be content with Boards of Studies, and accordingly have no representative on the Delegacy of the Common University Fund. Perhaps if the Boards were reconstituted, a number of the manifold extraneous Boards and Committees existing in the University might be abolished, and their functions transferred to the remodelled Boards. Fortunately, the powers for any such revision as may be decided upon are already in the hands of the University, one clause of the Act of 1882 expressly providing that:

The University may from time to time, by Statute, make regulations, not inconsistent with the foregoing provisions, respecting the constitution, powers, duties, and proceedings of the Boards of Faculties, the mode of electing, and the persons who may elect, those members of such Board who are not elected ex officio, and any other matters relating to them which it may appear expedient to regulate by Statute, and may assign to them such further duties and make such further provision for the performance of such duties, as well as of the duties hereby assigned to them, as the University may judge to be expedient.
The second popular complaint against the Boards is that not only are they not representative of all the subjects of teaching in the University, but that they are framed on the exclusive basis of the Schools, and are in reality Examination Boards rather than Faculties representing subjects;


[page 128]

although even in respect of examinations their powers are greatly limited by the fact that matters which might be disposed of by regulations of the Boards are now dealt with by University Statutes, demanding the intervention of Congregation.

Third comes the charge that the Boards of Faculties do not exercise with any vigour or on any system the power entrusted to them in respect of University lectures. We have read the terms of the Statute; but the practice appears to be as follows. The College lecturers in any Faculty meet informally and go through and revise their list of lectures before submitting it to the Board. The Board, instead of making a detailed examination of the list, and so remodelling it as to provide a well-balanced scheme of lectures, covering, but not encumbering, the entire ground, are in the habit of accepting the list in the form submitted, and issuing it for publication. Thus they register, where they are expected to revise.

This reproach does not appear to apply equally to all Faculties or all Boards. In the Faculties of Law and Science (and in the minor Schools of English Literature and Modern Languages already mentioned), and also to a large extent in History, the organization is said to be fairly complete, in Science and Law chiefly because the bulk of the teaching is in the hands of the University, in History because of the energetic and satisfactory working of the Board. In , these cases therefore the competition or duplication of College lectures is not a serious factor. But there is a general concurrence that in the courses of study for Honour Moderations and in Literae Humaniores, both history and philosophy, there is a great lack of co-ordination, that too many lectures are allowed on the same subject, and that there is much waste of time and labour.

Lastly comes the charge that by reason of their composition the Boards are reduced to impotence, because the Professors, representing the University element, are neutra-


[page 129]

lized and are liable to be outvoted by the College Tutors, in whose hands therefore lies the determination of the curriculum of the University. Cases have been put before me in which such incidents have occurred, but I do not believe that these are typical cases, or that there is any general or deliberate ranging into opposite camps of the parties represented on the Boards, or that the one can be credited with any more disinterested regard for teaching than the other. In so far as there is any opposition between the two parties, it is in the main due to the interpretation which the University has, owing no doubt to College influence in voting, placed upon the Statute. The latter only provides that the number of elected members or College representatives shall in no case exceed that of the ex-officio members; it does not say that it shall in every case, or in the majority of cases, equal it. And if the University has so chosen to apply the Act, it has only itself to thank for the consequences. Moreover, it appears probable that if the Professors made a regular point of attending the ordinary meetings of the Boards, of which they are ex-officio members, they would be able to exercise at least an equivalent, if not a superior, influence to the College Tutors.

Proposed Reforms

Having attempted to diagnose the alleged ailment, we may now proceed to consider the remedies. A great deal of valuable evidence has been placed before me on this point; and the reformers appear to fall naturally into three schools, distinguished by the degree of change which they advocate.

First are those who are quite willing that the Boards should be reconstituted, and if necessary increased, but who hold that they are already empowered to establish the requisite control over University teaching. These


[page 130]

authorities in some cases urge that the evils of duplication have been exaggerated, and that, in so far as they exist, they are capable of being dealt with to a large extent by the Colleges themselves. They represent that it is possible to attach too much importance to lecturing, and that it is in tutorial teaching that the real work of University instruction lies. So far from thinking that the best interests of University teaching are impeded by the presence of a large College vote on the Boards of Faculties, they hold that the elected members are on the whole the more progressive element, and are in closer touch with the students: they even ask us with some irony to contemplate a Board of Faculties that should be composed of Professors alone. Accordingly they propose that, before seeking for new powers, the University should use those which it already enjoys; that the Boards should seriously undertake the task of revising the list of lectures, at least as submitted by the College teachers, altering, suggesting, amending, and even excluding, if they so desire; or (and this was the plan that was carried by the Tutors' Conference) that the Boards should delegate to a Committee - composed of all the lecturers, including the Professors and Readers - the task of preparing the scheme of lectures, to be afterwards issued with the authority of the Board.

Such a scheme might result in a better co-ordination of teaching, if the meeting of lecturers were energetically to grapple with the problem. But it appears to me that the Boards have no right to shirk or even to delegate the powers with which they have been invested by Parliament, and that the proposal is merely an attempt to substitute for a Board of limited numbers, a Board containing all of those persons who are teaching in the Faculty. This is a constitutional change, for which there may be much to be said; but at least it is one of great moment. In the last resort, if effective control is to be exercised anywhere, there must be a power of exclusion, backed by some penalty. If the College lecturer is merely removed from


[page 131]

the published list, there will be nothing to prevent the College from retaining him as a private College lecturer, whether the University employs him or not. On the other hand, exclusion from the Faculty, or, still more, exclusion from Congregation, are forms of veto which few, in all probability, would be found to recommend.

Next are those who hold that there should be created a clear distinction between the two classes of teachers: (1) University lecturers, and (2) College teachers; that the former should be a recognized status conferred by the University alone, freely, but on a definite system; and that the Colleges, in filling up their Fellowships and Tutorships, should enter into consultation with the University as to the manner of man to be appointed, if he is to merit admission to the University list. The Colleges should retain a certain amount of freedom to appoint their domestic officers, such as Bursars, Chaplains, and Deans; and the interests of the undergraduates would always require the presence of a number of younger Fellows to carry on (irrespective of outside calls) the supremely important work of tutorial supervision and preparation. But out of the Fellows and Tutors of each College some would be taken in each case, who possessed the requisite attainments, as well as a distinct power of lecturing, and would be placed in the grade of University teachers; the Colleges being in fact required, in filling up their staff, to elect a certain number of persons suitable for University employment, much in the same way as they are now required to find Fellowships for a certain number of University Professors. This would be, in fact, to give the University a veto on College appointments, and could only be effected with the consent of the Colleges. It would be a wide extension of the practice, recently inaugurated, by which the University invites College Tutors and other persons, for a definite remuneration, to give a course of lectures on selected subjects, with a view to encouraging the College staff to special study, and to train them up for


[page 132]

future professorial employment. But whereas the system is at present only tentative and exceptional, it would become obligatory and comprehensive.

One difficulty in the way of any such change on a large scale is that of Finance. If the University is to have a voice in the appointment of College teachers, and is to place them on its own staff, it must, of course, arrange to pay them, and the question arises, from whence are the funds to come? The answer is that they can only come from the Colleges or from the Common University Fund created by the contributions of the Colleges for University purposes. It has been suggested by the more cautious reformers that the Boards of Faculties, or a Central Board, if such be created, should be entrusted by the Common Fund with a limited sum per annum to reward the College lecturers whom it had recognized; and it may be pointed out that by an addition to the Statute creating that fund the University can directly apply for any purpose which the University may order, consistently with the general object of the fund, any sum in excess of 4,000 that is paid into it.(1) One of the main recommendations of such a scheme of payment, in the view of many, is that it would afford to the University a means of redressing the glaring anomaly by which, under existing conditions, the tutor of a poor College may be found lecturing to large University audiences - if he be the owner of exceptional gifts - for no other remuneration than his Fellowship and the limited payment that he receives from an ill-furnished Tuition Fund. Indeed, if the plan that I am here describing is found to be impracticable, it is worthy of consideration whether the Common Fund, if augmented by enhanced College contributions, might not independently offer some such subsidy (though the task would be one of extreme delicacy) to those poorer Colleges whose tutors are engaged in valuable University work for little or no return. The

(1) Stat. XIX. 6.


[page 133]

subsidy might be extended to some of the University Demonstrators, who are now deplorably underpaid.(1)

I cannot conceal, however, that in any system of dual employment, and still more of dual payment, there lurk difficulties which cannot be lightly dismissed. There is the danger that if College Tutors become dependent on a central University body, the element of personal teaching may be weakened by attaching too much importance to the qualifications and the work of the lecturer. There is the further danger of diminishing the security of a tutor's career already not too lucrative by the risks attaching to University employment, which must in the nature of things be precarious. Let us assume, for instance, that the scheme has been accepted, and that a fund has been formed, either as a branch of the Common Fund, or as a separate fund provided by further College contributions. These contributions would have to come either out of the Tuition fees, or out of such part of the corporate revenues of the College as are at present applied to tuition (by the provision of Fellowships for the teaching Staff, or by grants to the Tuition Fund). Out of such a fund the University would pay the lecturers whom it recognized, and some equalization of stipends would result. But if a College Tutor for any reason lost his lectureship, or if he never received a lectureship at all, and the College had to make up the difference to him as well as to pay its own contribution to the pooled funds, the financial results to the College might be serious. Secondly, the University could not be confined to College Tutors in its selection of lecturers; and a University staff might grow up, of large dimensions, paid for by the Colleges indirectly, but not coinciding with their staff. In particular, the question of marriage, important to the Colleges, but not to the University, might assist this

(1) Underpayment is not the only source of mischief in this class. There appears to be urgent need of a better system, with the stimulus created by promotion from a lower to a higher (and better paid) grade.


[page 134]

result. Thirdly, it would be impossible to arrange that the Colleges should receive help from the pooled fund (so far as this was devoted to the payment of lecturers who were also College Tutors) in proportion to their contributions, or, if the assessment was on Tuition Funds, in proportion to their poverty.

Now, it is as important to an Oxford Tutor as to any one else - perhaps rather more so - to forecast his income. If this proceeds from two different sources, if there is no security that the two functions for which the Tutors are paid from distinct sources will be combined in the same person; and if the income from one source coming to those who do combine both functions is liable to be reduced for the sake of persons who do not, their position will become precarious. In that case it is conceivable that a demand for concentration might arise, and a proposal might be made that all payments for instruction should be made by a single authority, namely the University. Men would then be distributed for private instruction among the teachers in a Faculty without regard to their College connexion; and the Tutorial system, which is the basis of the Collegiate system - the two in combination being the peculiar glory of Oxford - would be broken down.

I have pursued this argument at some length, not because it is necessarily fatal to any proposal for creating and paying University Lectureships, but because it shows that the difficulties in the way are considerable, and that a plan, however symmetrical on paper or commendable in theory, will call for the most careful scrutiny before it be accepted.

As a less ambitious scheme it has been suggested that it should be part of a College's contribution to the University that it should provide and pay a fixed number of lecturers for University work. It does not appear to me that this would be at all an adequate method of obtaining enhanced University contributions; for the College would merely transfer so much of the money now paid to


[page 135]

its Fellows or Tutors to the heading of University Purposes, and the University would suffer pecuniarily. Moreover, the scheme would be attended by great difficulty in practice. For when a College Tutor who was also a University lecturer resigned or left, it might not be at all easy for the College to fill up his place by another qualified person; while if it offered to substitute another lecturer in another subject, he might not be acceptable to the University.

Reference has more than once been made to a Central Board or Council of Faculties, and I find that this is a proposal common to all schemes of reform; though opinions differ considerably as to the part that such a Board should play in a reorganization of University teaching. Some persons propose that the Boards of Faculties should be so reconstituted as to include all the teachers comprised in the Faculty, and that they should then elect an Executive or General Purposes Committee; others propose that there should be a Central Board of Faculties, composed either of the Chairmen of the existing Boards or in part of representatives of the main departments of University policy and finance (such as Council, the Chest, and the Common Fund), or to ensure a more popular character chosen in the main by members of, or electors to, the existing Boards of Faculties. If the Faculties are really to charge themselves with the definite control of University teaching, such a Board may be of great value. But the necessity for it depends upon the character and importance of the work which it will be called upon to perform.

In the third and last scheme, which is that of advanced reform, this work would not suffer from any restriction of scope or ambition. It is proposed that such a Board should absorb the Common University Fund and dispose of all the moneys at present paid into that Fund, and of course of Fund, any additional resources obtained either by increased compulsory College contributions, or from other sources; and that it should further be charged with the appointment and payment of all University Lecturers, and of


[page 136]

all Professors and Readers where not otherwise provided for, the regulation of all matters relating to the studies and examinations of the University, the admission of new or the subdivision of old Faculties, the recommendation of candidates for degrees in Letters and Science, and the submission to Council of names for Honorary Degrees. These proposals do not in all cases figure in every one of the more advanced schemes; but they represent with substantial accuracy the views of the more advanced school.

Common University Fund

Here it seems desirable to say a word about the Delegates of the Common University Fund, in explanation of the proposal as it affects that body. In the next ensuing chapter, the Fund will be analysed and discussed in its bearing upon the financial administration of the University. It is as an instrument of educational policy, invested with the power of appointing Readers and Lecturers, and of endowing new courses of study - in which capacity its relations with the Boards of Faculties are of obvious importance - that the Delegacy comes under notice here. As such, its present composition excites some natural dissatisfaction. Though supposed to be a body representative of the Faculties, only seven out of twenty members are directly returned by the Boards of Faculties, one from each Board - the remaining thirteen members being the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors, five members nominated by Council, and five members elected by Congregation.(1) Furthermore, owing to the obsolete organization of the Faculties, while such branches of study as Theology and Oriental Languages are overrepresented, Natural Science (including Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Electricity, Geology, Mineralogy, Zoology,

(1) I am not here criticizing these constituent parts, which have a distinct raison d'être and value, vide p. 162.


[page 137]

Botany, Anthropology, Physiology, Human Anatomy, Pathology, Astronomy, Rural Economy and Medicine) only returns a single representative, and Modern Languages and English Literature are not (except accidentally) represented at all. Possibly Congregation should exercise its power of electing its quota of the Delegacy with a greater regard to the interests of excluded or unrepresented studies; but we can understand the feelings of the Faculties at what they consider their inadequate treatment, and at the relatively small power conceded to them in the organization or endowment of those new branches of study of which they are the exponents.

When, however, we come to the proposal, not that the Delegacy should be reorganized or reformed, but that it should be merged in a Council or Central Board of the Faculties, which body is not merely to take over the existing powers of the Delegacy, but to wield other and novel and undefined powers in addition, we are bound to proceed somewhat warily. Though ostensibly devised with the object (if we may revert to the purpose with which this chapter began) of recovering for the University some portion of the lost control of its own teaching, is it at all clear that in practice it would have this result? If - as appears to be certain - the resources at the disposal of the Common Fund are much increased in the future, and if not merely are those funds to be administered by the new Board, but it is also to have the disposal of considerable sums handed over to it from the revenues of the Colleges, with which it is to create and to pay large classes of University servants, is it not certain that for all practical purposes it will become the University, by superseding its present Governing Bodies? There would remain the Curators of the University Chest, with its restricted resources, paying the University officers and Professors, and maintaining the University buildings; and there would remain the various minor Delegacies and Boards, certain little by little to be absorbed. But what part would Council and Congregation


[page 138]

play in such a scheme, and where would the control or authority of the University as existing in its present constitution come in? As I shall argue in the next chapter, there is already a quite inadequate exercise of that control under present arrangements. But if there were allowed to grow up a body invested with the proposed authority, able to modify the entire scheme of University studies and to control the system of University relations without the consent of Council or of Congregation (it was to escape the formalities of ratification by Congregation or Convocation that the Common Fund was devised), and without any change in the Statutes - and if it were backed by the power of the purse - it seems probable that the existing authorities of the University would be dethroned, and that the University, instead of becoming lord in its own house, would find that it had signed away its independence to a new master.

I sketch these dangers, not in the belief that they are deliberately contemplated by any body of reformers, but because they appear to me to be the inevitable corollary of any scheme for setting up a new authority in the University on the proposed lines. It should not be out of the power of Council, if it be so minded, by a careful comparison of the good points of the many plans in existence, and after a full and authoritative consideration of the matter, to evolve some method of placing the relations of the University and the Colleges on a more stable footing, that shall be free from any such risks, and shall give a wider rein to the Boards of Faculties in the organization of University teaching, without impairing the central authority. Perhaps the Common University Fund might be rendered more representative of the Faculties if its operations and powers were safeguarded in the manner which will be hereafter proposed.

There will still remain the question - which some will perhaps consider antecedent to the reorganization of the Boards of Faculties - of the reorganization of the University


[page 139]

studies as a whole, and of the examinations by which they are tested. This is a subject raising such large and complicated issues of academic policy, and demanding so intimate a knowledge of the requirements of a modern University, that I shall be excused if I do not enter upon it - feeling that it is emphatically one upon which experts alone are qualified to deliberate and to pronounce.

The College Statutes

There is one respect in which the Colleges enjoy a liberty of action which is the source of possible abuse. Under the existing law it is open to them to alter their Statutes as fixed by the last Commission, with the consent of the Sovereign in Council. Some Colleges have taken advantage of this liberty almost at the rate of once a year since the Statutes came into operation. Last year Council agreed to give notice in the University Gazette of any College Statutes about to appear before the Privy Council, in order to give to members of the University an opportunity of following, or, if need be, of protesting against the proposed changes. It has also appointed a Standing Committee of Council to examine all College Statutes before the Privy Council, with a view to protecting the interests of the University. This is a step in advance, but it remains to be seen whether the University has adopted sufficient guarantees to ensure that its own interests are in no way impaired.

Indeed, I find the opinion entertained in some quarters that Council, even with the aid of these precautions, is not fully empowered to pledge the consent of the University. The words of the Act of 1877, permitting a College to alter its Statutes, were as follows (sec. 54): 'But where and as far as a Statute made by the Commissioners for a College affects the University, the same shall not be subject to alteration under this section except with the


[page 140]

consent of the University.' In view, however, of the fact that so few of the amending Statutes have been submitted for the approval of the University in Convocation, the inference seems justifiable, either that Council did not regard the proposed changes as affecting the University, or that, if they did, it regarded the acceptance of them by itself as equivalent to the consent of the University. In either case, the matter appears to demand renewed consideration.





[page 141]

CHAPTER VII

REVENUE, EXPENDITURE, AND FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION OF THE UNIVERSITY

Balance-sheet of the University

THE revenue and expenditure of Oxford (i.e. of the University and Colleges in combination) is a matter of so much importance, and has yet been the subject of so much misstatement and misapprehension, that before we discuss the question of financial contributions made by the latter to the former, or the system by which the finances of both are managed, it will be well to place the figures on record at any rate in outline. These are partially but not very clearly shown in the annually published Abstract, drawn up according to a form prescribed by the Statute of 1882. The account is partial, because in the case of the University it only deals with those sums that pass through the University Chest, whereas there are many sources of income that are not so handled; and in the case of the Colleges, because new sources of income have accrued which are not covered by the Statutes. It is the reverse of clear, because, though the figures are there, very little attempt is made to collate them or to show what the Colleges alone or the Colleges and University in combination are spending upon this or that object or branch of study.

The University Revenue is derived from four main sources (i) Land and House Property, Interest on Investments, and the University Press, classified as External;


[page 142]

(ii) Fees and Dues, classified as Internal; (iii) Trust Funds, for particular purposes or institutions; and (iv) College Contributions in so far as these are paid through the Chest. The gross income of the University from all these sources in 1907 was 76,152 14s 8d.

Against the gross receipts from Estates, however (10,272 15s 11d), must be set the expenditure on Rates, Taxes, and Insurance, Rents and Rent Charges, Agency and Management, Repairs and Improvements, and the repayment of Loans, amounting in 1907 to 4,056 10s 5d. There was thus a Net Revenue from Estates of 6,216 5s 6d. Similarly against Internal Receipts must be set the payment of interest and sinking fund on Internal Loans, amounting in 1907 to 4,240 14s 3d. The remainder, or 67,855 10s (increased by a balance from the previous year to 71,896 15s 1d), was the sum which passed through the University Chest in 1907 for the payment of its Officers, Professors, Readers, and Examiners, the maintenance of its Institutions, Delegacies, Offices, and Buildings, and allotments for special purposes.

This, however, does not exhaust the total sum at the disposal of the University for the reward or encouragement of learning. From special Trust Funds, created for particular objects such as certain Professorships (including Lecturers, Readers,' and Demonstrators), Scholarships, and Prizes, there was received in 1907 the sum of 12,026, out of which a balance was carried forward of 5,125. Of the sums expended, over 3,000 were in University Scholarships and Prizes. The University could not vary the allocation of these endowments, being merely charged with their distribution; but they are a portion of the resources of the University applied to educational objects.

Further, as we shall see presently, the University (as distinct from the University Chest) received from the Colleges for objects in the main of a University character large additional sums which are not entered in the University portion of the published Accounts.


[page 143]

The sum total, however, of the whole of the receipts of the University, many of which are hypothecated in advance to purposes over which it has no control, is so small, in relation to the work which it is expected to do and alone can do, that the poverty of Oxford University which has formed the subject of the recent appeal becomes a very intelligible complaint.

Balance-sheet of the Colleges

The College Accounts are prepared upon analogous lines, also prescribed by Statute. The Receipts are similarly classified as External (Land(1) and House Property, and Interest upon Investments), Internal (Admission and Degree Fees, Tuition Fees, Establishment Charges, Boom Rents, &c.), and Trust Funds. The gross receipts of the Colleges from all these sources in 1907 was 514,927 4s 9d. But it is obvious that a large portion of these receipts are in no sense revenue. For the Internal Receipts are in the nature of payments made, mostly by the undergraduates, for service rendered, and are balanced and in some cases exceeded by the Internal payments fairly chargeable against them (these are in the main Tuition and Pension Funds, Servants, Establishment, Rates, Taxes, and Insurance, Repairs and Maintenance). Deducting, therefore, the Internal Receipts, which amounted in 1907 to 139,977 9s 8d, we arrive at a total gross Collegiate Income of 374,949 15s 1d, or about 375,000.

But here again, in order to arrive at the net Revenue, we have to deduct from the gross Receipts from Estates, which amounted to 317,525 18s. 4d, the cost of Interest on Loans, Rates, Taxes, and Insurance, Agency and Management, Repairs and Improvements, and other smaller charges connected with the management of house and landed

(1) In 1872 the University owned 7,683 acres of land, and the Colleges and Halls 184,764 acres. It has been ascertained that there is practically no change in the holding of the University, but no more recent figures for the Colleges are available.


[page 144]

property. The total of these amounted in 1907 to 134,241 6s 7d.(1) Therefore the net Revenue of the Colleges from Estates was 183,284 11s 9d, and their net Revenue from all sources was 240,708 8s 6d. As in the case of the University, some portion of this income is assigned by Trust to specific objects.

I need not here enter upon a detailed analysis of the College expenditure, certain portions of which alone concern the present inquiry. But the principal items, as they appear in the published Abstract, may be thus summarized (in round figures):

Heads of Housescirc. 21,500(2)
Fellowscirc. 61,500(3)

(1) These must be the figures that are responsible for the extraordinary statements, so familiar in newspaper articles, that the University spends a sum of nearly 150,000 in collecting a revenue that is variously estimated, according to the methods of the writer, at totals varying from 250,000 to 400,000. If a landed proprietor has a gross income from his estates of 20,000 per annum, but finds that owing to the demands of his tenants, and the cost of rates, taxes, insurance, tithes, management, donations, and subscriptions, he can only rely upon a net balance of 9,000, no one accuses him of spending 11,000 in collecting a revenue of 9,000. But this method is held to be quite permissible in criticizing the balance-sheet of an academic Corporation. As a matter of fact a recent careful calculation has shown that the cost to the University of collecting its revenue is less than 2½ per cent of the income; while the cost of management of the entire property of the Colleges, both from Estates, Trust Funds and Investments (amounting as has been shown to about 375,000) has been on the average of the past three years less than 19,000 or a ratio of about 5 per cent.

(2) This is the total paid out of the corporate funds of the Colleges. It does not include all the moneys received by the Heads, since in some cases these are augmented by Trust Funds, or (as in the case of Christ Church) are associated with Ecclesiastical preferment. The Cleveland Commission gave the total receipts of nineteen Heads of Colleges in 1871 as 50,958 19s 3d, exclusive of Keble, 566 13s 4d. This is one of the many respects in which the Cleveland Commission elicited and published information no longer procurable from the published Accounts.

(3) This does not include the payment of Professor-Fellowships, nor of the Canons of Christ Church (who are paid out of the Chapter [footnote continues on next page]


[page 145]

Scholars and Exhibitioners52,900(1)
Contributions to University purposes in respect of Professor-Fellows and support to University Institutions23,000
College Officers11,800
Chapels and Choirs8,400
Contributions to the Common University Fund6,800

Other sources of expenditure are College Libraries, College Building Loans and Funds, contributions to general educational objects, &c.

Just, however, as the University Accounts do not show the entire income annually available for University purposes, so the College Accounts do not show the entire sums available for Collegiate purposes. There is no mention in them of the income derived by Balliol from the recently created Balliol Trust, by Brasenose from the Hulme Trust (of which a generous share has been devoted by the College to University purposes), or by Hertford from the Baring Trust. The accounts of Keble College, which is a new foundation, are not included in the published Abstract.

The Published Accounts

These are not the only blanks in that publication.

(i) It is impossible to ascertain from it the total sums paid, partly by the University, partly by the Colleges, and partly from Trust Funds, to Professors, Headers, Lecturers,

[footnote continued from previous page] Fund), nor of those Fellowships which are endowed by independent Trusts. Neither of course does it include payments made to Fellows as College Officers, nor as Tutors and Lecturers (out of the Tuition Fund). In 1871 the total payment in Fellowships was given as 101,171 4s 5d.

(1) In 1871 the amount paid in Scholarships and Exhibitions out of the Corporate income of the Colleges was 26,225 12s. But this did not include the sums paid out of Trust Funds - of which no return was made.


[page 146]

and Demonstrators. In other words, we do not know the cost of the Teaching Staff of the University.(1)

(ii) Neither do we know the cost or method of payment of the Teaching Staff in so far as it is provided by the Colleges, in the persons of its own Fellows and Tutors. An exact return would probably reveal many unsuspected varieties in the scale of remuneration. A return of the individual payments made to all such persons, not as College officers (which is a different matter), but as College and University Teachers, would be of great value.

(iii) There is no summary of the annual expenditure, whether from University or from College endowments, upon Scholarships, Exhibitions, or Prizes.

(iv) There is some obscurity resulting from the method of dealing with University Institutions. Take, for instance, the Bodleian Library. In the Abstract of the University Accounts for 1907 we read that the University received from Trust Funds for the Bodleian 2,271 2s 4d and from Merton College 285, and that it spent upon the Library 7,621 2s 4d. These figures might suggest to a casual reader that this is all that the University had to say to the Bodleian. It is, in truth, all that the University Chest has to say. But that is only half the case; for if we turn to page 22 we shall read that the Library also received in 1907 a statutory contribution of 1,000 from All Souls and

(1) The Working-Class Education Committee in their Report (1908) state that 'roughly speaking, the cost of the body of 105 Professors and Readers is 40,000 per annum, of which sum the Colleges directly or indirectly contribute about 27,000'. They add, 'These figures do not pretend to exactness, but they have been tested in various ways, and will be found, we think, to be fairly accurate.' The Cleveland Commission described the total income of the Professors, in 1871, in much greater detail as derived (1) from specific Endowments in the University; (2) University payments; (3) College payments; (4) Endowment from external sources; (5) receipts from Fees. Total from all these sources 24,925, of which they received from the Colleges 6,694 10s 10d. These figures show the immense advance in extending and endowing the Professoriate that has been made in the last forty years.


[page 147]

a donation of 250 from Magdalen, and that it administered a total income of 12,675.

(v) Owing again to the restriction of the University Abstract to the Accounts of the Chest, a reader may well be misled by the summary of the contributions made by the Colleges to the University. Debited to the Common University Fund there appears the sum of 6,824 4s. But, as page 18 indicates, the University Chest has no voice in the expenditure of this sum. It merely receives the money and pays it out in whatever manner the Delegates of the Common University Fund may ordain. Further, from the Abstract (p. 4) it would appear that the sole additional College contributions are a few items amounting to 1,797 10s. But when we pass to the College Accounts we find that the great majority of Colleges in their tables of expenditure have a heading University Purposes, and that the sum total of these payments (including the 6,824 4s, already entered in the University Abstract) amounts to 29,831. In other words, the Colleges contribute annually to the University not 8,621 14s (p. 4), but nearly 30,000; though here again there is an unexplained diversity, some Colleges including under University Purposes items which are not so counted by others, and vice versa.(1) For the method of accounting the Statute is directly responsible, since, instead of requiring all College contributions to University Purposes to be made through a single channel, it allowed them to be paid by the Colleges either directly to the persons or objects concerned, or to the Curators of the Chest, or to a University Purposes Fund, to be held, retained, and invested, by the College.(2)

(1) e.g. the contribution of 1,000 from All Souls to the Bodleian does not appear either under University Purposes or anywhere in the General Account of the College. It has to be extracted from the Statutory Purposes Fund on another page (80). On the other hand, all other Colleges subsidizing the Bodleian make the entry under University Purposes.

(2) Statutes (edit. 1907), p. 10.


[page 148]

Nor is this all. The College contributions to extra-Collegiate objects (sometimes University, sometimes of a general educational character) are not limited to the 30,000 already mentioned. If we include the Fellowships voluntarily given by them to Professors, Readers, and University officials, the grants made also spontaneously to Institutions, the endowments appropriated to advanced study and Research, and their contributions to University Delegacies, to the British Schools or Funds in Rome, Athens, and Egypt, and to similar objects, we shall accumulate another total - according to the method of classification - of 8,000 to 10,000 per annum. The reason why these contributions do not appear, either in the University Accounts or even under a University heading in the College Accounts, is because the moneys are voluntary donations, and are often paid by the College to the beneficiaries direct. But a system of accounts cannot be held to be perfect that is veiled in so much obscurity, and requires almost an esoteric knowledge to enable the reader to pick his way through the darkness.

College Contributions to the University

We are now in a position to discuss the general charges that are brought against the present system of Financial Administration at Oxford, and which relate both to policy and to machinery. Of these charges we will take first (because it connects with the previous argument) the assertion that while the University is poor, the Colleges are rich, and that the latter do not give out of their alleged superabundance nearly as much to the University, or to extraCollegiate objects, as they ought to do.

The unimpeachable principle of Collegiate contribution to University needs is one of comparatively recent assertion. The first Commission ventured only upon the cautious proposition 'That College revenues should be made to a certain extent available for the education of the Univer-


[page 149]

sity'(1); and they accordingly proposed that funds should be provided for the payment of sixteen Professorships by six of the wealthiest Colleges. It was reserved for the Commission of 1877-82, acting upon the evidence obtained by the Cleveland Commission (1872-4) to enforce a moneyed contribution on a general scale. In the case of all the Colleges but three, this consists of an initial two per cent, on the total net revenue, with additional progressive and cumulative percentages on net revenue in excess of 5,000, 10,000, 15,000, and 20,000 - against which, however, may be set off statutory payments made by Colleges direct to certain University objects, such as Professorships, or Fellowships attached to Professorships. For the distribution of this fund, the special body known as the Delegates of the Common University Fund was also created. The three excepted Colleges - Oriel, Lincoln, and All Souls - (as well as certain others) were also charged with payments made direct to University purposes, such as Professorships, Readerships, and the support of Institutions, e.g. the Bodleian Library. The sum contributed under these two heads amounted in 1907 to the 30,000 to which reference has already been made. It must be remembered, however, that the money-levy exacted by the Commission has never yet been paid in full. There were a number of further charges which, owing partly to the fall in agricultural rents, and partly to the survival of vested interests in the Colleges, have not so far taken effect. We can only therefore deal with the case as it now stands.

Allowing for the increase of the 30,000 to 38,000 or 40,000 per annum, by the voluntary contributions before mentioned, there are certain criticisms on the present system which will, I think, meet with general acceptance.

Firstly, of the graduated tax responsible for the contribution of 6,824 4s to the Common University Fund, it appears that by far the greater part is paid by a very

(1) Report, p. 209.


[page 150]

small number of Colleges, these being also the Colleges which furnish the largest additional levy in respect of ProfessorFellows. Thus in 1907 five Colleges contributed 5,127 12s to the total, and the remaining twelve Colleges only contributed 1,696 12s. Without questioning the principle that the rich College ought to give most, and might be called upon to give more, it will probably be agreed that every College ought to make a reasonable contribution to the University, according to its opportunities as well as its means. When, as in the case of the poorest Colleges, an increase, or at any rate a large increase, in money payment may be found difficult, there will be other forms, such as Fellowships, in which the contribution can be made. A well-off College, even if its main funds are protected as recent gifts, should not consider its duty to the University satisfied by the payment to the Common University Fund of a sum of 18 10s.

Secondly, though agricultural-values have diminished, there has been a rise in house values and other forms of property, and the Colleges as a whole (though it is not true of all Colleges) are far better off than when the Statutes of 1882 were passed. Their present aggregate contribution, if calculated at 30,000, amounts to 14½ per cent of their net revenue derived from endowments and interest on investments combined; if calculated at 40,000, it is over 19 per cent. These contributions are not illiberal, but I find a general consensus that they admit of substantial increase. The University being poor, the Colleges, which are its federal constituents, are the first who should be called upon to support it. Certain Colleges, it is well known, will receive a considerable increase of income at an early date, either from the falling in of beneficial leases (e. g. Queen's College) or from the development of valuable building property (e. g. St. John's); and confident reliance may be placed upon their ability to help the University in an increasing degree. The same holds good of those Colleges which still have


[page 151]

a number of non-resident Fellowships on the Old Foundation. As these fall in, the University will be entitled to its share in the enhanced income of the College. And, in a greater or less degree, the same proposition is of general application.

Thirdly, generous as is the manner in which the Colleges have hitherto voluntarily recognized the call upon them, there has been a lack of system and co-ordination in the manner in which the payments have been made. Nobody places before a College Meeting a reasoned statement of the University's needs. Neither Council nor the Board of Faculties has ever been known to undertake such a task. No representative or spokesman of the University is there to plead its cause. The College contributes from a sincere sense of its obligation, but necessarily in a haphazard fashion, according to the influence of individual members of its Governing Body, or in deference to a meritorious but transient impulse. One College will favour the Bodleian, another will encourage Research, a third will subsidize University Extension or Cretan Exploration. While granting the fullest scope to private initiative, we must concede on a broad survey of the entire field that no system of subsidies so conducted can take the place of a carefully thought-out plan for the distribution of superfluous funds.

By the Statutes of some Colleges power is given to the Visitor to make an order directing the application of any part of the surplus revenues of the College to University purposes; and the Hebdomadal Council may in such a case submit to the Visitor a representation concerning the requirements of the University. But with one exception I have not heard of such action being taken.

At the same time, if changes are made, there will be a general desire to maintain as large a measure of independence as is compatible with University interests, for the following reasons. Many people will contribute more readily to a College than they will to the University, and


[page 152]

if the College be too much tied in leading-strings the active regard of its old members may diminish and its own generosity may be impaired. Again, there is something to be said for the comparative elasticity of College management of educational funds, as compared with the greater rigidity of a University Board, though this is an argument that can easily be pushed too far. Moreover, a College may quite legitimately claim to have some voice in the expenditure of the money which it has itself provided.

Many plans have been suggested for dealing with this situation. Some authorities are in favour, as the simplest method, of an increase of 50 per cent, (or some other proportion) in the percentages of College contributions all round. This would give more money to the Common University Fund, but it would not answer the objections arising out of the fortuitous and unsystematic character of the present non-statutory contributions. Others have proposed an inquiry into the circumstances of each College, and the determination of a fixed scale of expenditure in each case, the surplus being appropriated by the University.(1) The champions of College autonomy would prefer that the present system be maintained, but would be willing that every assignment beyond a certain sum should be submitted for the sanction of the University. Others would propose that while increasing the statutory obligations, the College should be at liberty to spend some portion of the larger sum itself on objects approved by the University, so that it might have the interest of connecting itself with particular studies or institutions. Council, if it takes up the matter, will be in a better position to weigh these sug-

(1) Under the existing Statutes the Curators of the Chest may permit any College to commute its annual payment for the yearly payment of a fixed amount, for a term not exceeding five years, the amount to be approved by Council. Application for this permission must apparently come from the College. This of course is not the proposal mentioned in the text; but, even as it stands, advantage has never been taken of it. In altered circumstances it might admit of useful application.


[page 153]

gestions than I am. My own view is that until and unless there is created in the University a body vested with powers of general financial control, and so constituted as to be competent for questions of policy as well as of finance, a satisfactory solution will hardly be arrived at; and when, at a later stage, I venture to propose such a body I will explain how its functions might be exercised in the present instance. The authors of the Act of 1882 (Stat. XIX. 4) clearly contemplated that some such external control would be required, for in charging the Curators of the Chest with the duty of seeing that the proper College contributions were made, they provided, in the case of any difference arising on the subject, for reference to a Board of three persons, one to be nominated by Council, the second by the Heads and Bursars of Colleges, and the third by the Chancellor. Council and the Heads and Bursars appoint their referees annually, and the Chancellor appoints his on a case arising. But, as a matter of fact, few cases have ever been referred, because there is no body specially charged with reviewing and checking College contributions; and the provision therefore may almost be described as a dead letter.

For the moment I have perhaps said enough to show that the question of enhanced College contributions to University purposes is one that deserves the serious consideration of the University, and should be approached, as I am confident that it will be, by the Colleges in a generous spirit.

College Financial Administration

There are several other respects in which an examination of the College Accounts suggests that greater system might with advantage be introduced. The fact that each College dispenses its revenue in its own way, subject only


[page 154]

to the necessity of satisfying a professional audit(1) and of fulfilling its statutory obligations, explains many of these apparent anomalies. We discover, for instance, that five or six Colleges in each year exhibit a loss on the year's transactions. The remaining Colleges show credit balances, but are living as a rule very close up to their incomes. In either case the question may fairly be asked whether the expenditure is always as economical as it might be and, having regard to the wants of the University, justifiable. Again, Colleges vary in what they charge to Internal payments, and it is well-nigh impossible, without a knowledge of the circumstances of each case, to say which of the items so entered are fairly chargeable against the General Revenues of the College, and which against Internal Receipts. Different standards of expenditure prevail in different Colleges, some spending more on buildings, upkeep, and repairs, others on purely educational objects. One College spends from income, another uses the facilities offered by the Board of Agriculture to raise loans. I take the case of a single College which appears to illustrate these idiosyncrasies of practice in a marked degree:

19061907
Income from Lands and Houses let at rack rent18,43818,725
Repairs and Improvements7,7816,724
Payment to Common University Fund275233
Total contribution to University Purposes2,7752,733

The figures of these years (which are corroborated by those of earlier years) show that this College is in the habit of charging its estate repairs and improvements, even when they amount to so large a percentage of the estate receipts, to the income of the year. Other Colleges meet such expenditure, if called for, by a loan. (The College in question has, meanwhile, contracted loans since 1905 of 28,000; apparently in connexion with College buildings

(1) Each College appoints its own Auditor, and, if for any reason dissatisfied with him, can make a change.


[page 155]

and a new residence for its Head.) The significance of these figures to the University is very great, because it is obvious that had the usual practice of raising loans for large external expenditure been followed, the payment to the Common University Fund would have been much larger. For the protection of University interests, and for the maintenance of some uniformity in administration, it might be desirable to enact by Statute that College expenditure on repairs and improvements, external and internal, should not exceed in any one year a fixed percentage of the net income. Further, from the accounts of 1906 it appears that one half of the total Tuition Fees of 2,400 were appropriated by the same College in that year to the Pension Fund,(1) to which the College only contributed 420.

Another striking diversity is the following. In some Colleges External Receipts are not sufficient to meet the payments ordinarily charged against them, and the Colleges accordingly meet the balance out of Internal Receipts. In other words, Internal subsidizes External. This is usually the case with the poorer Colleges, and is found to apply in the cases of Exeter, Lincoln, Pembroke, Trinity, Wadham, and Worcester. In other cases, usually those of the richer Colleges, the inverse process takes place, and the College, finding its Internal Receipts insufficient to cover all outgoings under this head(2) subsidizes the Kitchen(3) or other

(1) In the same year another College appropriated the whole of its Tuition Fund (2,000) to the Building Fund, paying its Tutors and Lecturers out of a Balance in hand.

(2) In making this calculation I have included in the payments properly chargeable against Internal Receipts, the following items: Tuition Fund, Pension Fund, Servants, Establishment, Rates, Taxes, and Insurance on College Buildings, Repairs and Maintenance of the same, Entertainments, a few minor charges, and half the Salaries of College Officers.

(3) One College showed a loss on its Kitchen for 1906 of 657, and for 1907 of 508 - a form of endowment of the poor that would appear to be open to attack.


[page 156]

Internal charges out of general income. This is the case with Brasenose, Corpus, Jesus, Magdalen, Merton, Queen's, St. John's. The causes of this divergence of system appear to deserve examination.(1)

Still further to illustrate the variety of scales of expenditure or, it may be, the unreliability for purposes of fair comparison of the published Accounts, I may cite three minor cases: (a) cost of College Servants, (b) cost of College Entertainments, (c) cost of Chapels and Choirs. The figures are those of 1906, and I select Colleges whose numbers or circumstances admit of comparison.(2)

(1) As far back as 1872 the Cleveland Commissioners (Report, p. 30) animadverted on the great variety of practice, shown in the profit and loss arising from the Buttery and Kitchen accounts.

(2) There may be a variety of reasons for the divergences here noted. Probably in some Colleges the cost of servants comes under Establishment charges. In some cases benefactions for entertainments may exist. Some Colleges have and others have not paid choirs. But the College accounts only record the fact of the difference with its pecuniary results: and we have no means of ascertaining the cause.

(3) I have of course excluded New College and Magdalen, for whose glorious Chapel services and Choirs a special provision was made by the Commissioners of 1877.


[page 157]

The apparent anomalies and discrepancies to which I have called attention, where they are not explicable by the methods of accounting in vogue, are the inevitable consequences of a system in which there is no controlling authority beyond the Governing Bodies of the Colleges themselves, and in which the University, outside the pale of its statutory rights, is powerless to intervene. In the old days the Visitors of Colleges were specially appointed to supervise expenditure; but those august functionaries have long ago lost or ceased to exercise any financial powers. 1 At the present moment there is no force beyond public opinion a not too certain check to prevent a rich College from spending a disproportionate amount of its income upon buildings. These may or may not be necessary. Probably, in the great majority of instances they are. But when it is remembered that in either case the University is penalized, in proportion to the outlay, it does not seem to be unreasonable that an independent scrutiny and a higher sanction should be required. Is it not probable, indeed, that both University and Colleges would be the gainers if some greater degree of uniformity could be introduced, and if certain broad guiding principles were laid down, to which, with reasonable latitude, all parties should be asked to conform?

Management of College Estates

That part, however, of College administration which has been the target of the most sustained criticism is the management of College property in houses and lands. We

(1) The Commission of 1850 recommended, as a check upon vagaries of expenditure, that the Heads of every College should be obliged to transmit an annual Report under the Common Seal to its Visitor, on the state, discipline, studies, and revenues of the College, in such a form as he might from time to time direct; and the Visitor might be called upon to lay a copy of the Report before the Sovereign in Council, with such observations as he should think proper to make (Report, p. 184). But no action was taken upon this recommendation.


[page 158]

are familiar with the assertion that the administration of large estates by twenty different managing bodies with separate offices and staffs, not necessarily trained for the purpose, must be both ignorant and wasteful. I have always been much impressed by the fact that the late Professor Jowett, the most dispassionate and liberal-minded of University Reformers, was an ardent defender of this much-attacked system; and, having myself seen it in operation at first hand, I may perhaps be qualified to speak upon it without impertinence.

One section of advanced reformers would propose to sell the whole of University and College property, and to leave the Governing Bodies with the administration solely of the resultant funds. Such a solution does not seem to me practicable, even if it were desirable; and I will not here discuss it. But it is possible that by the sale or exchange of outlying or scattered estates the Colleges might save themselves some trouble and perhaps expense.

A more plausible suggestion is that, just as the estates of the Cathedral Chapters were taken over in 1836 and vested in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, so the property of the University and Colleges might be transferred to a similar official body, appointed by the Government, who should administer it on their behalf. There may be something to be said on behalf of such a solution, if a complete subversion of the existing system be required. But there are many considerations on the other side of great and, as it appears to me, preponderant weight.

In the first place, it is not denied that the estates of Oxford and Cambridge have been on the whole, and are, well and liberally administered. That this administration has, at the same time, not been extravagant was the recorded verdict of the Cleveland Commission of 1872. It is doubtful whether landlords more broad-minded or considerate than the Colleges could anywhere be found;


[page 159]

and were the tenants allowed a voice in their own destiny, few would probably not resent a change. The relations between the Colleges and their estates have lasted in many cases for centuries, and have engendered a feeling of combined attachment and obligation which it would seem a pity to disturb. The Estates-Bursars, who manage the estates on behalf of the Colleges, have the stimulus of devotion to their College, instead of a merely professional connexion with the estates; and the visitations of the College Heads - many of whom are exceedingly conscientious in this respect - together with some of the Fellows, are warmly welcomed by the tenants. Moreover, a valuable training in a branch of public affairs, not otherwise or ordinarily open to academically employed men, is thus given to those members of the Governing Body of a College who choose to profit by it. When the College does not possess a Fellow specially fitted for the office of Bursar, a qualified person is sometimes appointed from the outside; land-agents are in many cases employed; and the best professional advice is constantly taken. The actual emoluments paid to EstatesBursars are small; and the cost of estate-management, given in an earlier footnote to this chapter, is moderate. When the College is called upon to make investments, these, which are confined to Trustee Stock, are made under the advice of the Board of Agriculture; sales of stock or land have further to be submitted to that Board; and it is also the body through which all loans are now raised.(1) On the other hand, administration by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners lacks many of the advantages above described. Costly offices in London have to be built and maintained; an expensive staff is required; local agents are as a rule the sole representatives of the Commissioners in the provinces; the latter are seldom honoured by a visit from the Commissioners; and there is lacking that intimacy in the

(1) By Act of Parliament they have to be repaid within fifty years.


[page 160]

relations between landlord and tenant that arises from ancient connexions reinforced by personal acquaintance. There appear, therefore, to be many good and convincing reasons - assuming the Colleges themselves to attach value to their existing privileges, as to which there cannot be a doubt - why the system should not be destroyed.(1)

At the same time it has its drawbacks, which may be frankly admitted. The action or the advice of the Estates-Bursar or the Agent, whichever he be, is reviewed at a College Meeting not by experts but by a body who are not widely or generally trained to estate-management, and whose inclination is likely to be to confirm his acts without modification.(2) Above all, there is no individual and no body to regulate, co-ordinate, or control. Thus we may have, as has been shown, one College restricting its expenditure on repairs and improvements, and another College indulging in undue liberality; different standards and scales of outlay exist side by side. It may be said that the same is true of private properties. But the answer is that the College estates are not private properties; they are held in trust for the nation, and for an object in which every man and woman in the nation is entitled to feel and to express a concern. It is therefore reasonable that a special measure of vigilance should be applied in their case; and that the University, no less than the public, should have some guarantee that these large emoluments are being administered not only with propriety and without extravagance, but with a strict regard to the general object for which they were given, and with a due correlation to each other. In other words, just as, in the case of the College con-

(1) A suggestion has been made for which more perhaps is to be said that the estates and management of some of the poorer Colleges might be 'pooled'. This would produce some, but probably not a very considerable, reduction of expense.

(2) Some Colleges have an Estates Committee, which goes through all the Bursar's proposals before they are submitted to the College, to whom they come as recommendations from the Committee.


[page 161]

tributions to University purposes and of College finances in general, we found that some exterior and controlling authority was required, so does it appear to be a desideratum in the management of those estates from which so large a portion of the College income is derived. How such a body may be called into being I will next proceed to discuss. In order to do so with advantage it is necessary to say something about the existing financial machinery of the University.

Existing Financial Machinery

The bodies concerned with the finances of the University (as distinct from minor Delegacies and Boards administering their own funds) are two in number, the Curators of the University Chest and the Delegates of the Common University Fund.

The University Chest

The Curators of the Chest are a Board consisting of the Vice -Chancellor and Proctors, ex officio, and six other members serving for six years, of whom two are appointed by Congregation, two by Council, and two by the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors. They have a paid Secretary, with a Clerk or Clerks and a permanent office. The Board meets once a week during term, and frequently in vacation. Its duties are defined by Statute, and are in brief:

(i) To collect all the revenues of the University, including College contributions for University purposes.
(ii) To manage all estates held by the University, and to take charge of its public buildings, where not under special charge.
(iii) To make all payments for the University, including all grants made from the Common University Fund.
(iv) To present a yearly account to Convocation.
(v) To invest at its discretion moneys not immediately required.

[page 162]

Common University Fund

The Common University Fund was created by the Commission of 1877, in order to receive and dispense the newly prescribed contributions of the Colleges (where not appropriated by Statute to any specific purpose), for the encouragement of study, research, and learning on freer lines than those allowed by the University Statutes. It is managed by a Delegacy consisting of the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors ex officio, five members nominated by Council, five by Congregation, and seven by the Boards of Faculties, i.e. twenty in all (the seventeen nominated members serving for four years). Its composition is thus designed to secure that every department of the University shall be represented by one or more delegates. It meets once or twice a term; it has an unpaid secretary, and its accounts are published in the University Abstract. The objects upon which it can spend money, as defined by the Statutes, include:

(a) Payments to Readers and extraordinary Professors or Lecturers.
(b) Payments for the giving of instruction, or the doing of work, or the conduct of investigations within the University in any branch of learning or inquiry connected with the studies of the University.
(c) The provision of retiring funds for Professors and Lecturers.
(d) The provision of apparatus for any purpose connected with University instruction and Research.
(e) The foundation of Scholarships or Exhibitions for the encouragement of proficiency in any branch of learning.
(c) and (e) require a Decree or Statute of Convocation. For all other objects the Delegates have full powers and act without control.

In the preceding chapter I have dealt with the Common University Fund in so far as it represents the various Faculties and is concerned with organizing the teaching of the University, and I have summarized the view of


[page 163]

those who desire to convert it into a general Board or Council of the Faculties alone, and to invest it with supreme power in the control of University studies. Here I am concerned with it rather as a financial body invested by law with certain of the financial powers which appertain to the University as a whole, and by reason of those powers acquiring a powerful voice in policy.

The formal relation of the Common University Fund to the Curators of the Chest is that the Curators, as we have before seen, take charge of its funds, and pay out of them what the Delegates, acting in their discretion, order. In practice there is a closer contact between the two bodies, arising from the presence on both of the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors ex officio, and of other representative persons and members of Council who are often elected to both bodies. But there is no Statute requiring Council to be represented by its own members on either body, except in the persons of the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors; for although Council elects to both Boards, it does not necessarily choose from its own members.

In respect of expenditure the Curators of the Chest have the general control of the funds of the University. They make, either under Statute or by order of Convocation, or, in small matters, by the Vice-Chancellor's order, all the normal payments for the maintenance of University Institutions, Professors, &c. The function of the Common Fund is to supplement this normal expenditure by providing for special and extraordinary needs, or for new departments which have not yet been placed on a permanent footing. Attention should here again be called to the provision (Stat. XIX. 6) by which, if the sum paid into the Fund exceeds 4,000 per annum, the Delegates are subject to any Statutes which the University may make from time to time, not inconsistent with the general purpose of the Fund. The general practice is to transfer to the Chest, as soon as it can bear them, all charges which have been recognized as in the nature of permanent charges on the University.


[page 164]

The University Press

Below these two main bodies are the various Boards and Delegacies (e. g. Extension, Non-Collegiate, &c.), each of which manages its own finances, and some of which are subsidized by the University through the Chest. Their annual Balance-sheet is published in the University Accounts.

One of these Boards, viz. the University Press, stands in a peculiar relation to the University; for instead of being subsidized by the University, it subsidizes the latter. It is administered by a Delegacy of whom the Vice-Chancellor is an ex-officio member, five members are appointed for life, and five members are appointed for a term of seven years by the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors, in both cases out of resident Doctors and M.A.s, vacancies in the perpetual Delegates being filled up by election from the nominated Delegates. The Board manages its business in its own way, it is not subject to any external control, and though its accounts are audited annually by auditors appointed by Council, they are not published in the University Abstract or in any other form. In the thirty-six years before 1907 the Press paid an annual contribution, averaging over 5,200, to the University Chest. Of this sum not more than 5,000 has been allocated in any year to the Revenue Account of the University, the remainder (if any) being credited to Capital Account. Any such payments appear under separate headings in the published Accounts. In 1907 this subsidy was reduced to 2,000 - a reduction which was said to be exceptional and to be due to the legitimate development of business. Council and the Chest are both represented on the Delegacy by the Vice-Chancellor and by a few others of their members. But I am not sure that sufficient opportunity exists for co-ordinating the needs of the Press as a business concern with the interests of the University which owns it; and, while I welcome the recently-initiated procedure, by which conferences are held from time to time between


[page 165]

representatives of the Chest and the Press, I think that one of the functions of the advisory body, hereafter to be proposed as a Board of Financial Control, might be to discuss the larger questions of financial policy both with the Delegates and with Council. Further, with a view to introducing some greater stability in the system of annual payments to the University, it might be possible to formulate a plan by which for a term of years the University should be assured of a minimum income from the Press, the arrangement to admit of modification in exceptional circumstances, and the agreement to be revised at the end of quinquennial or other periods.

It is universally admitted that the Press is a most admirably managed and efficient organization. My desire is confined to bringing its finance into closer relation with that of the University. Indeed, so long as the University continues to discharge its business by means of a multiplicity of Boards and Committees, it is everywhere desirable that intimate co-operation between these bodies and the Governing Body of the University should be maintained.

Financial Policy of the University

It now remains to consider in what relation these various bodies stand to the financial policy of the University, i.e. how far they are merely the paymasters of funds, or how far their constitution or power of the purse enables them to exert control.

We have previously compared the Hebdomadal Council to the Cabinet of the University, i.e. a Committee appointed by Congregation to represent the executive, to shape policy, and to initiate legislation. If the analogy were perfect, we might expect that this body would have supreme control over the University finances, and would possess a Finance Minister of its own, who would provide and co-ordinate the means for carrying out its policy and conducting the general


[page 166]

work of the University, and who would frame an annual Budget for that purpose. But the very opposite is the case. The University has no one Treasury (but a number of semi-independent Treasuries), no Chancellor of the Exchequer, and no Budget. Council cannot spend a farthing; it cannot even order a farthing to be spent. All it can do is to submit proposals for expenditure to Convocation. If an application is made to it by a Department for new expenditure of a permanent kind, or if it has itself decided upon any policy that involves the expenditure of money, its usual course is to send to the Chest, and ask if the means are forthcoming. But the Chest is not itself primarily an instrument for carrying out the policy of the Government: it does not busy itself with policy at all; it is concerned with the management of the University estates and funds, and it considers how money can be saved rather than how it should be spent. Its members are chosen mainly for their business qualities, and not as leaders in University affairs.

The Chest therefore may, and often does return a negative reply. In that case Council may still submit a decree to Convocation, or it may turn for assistance to the Common University Fund; indeed an appeal from a Department for occasional or special help is often made direct by the Department to the Fund, without the interposition of Council. But the Fund, as we have seen, is itself a self-contained and independent body, and may also refuse. Much will depend upon the Delegates who happen to belong to it or to be present at the meeting, or upon the degree of canvassing that has been done in advance. There is now a third and independent body in the shape of the Trustees of the University Re-endowment Fund, to whom, in the event of a twofold failure inside the University, application may be made. Pathetic pictures have been drawn to me of petitioners for the University bounty, running about from one body to the other, in quest of relief, and I have even heard the Vice-Chancellor compared to a genteel mendicant, who passes from door to door, and


[page 167]

supplicates the wherewithal to carry out the policy of the great institution of which he is the official head.

The public spirit and the common sense of all the parties concerned have alone enabled this system to work without any conspicuous break-down. But it must be obvious that it is strangely lacking in co-ordination, and that the absence of a central financial authority, representing the Government of the University and invested with a sufficient control over all its funds, is a source of weakness and delay. Forty years ago Professor Bartholomew Price declared that there ought to be a Finance Committee of the University, who should have authority to receive all revenues and to make all payments: they should have as their secretary a highly competent business man, possessing some legal knowledge, with an office; and it should be his duty to collect the receipts, keep the books, papers and documents, prepare the agenda, write the minutes, and issue the cheques. To a certain extent the Secretary to the Curators of the Chest fulfils these requirements; but, as has been shown, the powers and sphere of the Curators are restricted, and they are unable to deal with University finance as a whole. The succeeding half century has not modified the need for such a machinery, though the institution of a new and self-contained Financial Board, in the shape of the Common University Fund, has greatly enhanced the difficulty of providing it. The need of such central control has been rendered still more urgent by the growth of numerous and powerful departments inside the University, constituted for teaching purposes but invested with financial powers. Were we engaged in drawing up a new University Constitution, we should doubtless propose the supersession or absorption of many of the present Boards, and the creation of a Finance Office, similar to those of the American Universities, which act both as a Treasury and a Bank. But at Oxford we have not so free a hand; and we must consider therefore whether it is possible to evolve from the existing system, or to graft on to it,


[page 168]

any expedient which will answer our purpose, and give better results.

Suggested Board of Finance

It might occur to some that it would be possible to amalgamate the Chest and the Common Fund, and to create a single internal Board of Finance from their component parts. But two considerations appear to militate against such a suggestion. In the first place, the existing Delegacy of the Common Fund is frequently criticized as not being sufficiently representative of the different Faculties; and as long as it continues to be vested with powers of policy as well as of finance, it is desirable that it should fairly represent all interests and studies. In other words, it must be a Board of some size. If however it were to be combined with the Chest, we could hardly avoid the creation of a body which would be inconveniently large, and would sacrifice efficiency to comprehensiveness. The second difficulty would arise from the adjustment of the relations and powers of such a body to Council, which might easily find itself overshadowed.

If I may hazard an alternative suggestion, it would be that, the Chest and the Fund retaining their existing constitutions with the modifications to be presently suggested, there should be created a new Committee or Board of Finance of moderate dimensions, of independent character, and possessed of adequate powers. What these should be will have appeared from the argument contained in the earlier pages of this chapter. We have there seen that some outside authority is required (a) to elucidate and correlate University and College Accounts; (b) to exercise advisory and supervisory powers in connexion with the financial administration of both, but of the Colleges in particular, more especially with relation to the assignment of College contributions to University purposes; (c) to exercise similar functions with regard to the management both of


[page 169]

University and of College estates; (d) above all to unify the financial policy of the University. It would indeed be worth some sacrifice of individual or minor independence were a result of so much collective advantage to be obtained.

Accordingly the functions of such a Board might be:

(i) To review the University Accounts, and to report to Council upon them, before they are presented to Convocation.

(ii) To review the College Accounts (with access to all papers and figures) and to report to Council upon them, with special relation to the subjects that have been mentioned in the penultimate paragraph.

(iii) In particular to consider any proposals from Colleges for the disposal of unassigned revenues and to advise Council upon them - such proposals to be made at a fixed time of the year, and to be considered together.

(iv) To advise Council upon large questions of financial policy, and to maintain communication with the various bodies that are concerned in the administration of University funds.

(v) To advise Council as to all grants to be made to the Internal Boards of the University.

(vi) To publish a revised annual Balance-sheet of the University and Colleges in combination, from which it might be ascertained at once and without prolonged exploration in what manner and upon what objects the resources of Oxford are being spent.

If such a body is to be efficient it must include (a) independent men of affairs, probably from the outside, who could pronounce impartially upon conflicting claims, and some of whom should have experience in the management of large estates; (b) men of sufficient leisure to go thoroughly into the matters under reference (the majority of University officials are apt to be overworked during Term-time); (c) men who are cognizant of the needs and


[page 170]

practice of the University and have a genuine interest in its welfare. It should consist therefore partly of residents and partly of non-residents. Its numbers should probably not exceed eight to ten. Some of them might be chosen by or from the Council, the Chest, and the Fund. The non-resident members might be nominated by the Chancellor, or in some other way. All of the members should be Oxford men.

A word may be added about the possible relations of this body to the Chest and the Common Fund. The Chest, in addition to its present functions, might be charged with the management of the receipts and payments of all University Institutions, and of all contributions to University purposes, whether statutory or otherwise. In this way it would fill its proper place as a general Treasury of the University.(1) The Delegacy of the Common Fund, enlarged by more complete representation of the Boards of Faculties, might continue to a large extent to perform its existing duties, a sum of not less than 4,000 per annum, as contemplated by the Statute, being handed to it for the purposes therein described. The remainder of the College contributions, and any enhanced or additional contributions received from them, would be paid into the Chest. Both the Fund and the Chest should communicate with the Board of Finance; and the Delegates of the Fund should have power to make representations to Council in respect of any new needs for which they could not provide from the funds allotted to them.

It is hardly a portion of my duty to advise as to the means of constituting such a Board if it were approved, or its investment with legal or other authority. Whether it should possess statutory powers of its own, or whether Council should receive the power to act upon its recommendations - is a matter that will appertain to a later

(1) The idea may be worthy of examination that the Chest should be absorbed in the Board, or at least that there should be some amalgamation of functions and powers.


[page 171]

stage of discussion. Probably statutory powers would be required in both cases; but the functions of the new Board would be in the main advisory, and Council would retain its position as the central administrative body of the University.

The project which I have ventured to sketch may turn out to be fraught with difficulties or to invite objections which I have not foreseen. I have, however, presented the idea in outline to the University in the hope that it may be willing very seriously to consider the question of financial reform and if so that among the plans under discussion it may perhaps derive some assistance from the consideration of this. As I have advanced further in the study of the subject, it has been borne in upon me with increasing conviction that the clue to the majority of University problems, and the condition of the majority of University reforms, is finance: that financial reform means financial control: and that until such control is established decisive progress cannot be made. It is with this firm conviction that I respectfully commit the subject to the hands of Council. Possibly it is one that they may wish to refer to a strong Committee for independent examination.



[page 172]

CHAPTER VIII

EXECUTIVE MACHINERY OF UNIVERSITY GOVERNMENT

ENOUGH has been said in previous chapters to show that the organization of the University suffers from many defects which impair its efficiency, and, owing to the multiplicity of agents treading on each other's heels and sometimes doing the same work twice over, breed confusion and delay. Perhaps the most conspicuous instance of this lack of system is presented by the spectacle of the Executive Machinery of the University. It might be expected that so great and potent an organization would at least possess, in the staff of officials who manage its business, and in the offices where their records are kept and their business is done, an adequate and efficient machinery. Such is very far from being the case.

The Vice-Chancellor

The principal resident officer of the University is the Vice-Chancellor. His powers and duties are nowhere very clearly defined by statute, and depend to a large extent upon usage; but, during the centuries for which the greater part of the Chancellor's powers have lain in abeyance, he has become in an increasing degree the pivot of University business and administration.

In olden days the M.A.s elected their own Vice-Chancellor; but in 1636 this power was transferred to the Chancellor, who now annually nominates the Vice-Chancellor as his deputy from among the Heads of Houses


[page 173]

in the order of their election as Head, usually - unless the health of the incumbent breaks down in the interim - for four successive years. The limitation to Heads of Houses rests on a statutory basis, but there is no other statutory obligation. Such, however, has been the unbroken custom in modern times.

The duties of this officer are overwhelming in their number and complexity. He presides over Council, the two Congregations, and Convocation. He confers ordinary - and (except when the Chancellor is present) Honorary Degrees. He is the head of the Visitatorial Board, and the Vice-Chancellor's Court. He is a member of every Board, Delegacy, and Committee in the University, and sits upon the Governing Bodies, or is a Visitor, of the principal University Institutions. In particular, he is a Curator of the Chest, a Delegate of the Common University Fund, and a Delegate of the Press. He is also an elector to several Professorships and Scholarships, and a judge of many Prizes. He makes a large number of appointments, wields large financial powers, and is a trustee of several funds. He is responsible for the discipline of the University, and may also be found serving as a Justice of the Peace, and a Guardian of the Poor. Outside the University it is his duty to be in touch with the Provincial Universities, the Public Schools, and many educational bodies and authorities. He is increasingly called upon to represent and to speak for the University on public and ceremonial occasions; and at meetings, Congresses, and Conferences at Oxford, he is frequently expected to preside. The burden of his official correspondence must be overwhelming - if I may judge from that limited portion of it which is conducted between the Chancellor and himself. In addition to all this, he is required to discharge the very onerous responsibilities of the Head of a College. There is probably, during Term-time, no more hardly worked official in the United Kingdom.

These facts have prompted two suggestions. One is that


[page 174]

the Chancellor should be empowered to appoint as his deputy some independent and leisured person, who should devote his entire time and abilities to University work; somewhat after the manner of the President of an American University. As at present advised I am not inclined to recommend this suggestion, which would not fit in very easily with the existing organization at Oxford, and which seems to demand for its success the appointment for life, or at any rate for a long term of office, of some eminent man from the outside. The other suggestion is that the Chancellor, instead of appointing from a rota of the Heads of Houses, should choose from a list submitted to him by the Hebdomadal Council. Speaking for myself, I would of course receive with respect any expression of the views of Council on this, as on any other matter. But there seem to me some positive advantages in the existing system which it might not be easy to replace. The Head of a College, though it is true that he was elected to his post for other objects than to be the chief officer of the University at a later date, is nevertheless one of the most prominent dignitaries of the University. He has probably had opportunities of acquiring an intimate acquaintance with University government and institutions; he possesses more leisure than the bulk of those who are actively engaged in teaching, and his term of office as ViceChancellor is the legitimate crown of an academic career. The practice of electing to the Headship of Colleges men who are still in the prime of life has obtained so widely in recent years that there is less likelihood than there once was of a Vice-Chancellor handicapped by age or infirmity. Circumstances might arise in which the appointment of a young and active Head would be desirable, in preference to older or less qualified men. But the present system would admit of this degree of elasticity, since the Chancellor is at liberty to nominate any Head whom he pleases, and the practice of rotation has no sanction beyond custom. In these circumstances there does not appear to be sufficient reason for discussing any


[page 175]

revolutionary change. The real reform lies not in altering the choice of the man so much as in reducing and systematizing his work.

The University Staff

At present the exiguity of the provision made for a University staff is one of the wonders of Oxford. Under the Vice-Chancellor there are only three officers who answer to this description; and they are encumbered with all manner of extraneous duties.

There is a Registrar of the University whose duty it is to attend all the meetings of Council (and its Committees), Congregation and Convocation, to record their acts, affix the seal, and generally conduct the business formalities. He acts as Secretary to the Hebdomadal Council, prepares its agenda, keeps its minutes, conducts its correspondence, draws up draft forms of Statutes and Decrees, and sees to their publication. He also edits the Statute-book. Further, he attends and acts as Secretary to other Boards or Delegacies, which have no executive officer of their own; receives the names of candidates for degrees and furnishes certificates of Matriculation and Graduation. Only in one respect does he act as a ministerial aid to the ViceChancellor, whom he is supposed to assist in correspondence with public bodies and outside persons. He has an office, and a salary of 900 per annum.

An Assistant Registrar is appointed to assist or relieve the Registrar in the discharge of his duties. But this officer, too, has a large number of independent duties. He is Secretary to the Boards of Faculties and the Boards of Studies, attends their ordinary and Committee meetings, and helps them both in their business. He also has duties in connexion with Foreign and Colonial and Indian Universities, and keeps a large number of registers of candidates and degrees.

The third officer, who by virtue of his position may be


[page 176]

described as a prominent executive officer of the University, is the Secretary to the Curators of the Chest. He is the representative of the Board in the discharge of all the multifarious duties connected with raising and expending the revenues of the University which have been previously described. He has an office (where he is assisted by a clerk or clerks) and a salary of 400 rising to 600 per annum. The University Solicitor and a land-surveyor are also specially employed from time to time for professional services.

All of these officers are important and busily occupied persons. But it will be observed that they are in every case attached to various bodies or institutions, and that they do not, either individually or collectively, constitute what I am here describing as a University Secretariat or staff. It might be thought that there would exist at Oxford a University Office, where its private records are deposited, where the Vice-Chancellor can attend to his official duties, and where official references or information can be obtained. No such building exists; no records, other than the official papers or publications which I have referred to (including of course the Minutes of Council, and the acts of Congregation and Convocation), are kept; there is no machinery for handing on the traditions or preserving the secret and unofficial history of the government of Oxford. A Vice-Chancellor has no means, outside of what his personal relations with his colleagues may provide him with, of knowing what has passed in previous regimes or of handing on a similar record to his successor. He does not even possess a Private Secretary, unless he chooses to furnish himself with such an auxiliary from the by no means considerable allowance made to him by the University during his term of office. Speaking from some experience of public administration, I can aver that an office without records or ministerial staff is an office hampered with incessant difficulty, indeed, is scarcely an office at all. I cannot imagine any one expedient more calculated


[page 177]

to lighten the labours of future Vice -Chancellors and to promote continuity of administration than the institution of such an office with such a staff (it need not be large) as will remedy this notable deficiency in the equipment of Oxford. Whether such a provision, if it be approved, should be made by a development of the existing Registrar's Office, or by entirely new arrangements, is a matter which Council will be well qualified to decide.

From the analogy of other institutions it might also be inferred that Oxford would have required a University Architect and a Clerk of the Works.

The Proctors

The two chief executive officers of the University, after the Vice-Chancellor, are the Proctors, elected annually by the Colleges and Halls in rotation. The suggestion was made by the first Commission,(1) but never acted upon, that, instead of serving for one year - in which time they have barely obtained a mastery of the business before they are called upon to retire - these officials should hold office for two years, one going out in each year. This would tend to greater continuity of administration.

Business of Council

Some relief appears to be required for Council itself from the too incessant and exacting duties now imposed upon it. The meetings are held once a week and in the afternoon, so as to admit of the attendance of those who have been engaged in academical work in the morning. But if I am rightly informed, the strain is becoming excessive, and insufficient time is forthcoming for the proper discussion of important issues. It would seem that some scheme of devolution or rearrangement of work is desirable.

(1) Report, p. 257.


[page 178]

I have not ventured in this chapter to urge a more radical amendment in the manner and methods by which the internal administration of the University is conducted, feeling that this is a matter which Council, if so inclined, will consider on its own responsibility. But I may be permitted to remark that in the multiplicity of Boards and Delegacies, ever increasing and constantly overlapping, by which the University endeavours to cope with its tremendous task, lies an inevitable source of much delay and dissipation of energy, which a more centralized and scientific organization might, at any rate in large measure, prevent; and at an earlier stage of this Memorandum I have urged that, even if the University cannot reduce the number of these agencies, at least it should insist that its executive committee, the Hebdomadal Council, shall bring these bodies into closer relation with itself, and shall exercise a more harmonizing, and therefore a more effective, control over their operations.




[page 179]

CHAPTER IX

ENCOURAGEMENT OF RESEARCH

AMONG the most familiar of the criticisms levelled against the modern direction and equipment of Oxford is the charge that it provides insufficiently for advanced study and Research. This criticism assumes three forms: (i) That there is a lack of the true scientific spirit at Oxford, i.e. the pursuit of truth and the extension of the borders of knowledge by the study of first principles and the patient investigation of facts, not only in the domain of natural science, but in the classics, history, politics, geography, economics, and other branches of learning; (ii) That there is a lack of encouragement by the University in the shape of Fellowships, Scholarships, and other pecuniary endowments; (iii) That there is an almost total absence of the apparatus and machinery by means of which the student can, under the eye of his master, acquire the methods of higher study, and scale the topmost rungs of the ladder of learning.

This complaint - and the mental attitude which it reflects - are of comparatively modern origin. They find no place in the Report of the Commissioners of 1850, who do not seem to have regarded it as any part of their duty to provide for study or teaching beyond the undergraduate stage. The only reference to Research work is contained in the argument for the appointment of a grade of Assistant Professors or University Lecturers, who might to some extent set free the Professors for investigation and the cultivation of the more abstruse parts of Science. Matthew Arnold, with his outcry against the Universities as merely


[page 180]

continuing schools for the leisured classes, in which the supreme test was not knowledge but examination, was the pioneer of the new movement. Then came Mark Pattison, protesting that Oxford had lost sight of the connexion between training and knowledge, that teachers ought also to be learners, and that the University should be a national institute for the cultivation and transmission of the best extant knowledge. Jowett followed, calling loudly for the endowment of special Research. These war-cries had their effect; and when the Commission of 1877-82 constructed their new Statutes, one of their main creations, as we have seen, was the Common University Fund, designed for the encouragement of teaching and study outside the ordinary curriculum, and having its objects specifically defined as Instruction and Research.(1) Since then, the spirit has gained force and vitality from the constant expansion of the boundaries of knowledge, until it is now an accepted axiom that it is a portion of the duty of the oldest Universities to train their members for the exploration of remote as well as the survey of well-trodden fields.

The two functions are indeed quite different, and their spheres should not be confused. They represent distinct though not antagonistic ideals of the work of a University, and they appeal to different intellectual types. Education is one thing, and the spirit of inquiry is another. There are some who appear to ignore the former conception, and who almost lose sight of the battalions of undergraduates, over 3,000 strong, in presence of the scanty units who represent post-graduate study. This is surely a narrow and a one-eyed view. Oxford is still, and it must remain, the great national training-ground for those of our youths who

(1) The words of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act, 1877, empowering the Commissioners to create a Common University Fund, were as follows. Payments were to be made out of this fund 'for the giving of instruction, the doing of work or the conducting of investigations within the University in any branch of learning or inquiry connected with the studies of the University'.


[page 181]

aspire to a broad and liberal education, and the whole of our inquiries up to this point have been directed to the emancipation of its energies and the strengthening of its powers in that direction. I do not think that it would be desirable, even if it were feasible, to convert Oxford into a place where the main occupation should be the pursuit of original Research, or where all the best men after taking their degree should settle down for a year of advanced study; for even if Oxford were to gain - which is not certain - what would be the fate of the professions? Nor does it seem to me possible to convert every Prize Fellowship into a Research Fellowship immediately, or compulsorily to annex for advanced study large endowments otherwise assigned. We cannot hope - the conditions of University education being so different and the line of demarcation between undergraduate and postgraduate study being so much less clearly defined in this country - to emulate either those American Universities, like the Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore, which exist for post-graduate study alone, or those Universities of the more ordinary type, like Harvard, which have nevertheless more than 350 post-graduate students in Arts.

Still we can acknowledge our duty and endeavour to provide for it, cordially accepting the postulate that it is the function of a modern University to give the highest possible teaching in any branch of learning included in its curriculum, and that Oxford should train its scholars not merely to acquire knowledge, but to increase it. Before proceeding to discuss how we may best discharge this obligation, it will be advisable to summarize the facilities that have already been created. These I believe to be considerably in excess of the popular impression; and they demonstrate the immense strides that have been made in recent years in adapting Oxford to modern needs.


[page 182]

Facilities for Advanced Study

The Statutes of 1882 provided for the creation of a number of Fellowships specially allotted to advanced study or Research. Although the financial circumstances of the Colleges have not enabled the whole of these obligations to be redeemed, there has been a considerable and, in many cases, voluntary creation of Fellowships, either directly assigned to Research or devoted to some object of special or advanced study. There are at present nearly twenty Fellowships belonging to one or other of these categories (Professor-Fellowships are of course excluded from this computation). A number of the Colleges have also given or have prolonged Studentships and Senior Scholarships or Exhibitions for purposes of post-graduate study. There are at present about twenty-four holders of these endowments training for specified professions or for higher educational work.

Among the other endowments of the University that have a similar application may be mentioned the Craven Fellowship of 200 per annum, given annually to a candidate - if such a one be forthcoming - for two years of advanced study, at least two-thirds of which must be spent abroad; the Derby Scholarship of 190 for one year, given to some scholar of exceptional distinction for the pursuit of some higher branch of classical learning; the Burdett-Coutts Scholarships of 115 per annum for two years, awarded annually for advanced study in Geology and Natural Science; the Radcliffe Travelling Fellowships of 200 per annum for three years, given annually for the study of Medical Science abroad; the Philip Walker Studentship of 200 per annum, tenable for three or five years, for original research in Pathology; and the Biological Scholarship, awarded annually by the University, for study in the Zoological Institute at Naples.

To these may be added the following Prizes: the Green, for a dissertation on Moral Philosophy; the Conington and


[page 183]

the Charles Oldham, for the same on some subject appertaining to classical learning; the Rolleston, for original research in Animal and Vegetable Morphology, Physiology, and Pathology, or Anthropology; the Radcliffe, for research in any branch of Medical Science; the Weldon, for a noteworthy contribution to Biometric Science. There are also a number of other University Prizes for History or Political Economy, which are open to graduates of some years' standing.

These endowments the University owes in the main to private munificence. But it has not been behindhand itself in the foundation of courses and rewards tending to encourage the pursuit of advanced studies. The Diplomas that have been introduced in recent years for Education, Geography, Economics, Forestry, Mining and Engineering, Anthropology and Classical Archaeology, are intended to supplement (rather than to supersede) the ordinary B.A. course by special lines of study: while with an admirable elasticity they are equally open to the student who can satisfy the Committee or Delegacy concerned that he has received a good general education.

It may also be noted that the examination for the B.C.L. degree, formerly confined to Oxford B.A.s, is now open to graduates of other Universities, who have been through a course of two years of 'advanced legal study' in Oxford. The courses of study for this degree have recently been organized, and additional teaching provided.

Another recent concession to Research has not perhaps as yet been attended with the anticipated results. I speak of the special degrees in Letters (B.Litt.) and Science (B.Sc.) (i.e. Mathematics, Natural Science, and Mental and Moral Science) which have been instituted, partly in order to encourage post-graduate study among men who have already taken the ordinary Honours Examinations in Arts or Natural Science, and also to supply an alternative course for students who, after receiving a good general education, come to Oxford to pursue special studies. The


[page 184]

conditions are very favourable, and the advantage to the students is great, while the presence of such men among those who are working for the ordinary Schools has a good effect in promoting the idea of special study. The higher degrees of D.Litt. and D.Sc. have also encouraged advanced work in Literature and Science among Oxford men. The B.Sc. and B.Litt. degrees have so far mainly been taken by men who have received their general education elsewhere.

The History School at Oxford has specially interested itself in the provision of means for advanced study. Lecturers have been appointed in Palaeography and Diplomatic (i.e. the study of documents and records); the option of a thesis has quite recently been allowed in the Final School; and steps are being taken to create Seminars, where the student can learn the methods of original work under the eye of his master, with the necessary books and documents around him.

The Maitland Library, recently accommodated in All Souls, has provided the nucleus of a working library for students in social and legal history, and similar rooms and libraries are being furnished or have been promised for other Professors.

In the Libraries required for special studies, Oxford is seminars, already well-equipped. The Museum has its Radcliffe Library of Science, so splendidly housed in the magnificent benefaction of the Drapers' Company; Oriel has its library of Comparative Philology, the Ashmolean a library of Classical Archaeology, the Taylorian a library of Foreign Literature, All Souls its famous Law Library, which has recently been lighted and warmed, and is now open to readers up till 7 p.m. All of these are independent of the inexhaustible resources of the Bodleian. The University has its priceless collections, yearly increasing in scope and value, in Archaeology, Natural History, and Art.

Scientific Laboratories exist not only at the Museum (to which a new Electrical Laboratory is about to be added by the Drapers' Company), but also in some of the Colleges.


[page 185]

Mention may also be made of the support given both by the University and the Colleges to exploration in Egypt, and to the British Schools at Athens and Rome. These are valuable forms of post-graduate work.

Nor must we forget that, among those who are most busily engaged in teaching in Oxford, there are not a few who contrive to combine with their other duties no small amount of fresh and original work. Some of the best results now produced we owe to men so engaged. It should be one of the first aims of the University to encourage these disinterested volunteers, the more so as a means of encouragement now exists in the more elastic powers conceded to the Delegates of the Common Fund for the endowment of courses of lectures by special students in their own subjects.

Finally there is the substantial though imperfectly recognized service that is rendered to the cause of Research by the publications of the University Press. The money thus expended upon the issue of works that might otherwise never see the light, and the full value of which would hardly percolate beyond the walls of the lecture-room or the Seminar, is very considerable, and exceeds per annum the entire outlay upon Research of the Common Fund. Further the Press has been the means of bringing to Oxford and retaining there men who are as valuable to it as teachers appointed by the University, and paid salaries by Statute. In the Staff of the English Dictionary alone, the Press contributes to the University what is probably the largest single engine of Research working anywhere at the present time.

It cannot be denied, therefore, that excellent work has already been, and is now being done, that much good will has been shown by modern Oxford towards advanced study and Research, and that a portion at any rate of the necessary equipment is already in existence, or is in course of being acquired. What has been said is sufficient to show that the University is neither so behindhand in its


[page 186]

methods, nor so sluggish in its enthusiasm, as some would have us believe. On the contrary, if we contrast the present provision and attitude with those of twenty-five years ago, the change is really immense.

At the same time it is only too true that the amount of original work as yet turned out from Oxford is inconsiderable: that the crowded atmosphere of University life - at least during Term-time - does not afford many opportunities for leisure or for the pursuit of the higher learning; and that even in many of the respects which I have described, more system, more sustained effort, and further encouragement are required. Let me indicate some at any rate of the directions in which advance might be made.

A University Policy of Research

In the first place I am not aware that the question of its attitude towards Research has ever been considered by the University as a whole, i.e. by the University and Colleges in combination. Might it not be a good thing if the resources of the two partners that may be available for the purpose were compared and co-ordinated, and if a plan were to be worked out by which each member of the federation should contribute, according to his means and inclination, to the common end? It might be a function of the Central Board of Finance, which I have proposed, to take early counsel with the University and the Colleges in this matter; or Council itself might undertake the labour or delegate it to one of its Committees.

In this way we might arrive at a settled programme in which the Colleges would play the following part. They would agree to set apart for Research purposes a certain number of Fellowships, with a rotation of subjects prescribed by the University. Research should be the primary and, if possible, the sole work of the holders: it should not merely be an adjunct to a life consumed in teaching. Similarly, a definite number of Senior Scholarships or


[page 187]

Exhibitions might be assigned, on a fixed plan, for postgraduate work in a higher faculty. Thus the Research work of the University might be spread over a more extensive field, and might proceed with measured steps.

Further provision might also be made for Professorial Libraries and Rooms, which are wanted, not in History or in Law alone, to make the teaching more influential and productive. While each of the Professors of Natural Science has his Laboratory and centre of work, where he can meet his pupils and organize advanced study, such provision hardly exists for other Professors, except in the case of the Professor of Archaeology and the Maitland Library. This is perhaps the most pressing of the material needs of the University, and ought to be taken in hand without delay. As soon as it was known that the University was acting upon a scientific plan, and that the ground was being covered, little by little private benefactors would come in to fill the unoccupied spaces; and before many years had passed we might hope that the entire field would have been surveyed and, so far as may be, assigned.

It should not be forgotten, however, that for Research or advanced work Professors or their implements are not the only, though they may be an important, desideratum. The real need at Oxford is not more advanced teachers, but more advanced students. Hence the efforts of the University should be directed primarily, by the encouragement that it gives and the rewards that it offers, to attracting the men.

The question of a compulsory Three-Years' Course - which bears a distinct relation to the problem of Research - is discussed in the ensuing chapter of this Memorandum.


[page 188]

CHAPTER X

INDEPENDENT SUBJECTS

IN this chapter I propose to gather together a number of independent suggestions reflecting currents of popular opinion in the University, which do not fall naturally under any of the headings discussed in previous chapters. They are not indispensable parts of any organic scheme of University reconstruction; but they may deserve consideration, now or in the future, on their individual merits.

Election to Professorships

The resuscitation and re -endowment of the Professoriate was, as we have seen, one of the main objects of the Commission of 1850; and they addressed themselves with much care to the question of the mode of election. Their recommendations were not in all cases carried into effect; but at least they put an end, or nearly so, to the vicious system of election of Professors by Convocation, which had been the parent of many abuses. The Commission of 1877, carrying reform several stages further, enacted that, with the exception of Professors appointed by the Crown, the elections should be vested in Boards of Electors, which they proceeded to constitute by a series of Statutes. At the same time they gave power to the University to regulate or to vary by Statute the constitution of any such Board. It is suggested that advantage might with propriety be taken of this power in a number of cases. For the proper organization of teaching in any Faculty it is of the highest importance that the right Professor should be at the head of it, and that the method of his appointment should both carry the confidence of the Faculty and result


[page 189]

in the selection of the best available person. I will give illustrations where the present arrangements seem to admit of improvement. White's Professor of Moral Philosophy is chosen by a Board on which there is only a single Philosopher, three of the electors being the Margaret Professor of Divinity, the Regius Professor of Modern History, and the Vinerian Professor of English Law. The Waynflete Professor of Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy is elected by a Board which contains only one Philosopher, but includes the Regius Professors of Divinity and Civil Law. The Wykeham Professor of Logic is also elected by a Board containing only one representative of philosophy. When the Linacre Professorship of Comparative Anatomy was last vacant it was said that there was no one on the Board who was versed in Comparative Anatomy. Many persons are of opinion that the nomination of electors for the occasion, which is a feature of nearly all the Boards of Electors, is unsatisfactory and open to abuse. Perhaps the Faculty to which a Chair belongs might be allowed to nominate a permanent elector or electors, with a provision that no elector could be a candidate for the Chair.

A Pension Fund for the Professoriate

In no respect has Oxford made greater advance during the past fifty years than in the position and endowment of the Professoriate. As we read the pages of the first Commission's Report on this subject we almost seem to be moving in another world; and no greater service has been rendered to the University than the long and patient efforts that have culminated in the creation of a Teaching Staff, fitted by its qualifications to conduct the work and to spread abroad the fame of Oxford. But there still remains one conspicuous blemish in the system which it is left to the present or a later generation to remove. No scheme exists, and no funds have hitherto been found, for retiring


[page 190]

a Professor or Reader at a certain age or after a certain service. The Colleges have instituted Pension Funds for their Tutors, and the Accounts of these are published in the annual Abstracts; but there is no corresponding entry in the pages devoted to the University Accounts; and while new Professorships and Readerships are being yearly created with an almost feverish activity, while fresh curricula are opened, and Laboratories and Libraries built, the means for superannuating a member of the existing Professorial staff, who has passed his prime and ought to make way for a younger man, are not forthcoming - with the inevitable consequence that the interests of teaching suffer, and progress is in some cases materially delayed.

Has not the time arrived when a strenuous effort should be made to grapple with this anomaly, and at least to make a beginning of reform? It is unlikely that the existing resources of the Common Fund can render any assistance; and any addition to them from enhanced collegiate contributions would probably be hypothecated almost as soon as received. But are there not other sources of income with which a start could be made? The records of the University show that while the first Commission was sitting in 1850-2, a Statute was passed by Convocation, applying 23,000 out of 60,000 (which had been handed over to the University in the form of securities by the Delegates of the Press) to increase the endowment of Professorships of which the value was below 300 per annum. May not this precedent furnish us with a clue? Could not a fixed proportion of the annual income derived from the Press be similarly ear-marked as the nucleus of a Professorial Pension Fund, to be increased by contributions made from the salaries of the Professors and Readers themselves? Whether this be a practicable suggestion or not, the matter is one which the University cannot shelve indefinitely, and which must form a part in any scheme for perfecting its organization.


[page 191]

Theological Degrees

There is another subject which I do not put forward as a feature in any programme of immediate University reform, but at which I think that it would be wrong not to glance in any survey of the future, since its consideration must, sooner or later, engage the attention of the University. I refer to the final emancipation of the Theological Faculty and degrees.

So far we have referred to Theology as one of the Higher Faculties in which degrees (B.D. or D.D.) are granted only to those who have already graduated in Arts. They are confined to clergymen of the Church of England. Since 1870, however, there has also been an Honour School of Theology, and in 1886 a theological group was included in the subjects for the Pass School of the Second Public Examination; so that Theology is now one of the subjects of study and examination for the B.A. course both in the Honour and the Pass Schools. No tests are required from candidates or, in a sense, from teachers, in this School. But the examiners for the Honour School are required to be in Priest's Orders; and although the same restriction does not apply to examiners for the Pass School, the vote of Convocation in 1883 is still remembered by which the nomination of Dr. Horton, an eminent Nonconformist divine, as an examiner ' in the rudiments of faith and religion ' for the B.A., after being confirmed by Congregation, was thrown out by a large majority. The five Theological Chairs, being attached to Canonries at Christ Church, and another, attached to a Canonry at Rochester, are also confined to persons in Holy Orders, an amendment to open the Chairs of Hebrew and Ecclesiastical History to other than Clergymen, on the ground that they are not Theological Chairs, having been withdrawn when the subject was last debated in the House of Commons in 1880. The above is the nature of the restrictions still existing.


[page 192]

At Cambridge a greater latitude prevails. The Regius Professorship of Hebrew and the Chair of Ecclesiastical History (endowed by Emmanuel College) are open to laymen; a University Lectureship of 100 per annum on the Philosophy of Religion has been founded, subject to no religious test; the Norrisian and the Lady Margaret Professorships of Divinity are open to laymen, although they must subscribe to the Articles of the Church of England. Oxford has three similar offices, Dean Ireland's Professorship of Exegesis, which can be, though it never has been, held by a layman, the Speaker's Lectureship in Biblical Studies, which is open to laymen, and is at present held by a layman, and the Wilde Lectureship in Natural and Comparative Religion, which is subject to no religious test. At Cambridge the examiners for the Theological Tripos need not be members of the Church of England, and the Tripos itself is open to all comers.

In our own University much progress has been made. The spirit of religious toleration has achieved a peaceful conquest of the arena once scourged by bitter strife. A Congregationalist and a Unitarian College and an Evangelical and two Roman Catholic Halls flourish under the shadow of the 'home of dead languages and undying prejudices';(1) the embers of theological strife have died down; the remaining paragraph will one day be added to a historical and famous chapter.

Nor need the case for change, when the time arises, be defended on logical grounds alone. In the interests of learning it may equally be argued that, if the highest living authority on Hebrew, or Church History, or Biblical criticism is a lay-

(1) The first three Institutions referred to are not Colleges or Halls in the University sense, but centres of theological study. Their students, however, are in most cases members of the University, and both Mansfield College and Manchester College have contributed important elements to University teaching. Mansfield College, though founded by Congregationalists, is open to students for the Christian ministry generally. Manchester College, though mainly supported by Unitarians, has no tests, and is open to all students.


[page 193]

man, as he may well be, or a Nonconformist, it is hard that he should thereby be ineligible for the corresponding Chair. When vacancies have occurred in the Oxford Theological Chairs, the clerical limitation is reported sometimes to have narrowed the field. Similarly, the Oxford Theological School is not sought by Anglican candidates only. It is being more and more taken by Protestant Nonconformists, and even by Roman Catholics: the Theological Prizes have been carried off by Nonconformists, and in one case by a Jesuit; the D.Litt. has been awarded to Nonconformists for theological work. Where the students lead the teachers will ultimately follow; and a day will doubtless come when academical degrees in Theology are as open as all other degrees in the University.

The difficulty created by the Professorships must not be underrated. Perhaps the remedy will be found to lie in the endowment of Chairs by different religious bodies, and if one degree cannot be found that is equally appropriate to all without lowering the standard, there may even be varieties of theological as there are of secular degrees. Further, inasmuch as the five principal Theological Chairs are attached to Canonries including Cathedral duties, any change in the method by which they are filled would involve considerable and, no doubt, expensive readjustment in another direction. In other words, there is the point of view of the Diocese and the Chapter, as well as of the University and the Colleges. A reconstitution of the Chapter could not take place without a large redistribution of funds, and might not be unattended with difficulty.

For the present I think that it would be premature to submit any recommendation.

Degrees for Women

In respect of the Higher Education of Women also, there remains to be taken the final step, which has already been taken by every University in the United Kingdom,


[page 194]

except Oxford and Cambridge, and which is the corollary to a quarter of a century of unarrested progress namely, the granting of academic degrees. The outside public is perhaps hardly aware of the point to which the advance has already been carried. As in the University Extension movement, so here also Cambridge was in front of Oxford, and the Higher Examinations for women, the Lecture-system in connexion therewith, and the Colleges of Girton and Newnham had already been founded, before the Oxford pioneers began. In 1875 the University Examinations for women were first instituted at Oxford; in 1878 the Association for the Education of Women, which has ever since controlled the movement, was established; in 1879 were founded the two institutions of Lady Margaret Hall and Somerville Hall, now Somerville College; in the same year the first lectures to women in Oxford were given; but in that year so far have we since advanced only one College had opened its lecture-rooms to the sex. In 1884 occurred the next important stride when Honour Moderations, and the Final Honour Schools in Mathematics, Natural Science, and Modern History were thrown open by vote of Convocation, and between that date and 1894 the remaining Honour Schools have been opened one by one. St. Hugh's Hall was founded in 1886, St. Hilda's Hall in 1893; and the number of female students now on the books of the various Women's Institutions (including Home Students) is about 250. The discipline and manner of life of men's colleges are reproduced in their interior, but on a more modest and economical scale. Scholarships and Exhibitions assist those who are in need of pecuniary aid.

Meanwhile the University has not only relaxed its restrictions, but has given its overt patronage. In 1893 the Association for the first time received official recognition in the appointment by the Hebdomadal Council of a representative on its Council an act of recognition which has been repeated ever since. Nearly all the University and College


[page 195]

Lectures are now open to the female students. The latter are examined, as has been seen, by the University Moderators and Examiners; the names of those who pass are published in the University Gazette; the names of those who take Honours are admitted within the sacred covers of the University Calendar; a glance at the class-lists will show that in proportion to their numbers the women acquit themselves with not inferior credit to men. As recently as last term the Hebdomadal Council appointed a committee to consider the desirability of instituting a special Delegacy to deal with women students.

But at this point, on the very threshold of the one form of recognition that is most desired, and is the crown and climax of all, the University has so far halted. It concedes the preliminaries and conditions of the degree, but it refuses the degree itself. It may almost be said to yield the reality, while withholding the name. Thirteen years ago, in March, 1896, even the modified proposal to give a Diploma to women who had kept twelve terms of residence at Oxford and had passed all the examinations for the degree of B.A. was submitted to Congregation, and was rejected by a vote of 178 to 111. Since then the effort has not been renewed.

It seems desirable to state the reasons for which the petition is again revived. It is in the interest of all the parties concerned, namely, (1) the women students in Oxford, (2) the women, who, after being students in Oxford, pass on to fulfil professional avocations or, more frequently, to become teachers elsewhere, and (3) of the University itself, that the claim is pressed. Quite apart from the advantages that would accrue to the students from the wider opening to them of the educational resources and institutions of the University a subject which I will discuss separately, since it admits of more than one solution the view is held by their warmest friends that it would be an unquestionable gain both to the women, to the Colleges or Halls in which they reside,


[page 196]

and to the University, that they should be subject to some form of academic discipline and control.

The case of the women teachers, it is urged, is even stronger. When a woman who has taken, let us say, a First Class at Oxford, becomes a candidate for a Professorship, or for the Principalship at some Women's College, or for a Mistressship at a school, she finds ranged against her a number of competitors who, if they come from any other University in the United Kingdom, except Cambridge, have the suffix B.A. or M.A. to their names and are entitled to wear the academic dress. It is not always easy to explain to the board of electors that her educational qualifications may be, and indeed probably are, superior to those of any of her rivals, and that her First Class in Literae Humaniores is the exact equivalent of a B.A. degree, although the University has not permitted her to take it. The pecuniary value of her work is depreciated, and her educational status suffers by reason of this refusal.

The University itself, it is pointed out, stands equally to profit by the concession. So long as women are permitted to reside in Oxford for educational purposes, and to share in the teaching and examinations of men, it is surely desirable that the best women should be encouraged to come, instead of being driven elsewhere. Moreover, if the right of matriculation (or its equivalent) and the right to a degree be conferred, the University will at once be able to apply its own conditions and to confine the privilege either to the existing Colleges or to such future institutions as it may choose. This would give it a valuable power of control over a movement that might otherwise develop upon lax or inexpedient lines.

If any doubt be entertained as to the value attached to the degree by the women themselves, it should be dissipated by the results of the recent offer of Dublin University to confer degrees upon Oxford and Cambridge students who are qualified by residence and examination, but to whom the University where they have studied has refused


[page 197]

the official recognition of their labours. During the period for which the Dublin ad eundem degrees were open to Oxford female students who had completed their course, fifty-four have taken the B.A. degree, fifty-six the M.A., and one the Doctorate of Science.

Nor does Dublin stand alone. Every other English and Scotch University, with the exception of Cambridge, has already opened its Degrees and Prizes to women equally with men. The University of London led the way in 1878; the Scotch Universities followed in 1892; Durham in 1895. In the newly-founded Provincial Universities sex is nowhere made a ground of discrimination; but all students are treated on their academic merits, whether for obtaining degrees or even for appointments on the staff. It is not argued that their character or constitution is closely analogous to that of Oxford and Cambridge. The differences are well known, and will justify in some respects a different treatment. But regarding the degree for the moment as an academic reward, is it likely that the two older Universities will be able permanently or indefinitely to refuse that which all their younger sisters have conceded, and of which they have already granted the substance, while suppressing the evidence of their act?

But at this stage the pertinent question will be asked of those who advocate the change, exactly how far they desire to proceed, and what the Oxford degree, if granted to women, is to carry with it. There will be different answers to this question according to the more or the less 'advanced' attitude of those who discuss it. Broadly speaking, there are two groups of privileges which membership of the University and access to a degree confer upon men those which relate to educational opportunity and those which concern the academic vote.

Even upon the former subject opinions will be found to be sharply divided. The argument about the control of Women's Colleges and their inmates would carry with it their admission to the University, whether as matriculated


[page 198]

students or in some analogous form, and the payment by them of some, though not necessarily the present, University Fees. But here again different views may be entertained as to whether women should be admitted as of right to the libraries, museums, laboratories, lectures, Prizes, and Scholarships of the University, on exactly the same basis as men, although this would appear to be the logical sequel to membership and payment. The question of admission to Research degrees will also arise. These questions are emphatically such as ought to be decided by academic opinion, on a careful balance of the arguments for and against, and it may well be that, if action is taken on the matter at all, the solution proffered may not always be consistent. In some of these cases the reasoning involved is one of some delicacy, and the women's friends would perhaps be well advised not to push their demands too far. The degree itself as the important thing, more important for the moment than anything flowing from it.

On one subject, however, I would wish to be entirely frank. I am not in sympathy with the proposal that women should become members of Convocation, or of Congregation, or should sit upon the governing bodies of the University. I am aware that they do so elsewhere; but there is little or no resemblance between the constitution of those Universities and that of Oxford, which is ruled in the last resort by a wide and scattered democracy liable, as has previously been shown, to be appealed to, and perhaps to act, upon grounds that are not always strictly academic. In the Scotch and the new English Universities, on the other hand, the graduates as such do not govern the University: that function is exercised by small and select bodies. The admission of women to degrees only meant, in Scotland, a slight addition to a Council (as it is called) of 7,000 at Glasgow and of 10,000 at Edinburgh, which can discuss, but can neither legislate nor administer. There is therefore no analogy in this


[page 199]

respect, and no precedent. I believe that women at Oxford will lose all chance of obtaining the academic recognition which they desire and which many would like to see bestowed upon them, if they associate their request with demands that have not the slightest chance of being conceded, and which would open up long vistas of acute controversy, and, as some will think, of no small peril. The question of the Parliamentary vote does not, of course, arise in the present connexion the present argument having been confined to the academic vote. But it may be noted that the recent attempt to make the University degree a ground for claiming the Parliamentary vote in the case of the women students of one of the Scotch Universities, met with scant consideration at the hands of the highest judicial tribunal in the House of Lords.

The question, however, may be asked whether the proposal, even in its modified form, is or is not a part of the movement with which we are becoming increasingly familiar, to extend the Parliamentary franchise to women. If it were, the subject would hardly have been mooted in this Memorandum, since there are few stronger or more convinced opponents of that movement than myself. Is it not, however, a palpable fallacy to imagine any necessary connexion between the two proposals? To give a woman a degree is to enable her to obtain the reward of her industry or her learning. As such, it is an extension of private liberty. To give her a vote is to give her the right to govern others, and is the imposition of a public duty. Even if an academic degree were undesirable, it would do no harm but to the woman herself. But, if women proved to be unfit to exercise the Parliamentary franchise, the injury would be done not to the individual female voter, but to the nation at large, since, once given, the privilege could never be withdrawn. Moreover, even if the matter be regarded from the point of view of the female sex alone, there will be many to contend that whereas the political change would be injurious to the


[page 200]

best interests of women, the academic concession could only promote their intellectual emancipation, and widen the range of their useful employment. Indeed, it seems unnecessary to labour the point that there is all the difference in the world between giving women an opportunity of increasing and improving their natural powers, and granting to them a share in political sovereignty.

If the pros and cons of this particular change have been argued at somewhat unusual length, it is because I have felt that I had no right to include it among the subjects that may deserve the attention of the University without offering some evidence to show that I was aware of its great seriousness and complexity, and that the matter had not been approached without due consideration.

Conferment of Honorary Degrees

While upon the subject of Degrees, I may perhaps be permitted to add that the present system by which Honorary Degrees are conferred, at least at the annual Encaenia, appears to admit of some improvement.

I understand the practice to be that any member of Council may at a meeting of Council give notice of his intention to move that a particular person shall be presented with a particular degree. A week later the proposer states the qualifications of his candidate; and, again a week later, the ballot takes place, with the result that if the candidate secures 14 votes out of a possible 21 or 22, the degree is submitted to Convocation. The drawbacks of this system appear to be, that names may be proposed without sufficient prior conference or consultation, that they are voted for, not upon a balance of their merits as compared with those of other possible candidates in the same sphere of public service or of learning, and that the highest academic honour which it is in the power of the University to grant is sometimes prematurely and even inconsiderately bestowed.


[page 201]

Would it not be possible, without any denial of existing prerogative either to Council or to any individual member of Council, to provide, by the appointment of a Degrees Committee of Council, or otherwise, for a more careful co-ordination of the various names and claims before a final vote is taken? If a statesman, or diplomatist, or man of letters, or scientist is to be honoured, it is surely desirable that he should be the foremost available representative of his class, rather than a casual nominee, who in default of stronger names, may be so fortunate as to secure the requisite number of votes. A Committee, if appointed, would be in a position to make the requisite inquiries before it reported to Council. Already I understand that in the case of what may be described as the more technical degrees some such inquiry is conducted. I need hardly add that in making this suggestion I have no other desire than to safeguard the standard of that which is the University's proudest and most coveted gift, viz. its Honorary Degree.

A Three-Years Honour Course

I mention the subject of a Three-Years' Course because it has occupied a prominent place in all recent discussions of Oxford reform. It is admitted that in late years there has been a marked decline in the number of men taking Honour Moderations in 1901 there were 275 candidates, but only 192 in 1907, 178 in 1908, and 204 in 1909 and this decline is attributed in part to a desire to finish the ordinary course in three years; a student taking Pass Moderations in his second term, and then passing on to Honour Greats. Other causes may also have been at work a possible decline in the standard of scholarship as maintained at the public schools; some degree of unsuitability in the Honour Moderations curriculum, which is practically a continuation of Sixth Form school work; and the introduction of a Fourth Class in that School, which may be thought to have rendered a Second


[page 202]

Class more difficult of attainment. The change is welcomed by those who think that a universal Three-Years' Course in Honours might encourage men to take a second School, or to stay on at Oxford and read for special or advanced courses after passing through Greats. But it is viewed with some dismay by those who fear that, if Honour Moderations are evaded or fall into disfavour, a serious blow will be struck at University scholarship, or who hold that the character of the best Oxford education, built up on a four-years' course of study, will be gravely compromised if a whole year is to be sacrificed in the interests either of those who wish to hurry away to other pursuits or of the even more limited number who wish to stay on for other studies.

The question was examined at some length by the Tutors' Conference, whose judgment was adverse to the proposal. It was pointed out that a Three-Years' Course is already approximately in operation in other Schools than Literae Humaniores (for instance, a man can combine the Preliminary Jurisprudence Examination or Pass Moderations with Honours in the Final History School); and that, in so far as it is required, it is open in the manner described to a candidate for Honour Greats. If, however, it were made universal and compulsory, Honour Classical Moderations would have to be placed at the end of the first Summer Term, and the period of preparation for the Final School would thereby be reduced by six months, the Long Vacation immediately following Moderations being practically useless for the purpose. Such a change could not fail to have an injurious effect upon the value of the Final School. In fact, both Honour Moderations and Honour Greats - particularly the study of Philosophy - would suffer, each losing something, without any compensatory gain.

The experience of Cambridge is also unfavourable to any such alteration, at any rate in the attractions which it offers to men to remain for a fourth year of advanced study or Research. In the five years 1902-6 the number of students


[page 203]

who went through Part I of the Classical Tripos - which is a three years' course - was 500, and for Part II only 45, thus showing that less than ten per cent, were persuaded to stay on for further studies - and this in spite of the many rewards, in the shape of Prize Fellowships, which Cambridge is in a position to offer. For so small a percentage as this it would seem undesirable to run risks that might prejudicially affect the interests of our students as a whole.

These arguments prevailed with the Tutors' Conference, and will probably be held, at least as matters now stand, to be convincing. At the same time the Conference agreed that, in the interests of those students who desire to take advantage of the existing facilities for a Three-Years' Course, and particularly to curtail the preliminary stages at present required, it should be possible for a man to take Pass Moderations at the end of his first Term or Honour Classical Moderations at the end of his second.

Length of Academical Year

It has always been a popular criticism upon the Oxford course that too little time is given to residence and too much to vacation - or, as it is sometimes speciously put, although the inference is not a just one - too little to work and too much to play. The facts are as follows.

Before the time of Archbishop Laud the period of residence was nominal; by his Statutes it was raised to fourteen weeks in the year; at a later date this became eighteen weeks. At the present time residence for forty-two days in the Michaelmas and Hilary Terms, and of forty-eight days in the Easter and Trinity Terms combined,(1) or 132 days in all, is the minimum of residence required in the twelve academical terms to be kept and counted towards the attainment of a degree. The statutory

(1) This is capable of being reduced to 42, provided that the number is divided equally between the Easter and Trinity Terms.


[page 204]

provisions are, however, modified by custom and by the regulations of the different Colleges. Council now fixes a day for the commencement of full Term, and the Colleges require their members to enter into residence on a particular day and to reside continuously for a period of about eight weeks in each Term, Easter and Trinity being treated as one Term. The Statutes of 1877, by which the Colleges are required to provide courses of instruction for their undergraduates during at least twenty-four weeks in the academical year, practically determine the length of residence, which, accordingly, may be described as twenty-four weeks out of the fifty-two in the year.

Prima facie this seems an inadequate proportion of the year to be devoted to that instruction which is supposed to be the occupation of the whole; and the system has been attacked on more than one ground. There are those who denounce the strain and hurry inseparable from an effort concentrated within so short a period as eight weeks. The late Mr. Gladstone once said: 'The short period of an eight-weeks' Term, an arrangement which has probably no parallel in any other University, makes it impossible to lecture on a great subject with that steady and thorough procedure which is requisite to let it make its due impression on the mind.' Others have deplored the breach of continuity and the consumption of time involved in three meetings and three separations in the year. Finally, there is the school of opinion which objects to the Summer Term altogether, as a period sacrificed to sport or sapped by relaxation.

On the other hand, a system exposed to such alleged drawbacks does not have a long and enduring existence unless there are very powerful considerations in its favour. Broadly speaking, these are as follows. The University vacations correspond in number and general incidence (though not of course in length) with the holidays common in most professions and in all schools. The pressure in a Term-time, even of eight weeks, is so great, both upon tutor and student, that its prolongation would be an


[page 205]

excessive strain upon both. Above all, it is a mistake to suppose that the Long Vacation is a period of indolence for either party. A very large part of the time is occupied with examinations, which are apt to fill the first six or seven weeks and the concluding weeks also. Further, a considerable number of members of the University are employed in the Long Vacation as examiners, not merely for the University, but for the Civil Service, or under the Oxford and Cambridge Board, or the Local Examinations Delegacy. To the Tutor or Lecturer it is the only period available in the year for preparing his lectures, for replenishing his mind at the wellsprings of knowledge, or for doing original work. To the student also it is, or is intended to be, a period of preparation and study, wherein he may pursue the general reading for which Term-time offers so little opportunity, join a reading-party, travel abroad, or find in manifold shapes that repose of surroundings which is equally essential to the development of character or the growth of intellectual powers.

Probably for these or similar reasons the Commission of 1850, who described the question as of 'minor importance', and only devoted to it three paragraphs of their Report,(1) retrained from proposing any organic change. Their recommendations, the majority of which have been carried into effect, were merely (1) that certain of the University Examinations should be held in Vacation; (2) that Long Vacation should begin and end on fixed days; (3) that facilities should be given for residence and work at Oxford, as at Cambridge, during the Long Vacation; and (4) that the Easter and Act Terms should be converted into a single Term.

At one time there was a powerful movement in favour of substituting two Terms for three; and a good theoretical case can be made out for such a change, exactly as it can for the proposed conversion of the three periods of the

(1) Report, p. 85.


[page 206]

Parliamentary Session into two, which has always met with so much intellectual support, but has never yet been carried into effect. Of this movement Mark Pattison was the foremost spokesman. He proposed two Terms, the first from October 10 to December 23, the second from January 14 to June 1; the examinations being held only once in the year, in May. This proposal he defended on general grounds; but in the main it was a blow levelled, in pursuit of his crusade against the 'idle pass-man', at the alleged inactivity and dissipation of the Summer Term.

As soon as the summer weather sets in, the Colleges are disorganized; study, even the pretence of it, is at an end. Play is thenceforward the only thought. They are playing all day, or preparing for it, or refreshing themselves after their fatigues.(1)
I am not sure that we should all recognize in this picture a correct delineation of our Summer Terms. It is, after all, only a moderate proportion of the 3,000 undergraduates who are to be found at any given moment either in the cricketing field or on the river: and recent developments in the art of games, which have arisen since Mr. Pattison's time, make a much less serious encroachment on the time of those who take part in them. One change has much to recommend it, if practical difficulties do not prevent its adoption. At Cambridge the Eights Week is identical with Commemoration, and is fixed at the end of the Summer Term. At Oxford they are separate, and the occurrence of Eights Week in the heart of the Term does undoubtedly cause some interruption of work.

There is one aspect of the entire problem which seems never to have been taken into account, but which notwithstanding is vital. Much might be said in favour of a prolongation of each of the three Terms. But it is hardly to be supposed that tutors would work for another six or nine or more weeks, or that students

(1) Suggestions on Academical Organisation, p. 317.


[page 207]

could be boarded and lodged for that period, or that the University could keep its institutions and courses open - without any additional cost. The very moderate emoluments received by the teaching staff at Oxford - as compared with other professions - are compensated by the greater degree of freedom and leisure which they enjoy, and a marked curtailment of these privileges could not be imposed without a reasonable remuneration. But at the very time when we are endeavouring as far as possible to reduce the expenses of an Oxford career, it would surely be inopportune to propose a substantial addition to them; even were there any evidence that the change is one that would meet with general approval.

One alteration, however, it might be desirable to consider. The Commission of 1850 described the practical length of the academical year, under the different conditions of that day, as twenty-six weeks. It might now be definitely raised to that limit by agreement between the Colleges and the University. Two weeks taken from the end of the Long Vacation and added on to the beginning of the Autumn Term might supply a useful extension of the period of residence (without sacrificing any of the advantages of the present system), which could be met, if necessary, by a slight increase in Tuition Fees. The effect, however, of such a change upon the poorer students would have to be considered.

The Indian Institute

Among the Institutions of the University I have naturally made a careful inquiry into the circumstances of the Indian Institute. First started by the enthusiasm of Sir M. Monier-Williams, for many years Boden Professor of Sanskrit; prosecuted by him with unflagging energy for twenty years, during the course of which he three times visited India and enlisted the support of the Government of India and of many Indian Princes; supported by munificent


[page 208]

gifts from many enlightened donors, of whom the chief were Lord Brassey and the Thakor Sahib of Gondal; patronized by H.M. the King, who himself laid the foundation-stone in 1883; opened as regards its first half in 1884, and the second half in 1895; placed by the University under the control of a Board of Curators in 1884, and endowed by it with an annual donation of 350, to which the Secretary of State for India adds 150 per annum - this Institution has now lasted long enough to enable a reliable opinion to be formed of its utility and work. Some, at any rate, of the objects for which it was created have been secured. It possesses an excellent and improving Library of Oriental Literature, and more particularly of works about India. It provides Lecture rooms in which the tuition of the Indian Civil Service is effectively carried on by the Professors and teachers charged with the task; and it furnishes a rendezvous that is taken advantage of to a limited extent by the Indian students residing in Oxford. Quite recently a Secretariat has been established for giving advice to parents in India with regard to the education of their sons.

But it must be confessed that in some other respects the results have proved disappointing. The Institute has not in any appreciable degree provided a meeting-ground for the East and West, or a place of social intercourse between English and Indian students. Its Museum has failed 'to bring together a typical collection of objects suited to educational purposes and sufficiently complete to give a fair idea of the industrial occupations, domestic and religious customs of the people subject to our rule'; or 'to present a fair epitome of India, eminently attractive not only to Indologists, but to ethnologists and anthropologists of all nationalities.'(1) The scheme of constant lectures by distinguished Anglo-Indian administrators and Orientalists, which started under happy auspices, has fallen into

(1) Speeches of Sir M. Monier-Williams.


[page 209]

desuetude. The Institute possesses no permanent endowment, and is ill provided in respect of staff and attendance, besides being quite unable to extend its sphere of influence. Altogether it is in somewhat a derelict condition; and except for the two very practical purposes which I have named, is not playing that part in Oxford which the justifiable ambition of its founders, its handsome setting, and the inspiring object for which it was conceived might have led us to expect. I here call attention to the subject as one of more than academic, indeed of Imperial, importance; and I have ventured to address to the Board of Curators a separate Memorandum, with suggestions as to the steps by which more satisfactory results can be obtained, and the Institute can be enabled to take its proper place among the more powerful influences of Oxford.




[page 210]

CHAPTER XI

SUMMARY

I HAVE now reached the end of this Memorandum, and will briefly summarize the conclusions to which it has led.

In discussing the circumstances of Oxford it has been impossible not to frame some conception of the functions which a University, so historical in its character and so majestic in its influence, should perform. A fourfold duty lies upon it: to provide the best teaching over the entire field of knowledge of which its own resources and the progress of science may admit; to offer this teaching to the widest range of students; to mould and shape them not merely by the training of intellect but by the discipline of spirit, so that, wherever they go, they may be worthy citizens or worthy servants of the State; and to extend by original inquiry the frontiers of learning. In other words, we desire that Oxford should supply a focus of culture, a school of character, and a nursery of thought. Always a responsible, this has become a doubly momentous task since, by the endowment of the late Cecil Rhodes, Oxford has opened its gates to the Empire and to the world - as well as to the nation; and since whole classes of the nation hitherto excluded or dormant are now themselves knocking for admission. At such a time we may well review our own position, endeavour to sweep away any obstacles that impede our progress, and start again, reinvigorated, upon our path.

On some previous occasions this task has been undertaken for Oxford by outside agencies, invested for the purpose with the highest authority and powers. On the present


[page 211]

occasion circumstances render it undesirable that instruments so potent, but also so incalculable, should be employed; and both desirable and possible for the University to assume the duty itself. Voluntary self-reformation may be less sensational in its operations than changes imposed by external force, but it is capable of being equally effective.

We may learn, however, from the experience of previous Commissions that successful reform at Oxford has almost invariably originated in reconstruction rather than in destruction; and that the institutions which last the longest and work the best are those which have been erected on older foundations, or, under skilful treatment, have assumed fresh and more harmonious shapes.

It has been no part of my duty to submit a series of formulated propositions to the University. For such an enterprise I possess neither the competence nor the authority. If measures of amendment are to be carried, they can only be carried after full deliberation, and with general consent, by the University itself. Except in a limited number of cases - where a definite obligation appeared to exist - I have refrained from expressing strong personal opinions, regarding it as my privilege rather to place before the University the evidence which I have collected and examined on the main issues of academic reform, and to invite the consideration of the Hebdomadal Council to so many of these subjects as they may think it advisable to pursue. Some of the lines of inquiry that have been suggested may prove to be impracticable or inopportune; some of the proposals made may not stand the test of more searching investigation. Very possibly the area which I have attempted to explore may be thought too extensive or too ambitious.

However this may be, I would fain hope that some useful purpose may be served by bringing together in accessible form the views about University reform which are widely current, both in academic and in general society,


[page 212]

and in concentrating attention upon those subjects in particular which admit of being considered without delay. In the choice of them the University will be guided by its own experience and sense of proportion. Happily, its attitude towards change admits of no doubt, and may be judged from the series of reforms which in recent years, and not as the result of the last Commission only, have so immensely extended its activities and brought it abreast of the foremost intellectual movements of the time. It should be the proud boast of Oxford that even the oldest of our national Universities can thrill in swift and generous response to the latest pulsations in the heart and mind of the nation, and that the blood of all the Empire circulates in its veins.

The subjects to which I have invited the attention of the Hebdomadal Council in this Memorandum are the following:

I. The reform of the Constitution of the University, with a view to rendering Council a more representative body, to recovering for Congregation its ancient character as an assemblage of the teachers of the University, and to the removal of those defects which weaken the efficiency and impair the influence of Convocation.

II. The increase, by every legitimate means, of facilities for the admission of poor men, both of the artisan and professional classes, to University courses. In this connexion suggestions have been submitted for the encouragement of the Non-Collegiate system, for the extension and further endowment of University Extension work, for the promotion of Working-men's Colleges and the institution of special courses leading to Diplomas provided for the purpose, and for the erection - should the means be forthcoming - of a Working-men's or Poor Men's College, under the control of the University. An examination has been attempted of the requirements of all the classes, possessing humble means, but aspiring to a University education, including the teachers in Elementary and Secondary


[page 213]

Schools, the pupils in Secondary, Grammar, and the smaller Public Schools, the poor clergy, and the sons of professional men. The obstacles alleged to exist to the education of these classes, in the cost of living in Colleges, and in the scale of Fees and Dues, have been examined, and suggestions have in some cases been made for their amelioration.

III. The administration of the Endowments of the University in respect of (a) Scholarships, (b) Exhibitions, and (c) Fellowships. The various schemes that have been put forward for increasing the usefulness of Scholarships and Exhibitions have been discussed, and the suggestion has been made that there should be an inquiry into the subject by the University and the Colleges in co-operation, and that a redistribution of Scholarships and Exhibitions should take place from time to time by common consent, so as to cover the field of requirement in more scientific and methodical fashion, and to keep pace with the intellectual as well as the material needs of the day. Similarly, it has been suggested that, as the result of a corresponding inquiry and consultation, a plan should be drawn up for co-ordinating the distribution of Ordinary or Prize Fellowships, so that they may be awarded in the manner best calculated to promote the interests of learning at large.

IV. The influence of University Examinations upon the types of student which Oxford desires to admit. In this connexion I have ventured to plead strongly for the abolition of compulsory Greek in Responsions, and have stated the case for the institution of a general School-leaving or University Entrance Examination.

V. The relations of the Colleges to the University and the better co-ordination of their respective shares in the teaching of Oxford. The schemes, so widely discussed in recent years, for the reorganization of the Boards of Faculties, and the recognition of University Lecturers as such, have been analysed; and the further investigation of the subject by the University has been invited.


[page 214]

VI. The Financial Administration of the University and the Colleges in respect (a) of the contributions made by the Colleges to the University, (b) the expenditure of funds and management of estates by the Colleges, (c) the existing financial machinery of the University. It is thought that a case can be made out for enhanced contributions from the Colleges, for a more lucid system of Accounts, and, above all, for the creation of some form of Financial control.

VII. The Executive Machinery of the University - with the object more especially of adapting it to the requirements of modern business and providing an office for the Vice-Chancellor with the nucleus of a University Secretariat.

VIII. The facilities offered by the University for advanced study and Research. Here again it is suggested that greater co-ordination is called for; and that advance should be made upon scientific rather than fortuitous lines.

IX. Finally, a number of independent subjects have been discussed, and the attention of the University has been invited to the following topics which either now or at a later date may be admitted within the pale of practicable reforms. These are:

(a) Manner of election to, and provision of a Pension Fund for, the Professoriate.
(b) Emancipation of the Theological Faculty and degrees.
(c) The grant of academic degrees to women.
(d) The method of awarding Honorary degrees.
(e) The subject of a Three-Years' Course (in which no decisive change is recommended).
(f) A slight extension of the length of residence required in the academical year.
(g) The Indian Institute.
Some, indeed I think the great majority, of the changes that have been suggested in this Memorandum, admit of being carried out by the University in the exercise of


[page 215]

constitutional or statutory powers which it already enjoys. Others may involve the assistance of higher authority.

I do not, of course, assume that action is capable of being taken at once upon all or even the majority of the subjects that have been discussed, even if Council were found to be agreed upon them. I have myself repeatedly indicated some topics as being of greater and others of less urgency; and the University, in looking for guidance to Council, will doubtless expect that its attention shall be called in the first place to those proposals upon which Council are in a position to recommend early and definite action. Other matters may be left over to a later stage, or until public opinion has sufficiently matured to render action upon them desirable by general consent, or at least with a sufficient body of authoritative support. Subject to this qualification, I should hope that Council will, after selection of the subjects which it may decide to take up, and after due examination of them in the manner which it thinks most becoming, be in a position to submit a series of proposals to the University at an early stage in the Michaelmas Term. Abundant opportunity will be provided in the interval for ascertaining what are the general currents of academic and public opinion, and for sifting the chaff from the grain.

In any case I trust that I may bespeak for the general objects of the present inquiry the careful attention of the University, and that, whatever action it may be decided to take, the ideal may equally commend itself to all of an Oxford rendered, by prudent but necessary change, more efficient for the discharge of its traditional duties, more vigilant in its administration, and more liberal in its gifts, thrusting its roots deeply down into the confidence of the nation at home, but inviting to the shelter of its branches the most distant members of the English-speaking race.


[page 217]

INDEX

Academical year, length of, 203-7, 214.

Act of 1854, 22, 23, 28. Act of 1877, 53, 139, 180, 204. Act of 1882, 125, 127, 141, 153, 182. Aedes Annexae, see Hostels. All Souls College, 95, 97-8, 146, 147, 149, 184. Arnold, Matthew, 179.

B.A. degree, 34, 38, 71-4, 191.

B.C.L. degree, 183.

B.Litt. degree, 183.

B.Sc. degree, 183.

Balliol College, 56, 80, 89, 96, 145.

Bible Clerks, 78, 79.

Board of Education, The, 112-13.

Boards of Faculties, 16, 33, 124-36, 138, 151, 162, 175, 213. Boards of Studies, 126, 127, 175. Boards, University, 27, 137, 165, 169, 173, 175, 178. Bodleian Library, 146-7, 149, 184. Brasenose College, 79, 145. Bursars, College, 71, 153, 159, 160. Business Education, 118-19.

Cambridge University, 9, 86, 87, 90, 102, 106, 108, 112-13, 192, 194, 196, 202, 205.

Canons of Christ Church, 95, 96, 144, 158, 191.

Caution-money, 69, 72, 73.

Chancellor, The, 11, 22, 34, 36, 153, 170, 172, 173.

Chest, University, see University. Christ Church, 56, 95. City Companies, 53, 79, 184. Classics, The, see Greek, and Scholarships. Clergy at Oxford, The, 35, 40, 44, 68, 77, 79, 94. College Accounts, 71, 96, 143-57, 169, 190, 214. Chapels, 156. Contributions to University, 19, 132, 134, 142, 147-53, 214. Estates, 143-4, 154, 157-61, 169, 214. Fees and Dues, 71-5.

College Laboratories, 124. Lecturers, 121, 125, 128, 145. Officers, 131, 145. Statutes, 139-40. System, The, 16, 54, 108, 120-4, 134, 152. Tutors, see Tutors.

Commission, Royal, Arguments against, 9-11, 211. of 1850-4, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 27, 29, 30, 32, 36, 43, 44, 53, 55, 60, 69, 74, 76, 78, 84, 85, 93, 109, 120, 148, 157, 177, 179, 188, 189, 205. of 1872 (Duke of Cleveland's), 16, 96, 144, 146, 156, 158. of 1877-82, 10, 15, 16, 45, 76, 80, 94, 120, 149, 156, 162, 180, 188, 212.

Common University Fund, The, 26, 120, 127, 132, 135, 136-8, 147, 149, 150, 152, 154-5, 161, 162-3, 166-7, 170, 180, 185, 190.

Competitive examinations, 82, 84, 87.

Composition charges, 72-3.

Congregation, 16, 27-33, 137-8, 212. Ancient House of, 28. Numbers of, 27. Powers of, 32-3. Votes in, 31, 39, 106, 195.

Constitution of Oxford University, 21-41, 212.

Convocation, 31, 33-41, 138, 140, 162, 166, 200, 212. Numbers of, 33. Powers of, 34.

Cost of living at Oxford, 19, 44, 48, 53, 58, 69-70, 213.

Council, Hebdomadal, 22-7, 138, 165, 169, 171, 174, 175, 178, 186, 201, 215. Business of, 26, 177. Numbers of, 25-6. Powers of, 32-3.

County Council Schools, 66, 67.

Crewe, Earl of, 10.

Day Training College, 68.


[page 218]

Degrees, see B.A., B.Litt., B.Sc., D.Litt., Honorary, M.A., Theological, Women.

Delegacy for Inspection and Examination of Schools, 27, 88, 111. for Training of Elementary Teachers, 68. for Training of Secondary Teachers, 68. for University Extension, 27, 54-6, 64, 100. of Common University Fund, see Common University Fund. of Local Examinations, 27, 111. of Non-Collegiate Students, 52, 53, 108. of University Press, 164.

Demonstrators, University, 133.

Diploma courses, 56, 64, 68, 118, 124, 183.

Discipline, University, 114-15, 116.

Divinity, see Theology.

D.Litt. degree, 184, 193.

Ecclesiastical Commissioners, The, 158-9.

Elementary Schools, see Primary.

Endowments, University, 19, 75, 77-100.

English Literature, School of, 75, 91, 124, 127, 128, 137.

Estates, see College, and University.

Examinations, College, 90, 108, 110. University, 101-14, 118, 126, 127, 139, 213. University Entrance,107-14, 213. see Competitive Examinations, and Scholarships.

Exeter College, 156.

Exhibition Fund, 82.

Exhibitions, 49, 53, 57, 59, 63, 67, 68, 69, 75, 76-93, 162, 182, 213. Local, 78-9.

Extension, see Delegacy, and University Extension.

Faculties, 16, 24, 124-5, 130, 135, 136, 168.

see also Boards of Faculties.

Fees and Dues, 19, 70, 71-5, 207, 213.

Fellowships, 17, 63, 64, 93-100, 131, 150, 151, 182, 186, 213. Emoluments of, 96, 144. Honorary, 98. Number of, 95. Prize, 94-5, 96-8, 100, 213. Professorial, 94, 95, 96, 131, 144, 145, 146, 148, 149, 182. Renewal of, 99. Research, 95, 99, 100, 181, 182, 186. Tutorial, 94, 98, 122.

Finance, Suggested Board of, 153, 157, 161, 165, 168-71, 186.

Financial Administration of University, 141-3, 165-71, 214. of Colleges, 143-61.

Gladstone, W. E., 31, 204.

Gore, Bishop, 9, 82.

Grammar Schools, 66, 213.

Greek, Study of, 100, 104, see also Responsions.

Halls, Affiliated, 44. Private, 59, 62. Public, 44, 58, 62.

Hamilton, Sir W., 120.

Heads of Houses, 22-3, 24, 25, 126, 144, 158, 173.

Hertford College, 96, 145, 156.

History School, Modern, 24, 91, 97, 103, 118, 119, 128, 184.

Honorary degrees, 136, 200-1, 214.

Honour Schools, 37, 39, 90; 105, 183, 201.

Horton, Dr. R. F., 191.

Hostels, 61.

House of Lords, Debate in (July, 1907), 9.

Indian Civil Service, 78, 89, 208.

Forest Service, 52.

Institute, 207-9, 214.

Jowett, Prof. B., 36, 45, 55, 76, 94, 158, 180.

Keble College, 65, 70, 73, 144, 145.

Kitchen Accounts, 155.

Laud, Archbishop, 12, 203.

Law School, 97, 125, 128.

Lincoln College, 149.

Literae Humaniores, 127, 128, 196, 202.

Lodgings, Life in, 44, 45, 53.

Long Vacation, The, 205, 207.

M.A. degree, 29, 34, 37, 38, 71-4.

Magdalen College, 95, 147, 156.

Maitland Library, 184.

Manchester College, 192.

Mansfield College, 52, 192.

Mathematics, 77, 91, 103.

Matriculation, see Examinations.

Merton College, 156, 285.


[page 219]

Middle classes at Oxford, 45, 49, 66-9, 81-2, 102.

Moderations, 90, 101, 105, 117, 128, 156, 201.

Modern Languages School, 75, 92, 119, 124, 127, 128, 137.

Monier-Williams, Sir M., 207-8.

Municipal Schools, 66-7.

Natural Science, 75, 77, 89, 91, 103, 123, 125, 128, 136-7, 186.

New College, 156.

Non-Collegiate Students, 44, 52-4, 57, 59, 91, 100, 108, 212.

Oriel College, 96, 149.

Oxford, Growth of, 29, 94.

Oxford University, Objects of, 15, 46, 50, 117, 180, 181, 210, 215. Poverty of, 143, 150. see also University.

Pass-man, The, 34, 105, 115-18.

Pass Schools, 37, 39, 117-18, 201.

Pattison, Mark, 47, 55, 180, 206.

Poor Men, Admission of, 42-69, 79, 80, 81, 82-7, 91, 115, 117.

Post-graduate study, 52, 92. see Research.

Press, The University, 164-5, 185, 190.

Price, Prof. B., 167.

Primary Schools, 49, 67, 68, 91.

Prizes, University, 85, 88, 142, 182-3, 198.

Proctors, The, 22, 28, 114, 136, 161, 162, 163, 164, 177.

Professors, The, 16, 22, 24, 25, 29, 92, 121, 125, 128-9, 186, 146, 149, 162, 186, 187-90, 191-3, 214. Election of, 188-9, 214. Numbers of, 121. Pensions for, 189-90, 214. see also Fellowships.

Public Schools, 57, 88, 90, 102, 105, 109, 112, 128, 218.

Queen's College, 80, 150.

Re-endowment Fund, Oxford, 11, 18, 36, 56, 103. Trustees of, 56, 166.

Referees, Financial, 153.

Reform at Oxford, Spirit of, 13, 17, 18, 21. Objects of, 15, 19-20, 210-11.

Registrar, The, 175. The Assistant, 175.

Research at Oxford, 32, 39, 52, 92, 95, 99, 148, 162, 179-87, 214.

Residence, Length of University, 203-7, 214.

Responsions, 101-2, 106-7, 108. Compulsory Greek in, 69, 10014, 213.

Rhodes, Cecil, 210. Scholars, The, 80, 88.

Ruskin College, 54, 58-61, 65, 91.

St. Edmund Hall, 62, 80.

St. John's College, 150, 156.

Scholar's gown, 80.

Scholarships, 17, 49, 53, 57, 59, 63, 67, 68-9, 75, 76-93, 162, 182, 213. Classical, 76, 78, 82, 87, 90. Close, 44, 76, 78-9, 85. College, 77-82, 86-7, 88-93. County or Borough Council, 67. Examinations for, 82, 87-8, 89, 90. Labour, 63, 79. Mathematical, 77, 91. Number of, 76, 77, 78, 79. Open, 43, 45, 80, 82, 88. Science, 77, 91. University, 77, 89, 92, 142. Value of, 76, 80, 81, 91, 145.

Schools, see County Council, Grammar, Municipal, Primary, Public, Secondary.

Science Teaching, 75, 77, 91, 103, 123, 125, 128, 136-7, 186.

Secondary Education, 111. Schools, 49, 57, 66, 67, 68, 91, 102, 105, 112, 213.

Seminars, 184-5, 186.

Sherbrooke, Lord, 51.

Sport at Oxford, 116, 204, 206.

Stuart, Prof. J., 55.

Teachers in Elementary and Secondary Schools, 68, 91, 102, 212.

Tests Act, 16, 94.

Theological Professorships, 191-3. Degrees, 191-3, 214. Faculty, 125, 191, 214.

Thompson, Prof. S., 111.

Three Years' Course, 187, 201-3, 214.

Trinity College, 156.

Tuition Fund, 70, 72, 75, 133, 155.

Tutorial Classes, 56, 57. System, The, 121, 122, 130, 134.

Tutors, College, 28, 29, 121, 125, 129, 131, 132-4.


[page 220]

Universities, American, 116, 167, 174, 181. German, 48, 116. Provincial, 56, 67, 118, 197. Scotch, 48, 113, 197, 198.

University Accounts, 141-3, 145-8, 164, 168-9, 190. Act of 1854, 22, 23, 28. Chest, The, 26, 137, 141, 142, 147, 152, 153, 161-70. Chest, The, Secretary to, 176. Estates, 143, 144, 166, 169. Executive Machinery, 172-8, 214. Extension Delegacy, see Delegacy. Institutions, 24. see also Boards. Lecturers, 56, 122, 128, 131, 134, 136, 145, 213. see also Prizes and Scholarships.

University College, 156.

Upper classes at Oxford, 46, 47, 48, 116, 117.

Vice-Chancellor, The, 22, 27, 114, 136, 161, 162, 163, 164, 166, 172-7.

Visitors, College, 151, 157.

Wadham College, 156.

Whately, Archbishop, 38, 109.

Women's Colleges, 194, 197. Degrees, 194-200, 214. Vote, 199-200.

Worcester College, 156.

Working-class Educational Committee, 50, 56-7, 59, 85, 87, 146.

Working-men's College, A, 62-6, 91, 100.

Working-men at Oxford, 49, 50-66, 102, 212.