Percy (1945)

(page numbers in brackets)

Notes on the text

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

I Introduction (5-6)
II Requirements of industry (6-9)
III Colleges of technology (9-13)
IV Organisation (13-15)
V Recruitment of students (15-19)
VI Qualifications (19-22)
VII Concluding recommendations (22-24)
Note by Chairman (25-27)

The 1945 Percy Report was prepared for the web by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 11 February 2017.

The Percy Report (1945)
Higher Technological Education

Report of a Special Committee appointed in April 1944

London: His Majesty's Stationery Office 1945
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

[title page]



Report of a Special Committee
appointed in April 1944


[page 2]


The framework of Government policy for the future of Technical Education in this country is outlined in the 1944 Education Act. It now becomes a duty on the part of local education authorities to ensure the provision of adequate facilities in this field of education.

But Technical Education is not solely the concern of local education authorities: it is also the concern of industry and of universities, particularly in its higher forms. It therefore becomes necessary to take steps to link up very closely all the bodies concerned with technical education, so that the whole work may be closely co-ordinated.

Hitherto the development of technical education has not been systematically planned. It has been left to local initiative, often without regard to the provision made either by universities or by neighbouring authorities. Indeed, it was abundantly clear even before the war that the whole system requires overhauling if it is to play its part in assisting British industry to hold its own in foreign markets.

As a first step towards implementing the Government's new policy, the then Minister of Education, Mr. Butler, set up a special Committee under the Chairmanship of Lord Eustace Percy to advise him on the needs of higher technological education in England and Wales, with particular reference to the means required for maintaining appropriate co-operation between universities and technical colleges. The Committee have now completed their consideration of the matter remitted to them, and have presented their recommendations in the following Report. These recommendations will receive careful and detailed consideration by the Minister. In the meantime the Minister has decided to publish the Report, which she feels sure will command a wide interest. In so doing she wishes to express her indebtedness to the Committee and their Chairman.


[page 3]


THE RIGHT HON. LORD EUSTACE PERCY (Chairman). Rector of the Newcastle Division of the University of Durham.
DR. D. S. ANDERSON. Principal, Birmingham Central Technical College.
SIR LAWRENCE BRAGG, O.B.E., M.C., F.R.S. Cavendish Professor or Experimental Physics in the University of Cambridge.
SIR HUGH CHANCE. Chairman, Smethwick Education Committee.
SIR CHARLES G. DARWIN, K.B.E., M.C., F.R.S. Director of the National Physical Laboratory.
DR. E. V. EVANS, O.B.E. Director, South Metropolitan Gas Company.
MR. B. MOUAT JONES, D.S.O. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds.
MR. S. C. LAWS, O.B.E. Principal, Northampton Polytechnic, E.C.1.
DR. H. LOWERY. Principal, South-West Essex Technical College.
MR. H. S. MAGNAY. Director of Education, City of Leicester.
SIR GEORGE H. NELSON. Chairman, English Electric Company.
SIR FREDERICK REES. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales.
DR. R. V. SOUTHWELL, F.R.S. Rector, Imperial College of Science and Technology.
MR. FITZHERBERT WRIGHT. Director, L.N.E.R.; and Director, Messrs. Aveling-Barford, Ltd.

Assessors to the Committee, appointed by the Minister of Education:

Secretaries to the Committee:

Terms of Reference.

"Having regard to the requirements of Industry, to consider the needs of higher technological education in England and Wales and the respective contributions to be made thereto by Universities and Technical Colleges; and to make recommendations, among other things, as to the means for maintaining appropriate collaboration between Universities and Technical Colleges in this field."

†From the appointment of the Committee until retirement from the Ministry of Education on March 31st, 1945.

*From April 1st, 1945.

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1 to 6

7 to 21

22 to 32

33 to 40

41 to 51

52 to 69

70 to 81




NOTE:The estimated gross cost of the preparation of this Report is 581 4s. 2d., of which 71 2s. 6d. represents the estimated cost of the printing and publication.

[page 5 (unnumbered)]



To the Right Honourable Richard Law, Minister of Education.


1. We were appointed to consider the needs of higher technological education in England and Wales and the respective contribution to be made thereto by Universities and Technical Colleges.

We have taken evidence from witnesses representing a wide range of industry, education, science and technology. Our original intention was to submit successive reports on the requirements of different industries and the educational provision which should be made to meet them. Our inquiries have, however, convinced us of the need for a standing organisation, both to survey industry and to co-ordinate education. We shall, therefore, direct ourselves in this Report, among other things, to recommendations for the constitution of such an organisation, and we shall illustrate our recommendations mainly by examples drawn from one broad field of industrial technology: that of Mechanical, Electrical and Civil Engineering.

2. The evidence submitted to us concurs in the general view: first, that the position of Great Britain as a leading industrial nation is being endangered by a failure to secure the fullest possible application of science to industry; and second, that this failure is partly due to deficiencies in education. The annual intake into the industries of the country of men trained by Universities and Technical Colleges has been, and still is, insufficient both in quantity and quality. We believe that the industrial demand for such men will increase in quantity after the war; and that the demand for higher quality, especially in certain categories, will become more insistent as the nation becomes more conscious of its need for technical efficiency. In particular, the experience of war has shown that the greatest deficiency in British industry is the shortage of scientists and technologists who can also administer and organise, and can apply the results of research to development.

3. These deficiencies call for the attraction to our Universities and Technical Colleges of more and better students; and this will require a substantial increase in teaching facilities and teaching staff. But neither of these results can be brought about automatically by legislation or by the expenditure of public money. The raising of salary scales will not of itself recruit good teachers of technology; nor the raising of the school-leaving age good candidates for posts of responsibility in industry. Both kinds of recruitment will require the co-operation of industrialists and educators in detecting ability and selecting it for appropriate education and training. At present too large a proportion of the best output of the schools goes into non-industrial occupations, and positive steps are necessary to counteract this drift. Technological education must be conceived in terms of a combined course of works training and academic studies; and both the course as a whole and the period allotted to academic studies must be long enough to give full scope to the student's development. Full co-operation between industrialists and educators must be based upon a recognition, by both parties, of the supreme importance of increasing the efficiency of manufacturing processes, and of initiating new branches of technology, as an essential means of expanding the nation's export trade and advancing its standard of living.

4. In any effective programme of action on these lines, it will be essential to distinguish between the functions of Universities and Technical Colleges; and it will also, we believe, be necessary to allot special functions to certain Technical Colleges as primarily concerned with higher teaching and research. And here arises a question which must form one of the main subjects of our Report. For certain categories of scientists and technologists, the division of function between Universities and Technical Colleges is clear enough.

[page 6]

Industry must look mainly to Universities for the training of scientists, both for research and development, and of teachers of science; it must look mainly to Technical Colleges for technical assistants and craftsmen. But both Universities and Colleges must share the responsibility for educating the future senior administrators and technically qualified managers of industry; and this joint responsibility is not at present defined by any clear principles, nor expressed in any joint arrangements for consultation and planning.

5. The needs of industry, which we have here briefly summarised, are many and changing. What industry therefore requires is a responsive and adaptable organisation of technological education. The existing national provision for such education lacks focus. Not only is it divided between Universities and Technical Colleges, but each University and College tends to act independently. Each has its own contacts with industry, but such contacts are rarely sufficient. The industrialist cannot easily find his way about among institutions so many and so various, and is uncertain how to make his requirements known to them. Regional Councils of Further Education, where they have been established, have done much, but not enough: and University education remains, for the most part, outside their purview.

6. We shall attempt in this Report to suggest an organisation of higher technological education which will be more responsive and adaptable to the needs of industry. But at the outset we must define those needs rather more closely. As we have said, we shall state this definition mainly in terms of Mechanical, Electrical, and Civil Engineering; and, within these branches of engineering, mainly in terms of the "professional" engineer. We select this range of engineering because it forms the chief subject common both to University departments of Applied Science and to Technical Colleges; and because, for that very reason, responsibility for it is peculiarly difficult to allot between the two types of institution.


7. The demands of the engineering industry for technically trained staff may be roughly classified in five groups: (1) senior administrators, (2) engineer scientists and development engineers, (3) engineer managers (design, manufacture, operation and sales), (4) technical assistants and designer draughtsmen, and (5) draughtsmen, foremen and craftsmen. This is an industrial classification, describing the demand for Mechanical and Electrical Engineers more accurately than for Civil; and it is a classification in terms of large, rather than small, industrial units. But it is accurate enough for our present purposes.

8. Of the five groups (5) falls outside our terms of reference, and (4) outside the limits we have set ourselves in this Report. But the urgency of the industrial demand for them should not be underrated. The Institution of Electrical Engineers estimates the annual intake of electrical engineers alone required in group (4) at 1,800 and in group (5) at 3,200. The responsibility for meeting this demand rests with Technical Colleges, and these Colleges have no more important function to discharge.

9. The responsibility for meeting the demand for group (2), on the other hand, rests primarily with Universities. The academic education required is a good first degree in engineering science, which should be followed by postgraduate specialist study in technological SUbjects, either following immediately on the degree, or taken at a later stage after a period of experience in industry. Such post-graduate study is common in University Departments of Pure Science; it has been too infrequent in most of their Departments of Applied Science.

[page 7]

10. Group (3) represents a varied demand, which must be met partly by Universities and partly by Technical Colleges. The academic education required is a sound engineering course leading to a University degree, or to a College Diploma, or to a Higher National Certificate or Diploma, with some instruction in the elements of industrial administration.

11. The education of men required in group (1) can hardly be differentiated at the undergraduate stage, for they will be drawn largely from groups (2) and (3), and their selection must depend not only on academic achievement, but on personal qualities. But there is a strong feeling in industry that in planning professional courses generally more attention should be paid to developing, not only technical knowledge and skill, but also a liberal outlook on life, some appreciation of the organisation of industry, and an interest in administrative problems. At the post-graduate stage, which, in their case, will usually follow on a substantial period of industrial experience, men suited to employments in group (1) should be given an opportunity to take a special course in administrative subjects.

12. An estimate of the total annual output of Mechanical, Electrical, and Civil Engineers required by industry to fill groups (1), (2) and (3) must be very largely guesswork; but the evidence given us by the three professional Institutions concerned suggests a rough annual figure of 3,000, equally divided between the three branches. Without looking too far ahead, we may adopt this figure as the desirable annual output during the next decade. Against this industrial demand, the pre-war educational supply may be summarised as follows:

13. There are in England and Wales, eleven Universities and two independent University Colleges in receipt of grant from the University Grants Committee, which provide degree courses in Engineering. Of these, the University of Wales comprises three, and the University of London four, distinct Colleges providing such courses. In addition, students of four of the London Technical Colleges, and of the Sunderland Technical College, take the internal degrees of the Universities of London and Durham respectively; and the Manchester College of Technology provides the Faculty of Technology of Manchester University. A list of these Institutions is given in the Appendix to this Report. The length of a first degree course at these institutions is ordinarily three years; and the period of full-time attendance required in each year varies from about 24 weeks at Oxford and Cambridge to 30 weeks or more in the other Universities. Students of Engineering usually take also a period of works training during the summer vacations.

14. The number of Technical Colleges giving courses in Engineering fluctuates and cannot, therefore, be exactly stated; but there are in England and Wales about 150 Technical Schools and Colleges which provide courses within the scope of our inquiry. The great majority of these courses are conducted in evening classes, for students employed in industry; but the number of students released by their employers for attendance during working hours is increasing. In addition, in 1937-8, 81 Colleges provided some full-time courses of at least one year's duration; but the bulk of these full-time courses were not in the field we are now considering. Some 27 of the Colleges - of which 10 are in the London area-provided full-time higher technological courses of as much as three years' duration for a substantial number of students.

15. Universities are independent institutions, governed in accordance with the provisions of Royal Charters or Acts of Parliament. Technical Colleges, generally speaking, are managed and financed by Local Education Authorities, under the regulations of the Ministry of Education.

[page 8]

16. The output of engineers from the two types of institution may be indicated as follows:

(a) The number of University first degrees in Engineering, including Mining and, Naval Architecture, but not Metallurgy, obtained in 1939 was in round figures 700, or about 9 per cent, of the total number of first degrees conferred by Universities in all subjects. This total includes external degrees of the University of London obtained by students of the two University Colleges, but not other London external degrees. The number of Higher Degrees or Diplomas obtained in this range of subjects (including Aeronautics) in the same year was 168.

(b) In the Technical Colleges the qualifications taken by part-time engineering students are the Higher National Certificates in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, and a few full-time students take the National Diplomas. National Certificate schemes were instituted shortly after the last war; they are intended for part-time students employed in industry, and are designed to set a minimum national standard representing continuous part-time study for five or six years from the age of 16 or 17. There is an Ordinary Certificate taken after three years' study; and the Higher Certificate taken at the end of the course is a qualification of approximately first degree standard, but, being based on a part-time course, it necessarily covers a narrower field. The Diploma schemes are designed to set a similar standard for full-time students. An Ordinary National Diploma is awarded on two years' full-time study; the Higher National Diploma requires one further year, and here the field covered is approximately the same as for a University degree. The schemes are operated by Joint Committees of the Ministry of Education and the professional Institutions; and the examinations in the final year are subject to assessment by assessors appointed by the professional Institutions. The number of Higher Certificates awarded in 1939 was 1,053, but there were only 39 Higher National Diplomas. In 1939 about 140 students of engineering in Technical Colleges obtained first or higher internal degrees in Engineering of the Universities of London, Manchester and Durham (included in the University figures given above), and 100 obtained an external degree of the University of London. Not all these degree students were full-time students, and the figures show the very small part which full-time courses have hitherto played in Technical Colleges. It is impossible to quote a figure for students obtaining professional qualifications by directly taking the examinations of the professional Institutions; but the number will be small compared with those taking Higher National Certificates.

17. These statistics show an output just before the war of (in round figures) 2,000 from the Universities and Technical Colleges of England and Wales, of which 35 per cent came from Universities. This figure does not include Scotland. The number of degrees and diplomas obtained at Scottish Universities (including the Royal Technical College at Glasgow) in the year 1938 in all branches of technology, including Architecture, was 305; but a figure of 2,300 for the United Kingdom would probably overstate the pre-war output. The Ministry of Labour estimates the total national average annual output of Mechanical, Electrical, and Civil engineers for the period 1926-39 at 2,100.

18. This output proved inadequate for the purposes of war and an intensive effort was made to increase it. In 1943 the national output reached the approximate figure of 3,000 made up as follows:

Universities and University Colleges (including the Royal Technical College at Glasgow, the London Polytechnics and the Manchester College of Technology)1,250

[page 9]

Technical Colleges - Higher National Certificates and Diplomas1,300
Technical Colleges - London External Degrees138
Professional Institutions and private venture Colleges300

19. Our problem is to maintain this war output for at least the next ten years. The share of England and Wales in a national output of 3,000 may be estimated roughly at about 2,700. The war output has severely strained the resources of most of the University institutions concerned, but figures supplied to us by the Universities and University Colleges of England and Wales suggest that their future output capacity, after completing the extensions planned in their reports to the University Grants Committee, will not fall far short of 1,200 for all branches of engineering. This probably represents the limit of desirable University expansion in these branches of technology during the period in question; and it leaves to English and Welsh Technical Colleges the task of producing the balance of not less than 1,500.

20. This last figure may be an underestimate. The University figure of 1,200 has to meet demands not included in the total figure of 3,000: for instance, the demand from foreign and British overseas students for University engineering courses in this country; the demand for British engineers in overseas countries; and the greatly increased demand for teachers of technology which must result from any expansion in technological education. On the other hand our figures may be an over-estimate, for they are based on the assumption of prosperity. The pre-war output, which we regard as insufficient for our future needs, was based upon actual experience of the precarious demand under the conditions of the period 1926-39. What the situation requires, therefore, is an energetic programme of expansion, both in accommodation and staff, which will tax to the full the resources of Universities and the Technical Colleges, coupled with adequate arrangements for keeping a close watch upon the demand which this programme is intended to meet.

21. But, whatever reservations must be made in estimating future industrial demand in terms of volume, there is no doubt about the urgency of the demand in terms of quality. As we have said, it is especially a demand for men fitted for executive responsibility; and for men capable, not only of research, but of applying the results of research to development. In both respects, therefore, it is a demand for special qualities and for a high grade both of ability and character. At present this demand is not being met; and the whole reputation of our national system of higher education in this field depends upon the extent to which it can be met in future.


22. We have seen that the requirements of industry in the comparatively narrow field we are considering will be met, in England and Wales, as to about 45 per cent by Universities and as to about 55 per cent by Technical Colleges. We believe that the output of our University schools of engineering and of the National Certificate and Diploma courses of our Technical Colleges has been reasonably satisfactory for their respective purposes, though the courses are, no doubt, susceptible of improvement. But we believe, too, that the education and training thus provided do not fully cover the ground. Industry needs also another class of entrant. The training of this class should be broader than that given in Higher National Certificate courses; it should be comparable with University degree courses; but it should be planned on different lines.

[page 10]

23. We can best explain the type of training we have in mind by drawing what we believe to be a necessary distinction between the functions of Universities and Technical Colleges. These two types of education have, indeed, one feature in common. Neither University nor Technical College courses are designed of themselves alone to produce a trained engineer. All such courses have to be considered as part of a longer course of combined academic study and works practice, extending over at least five or six years. The works practice should be as carefully planned as the academic study, and the whole should be planned by co-operation between the educational institution and the industry concerned. Universities, no less than Technical Colleges, should consider whether it may not be generally desirable that a period of works practice should precede, as well as accompany and follow, the period of academic study. Industry, on its side, should consider whether the period of academic study at both Universities and Colleges should not be generally lengthened, so as to give enough time for a full education.

24. But, considered in this setting, University and Technical College courses have hitherto been distinguished by the degree of concentration on academic study required of the student at some stage in the combined course. The University requires complete and continuous concentration on such study for at least three years, combined with only vacation experience in industry; and its students can have no industrial obligations or commitments which interfere with that concentration. Most Technical College courses, on the other hand, are normally interwoven throughout with concurrent works practice and require only part-time attendance from students whose major commitment is full-time industrial employment. This practical distinction in the relation between academic study and works experience roughly corresponds with a distinction of principle between two aspects of technological education. Every technology is both a science and an art. In its aspect as a science it is concerned with general principles which are valid for every application; in its aspect as an art it is concerned with the special application of general principles to particular problems of production and utilisation. Universities and Technical Colleges must deal with both aspects; but Universities have regarded it as their duty to select and emphasise the science aspect, and Technical Colleges the art aspect.

25. We believe that this distinction of principle between these two aspects of technological education is right; but the practical distinction deduced from it, in terms of relative concentration on academic study and works practice, can be exaggerated. It is probably right that, for perhaps two-thirds of the engineering students in Technical Colleges, academic study and works practice should be strictly concurrent. But, even for them, evening classes alone, which absorbed four-fifths of all the candidates for Higher National Certificates in 1937-8, are wholly inappropriate to higher studies so exacting as those demanded of the modern engineer. The restricted hours and the other inevitable conditions of such evening study are largely responsible for what is probably the main defect in present Technical College education for engineers: that it gives too small a place to the fundamental sciences in the earlier stages. And we believe that, for the remaining one-third of Technical College engineering students, even the degree of concentration on continuous study provided by attendance at classes in working hours on a day or so a week is altogether too slight.

26. For some 500 of the 1,500 trained engineers which Technical Colleges are to produce annually we recommend, therefore, a course of higher technological education which will require continuous full-time study over substantial periods. The opinions expressed to us as to the minimum length of such

[page 11]

periods have varied from three to six months; and there are some who would wish to require that the period should be of approximately the same length as a University session. We prefer to leave this question open, but we recommend that: (a) the aggregate length of all the periods at the "post-intermediate" stage of the course should be comparable to the total length of a University degree course at that stage; and (b) the remainder of the student's working year should be occupied by a planned course of works practice.

27. We assume that, for the present, about 150 of the 500 students will elect to work, as in the past, for the external degree of the University of London, although we regard the system of external University degrees as art anomaly. We should wish the recommendations we have made in the immediately preceding paragraph to be applied to external degree courses. We think that University degrees should not be granted purely on examinations, or in respect of courses conducted solely in the evening or on the basis of "part-time day release". We recognise, however, that there may be justifiable exceptions to this general rule.

28. For the remaining 350 students, we desire to see courses specially planned, without reference to existing anomalies. We would insist that such courses, whatever their length and arrangement, should be directed to the development to the highest level of the teaching of the art of technology, based on a sufficient scientific foundation. Such courses should have a status in no way inferior to the University type of course; they should require equal ability in the student; and they should afford a preparation for the most advanced post-graduate studies. But they will be different from University courses; and their development should not, therefore, be hindered or deflected by University affiliations or by arrangements for the grant of University degrees, whether by existing Universities or - as some of our witnesses have suggested to us - by some new national technological University created purely for purposes of examination and standardisation. The practical defect of any external examination system, however disguised, is its inevitable tendency to rigidity and its consequent cramping of the teacher's initiative. Even in such a well-established technology as engineering, what is chiefly required of Technical Colleges is adaptability to changing techniques and to new combinations of techniques. This consideration applies with even greater force to other less well-established technologies, in which it is essential that the institutions responsible for teaching should be free to develop new standards by experiment. Such freedom implies not only freedom to plan their own syllabuses, but freedom also to award their own qualifications. This freedom of a teaching community to adapt its examinations to its teaching is now the characteristic mark of a University: it should equally be the characteristic mark of the institutions to which is to be entrusted the development of a type of higher technological education which is, for the most part, new to this country.

29. We recommend, therefore, the selection of a strictly limited number of Technical Colleges in which there should be developed technological courses of a standard comparable with that of University degree courses. The selection of these Colleges must be a matter for the Minister of Education; but we suggest that, for engineering, up to six Colleges, exclusive of any in the Greater London area, might be selected in the first instance. While these technological courses would be a distinctive feature of such Colleges they would have many other activities. The conditions in any one College would obviously be adapted to suit local needs; but one would expect to find, in addition to the special higher technological courses, a large volume of part-time work of an advanced character for Higher National Certificates and other qualifications

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of similar standard. Further, a very important function of these Colleges would be the provision of post-graduate courses in special branches of technology; these courses might be either full-time or part-time, and would be intended generally for their own graduates or for graduates from Universities and for men who had been in industry for some time. We are of the opinion that far too little attention has been paid in the past to refresher courses and "new development" courses, both of which would come in this category. A College might also conduct as one of its activities a National School in a particular branch of technological study, such as Plastics, Rubber Technology, Foundrywork or Welding, in which the very highest grade of work for the whole country might be done. Finally a College would probably have an important part to play in conducting investigations for local industry into specific problems. While large firms with well-equipped research departments would not normally require such assistance, it must not be forgotten that the majority of firms are small, with few facilities for the proper conduct of investigations and research. We would regard this service to industry as a very important function of these Colleges.

30. The selected Colleges must be developed into responsible academic institutions, performing a national function. To that end we make the following recommendations:

(a) They should be so organised as to provide for a considerable number of residential students.

(b) In government they should continue to be subject to the ultimate control of the providing local authority in matters of finance and general policy, but it is essential that each should have its own Governing Body, containing adequate representation of industry, and a Board of Studies, representing its teaching staff, which should be responsible for academic policy. This constitution should, we think, be defined by a scheme approved by the Minister of Education, which would give the College the greatest possible degree of self-government and responsibility.

(c) In finance they should be specially assisted by the national exchequer, as performing a national rather than a local function. We suggest that the providing authority should receive a substantially higher rate of grant in respect of revenue expenditure attributable to this function, and that the national exchequer should consider giving special assistance also by capital grants, in the same way as is now contemplated for Universities.

(d) The salaries and conditions of service of comparable teaching staffs should be similar to those of University teachers, and superannuation arrangements should be adapted to secure the greatest possible freedom of movement between Colleges and Universities. Subject, perhaps, to some special interpretations, the recent report of the Burnham Committee seems to provide a sufficient basis for this, as regards salaries; but we hope that there will be a suitable revision of regulations as to hours of teaching and the like which at present tend seriously to restrict the freedom of full-time teachers to promote the study of their subject by tutorial activities and research, as well as by formal instruction.

(e) They should so far as possible be relieved of elementary teaching duties.

31. The application of this general policy to the London and Home Counties area and to other branches of technology may be more difficult than to provincial Colleges of Engineering. The London area raises special problems owing to (1) the concentration in it of a large number of technical institutions; (2) the relation of some of them to the University of London, and (3) the policy

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of rationalisation which already operates among them. Both in London and the Provinces it may be necessary to develop specialisation in a particular branch of technology in selected institutions whose other work may be of a less advanced standard. We deal with one aspect of this latter problem in paragraph 51. But these and other problems can be fully solved only by processes of regional and national consultation, for which an adequate machinery must be created. Before completing our recommendations as to Colleges of Technology we desire, therefore, to outline proposals for a standing advisory organisation which may provide a centre for such consultation.

32. We have another reason for turning to this subject at this point in our Report. We are most anxious that the selection of certain Technical Colleges for these special functions should not be taken to imply that Colleges not so selected will be relegated to an inferior status, or that their future development will be a matter of minor importance. The functions of Technical Colleges as Local Colleges of general adult education lie outside our terms of reference; but we may be allowed to express our opinion that these functions are of the first importance, and that academic freedom and responsibility are equally necessary to their proper performance. And in the field of technology itself it is essential that a new policy of full-time or semi-full-time study should not have the effect of de-valuing courses for National Certificates and for the training of craftsmen and foremen, or of de-grading the institutions which will be mainly responsible for such courses. Technical College education needs to be surveyed, planned, and elevated as a whole; and in the field of adult education as well as over the whole field of technological studies, it should be co-ordinated with University education. It is with that intention that we make the recommendations contained in the following section.


33. Our first recommendation is that Regional Advisory Councils should be established throughout England and Wales, on the general lines of those now in existence in some areas such as the West Midlands, Yorkshire and South Wales, although we do not suggest that these models should be exactly followed. The Regional Advisory Councils should be concerned with the co-ordination of technological studies in Universities, Colleges of Technology and the other Technical Colleges of the Region. It is therefore essential that all Regional Advisory Councils should provide fully for the representation of Universities and for consultation between the teaching staffs of Universities and Technical Colleges. Some existing regional bodies tend, perhaps, to be over-weighted on the administrative side, where University and municipality have least in common, and where their respective responsibilities are least easy to reconcile. It is on the teaching side, at the level of the Board of Studies, the Faculty, and the University Senate, that consultation on what are, after all, essentially teaching problems is easiest and most natural, and can provide the most direct stimulus to development.

34. We recommend, therefore, as an integral part of the regional machinery, that the Regional Advisory Councils should create Regional Academic Boards of Technology, composed of the academic heads of Universities and Technical Colleges and of members of their teaching staffs. It should be the function of such a Board to advise the Governing Bodies of the participating institutions and the Regional Advisory Council on the development and co-ordination of higher technological studies in each institution and in the region as a whole.

[page 14]

Representation of, and consultation with, industry is, of course, an essential purpose of the whole regional organisation; but we think such consultation may be most effective if it is conducted largely through the agency of these Regional Academic Boards. The Boards should therefore be free to make their own arrangements, as academic bodies, for close consultation with industry in the region; in addition to any representation of industry in the regional organisation as a whole.

35. The regional machinery should have its national counterpart in a central body. We suggest that this body should be entitled the National Council of Technology. This Council should be at least partly representative of Regional Advisory Councils and of the Regional Academic Boards; but we do not wish to make any detailed proposals as to its composition, since we think its members should be appointed by the Minister of Education at his discretion. It will be responsible for considering the national aspects of regional policies, and for advising the Minister and the University Grants Committee upon them. We do not suggest any change in the administrative responsibilities of these two central authorities, nor any restriction of their freedom of communication with local education authorities and Universities and with the regional bodies. We believe that the right of direct access to central authorities is essential to the healthy working of all local bodies. We believe also that the division of responsibility between the Minister and the University Grants Committee should not prevent the fullest direct consultation and exchange of information between the Ministry of Education and Universities, either individually or collectively.

36. These are the essential outlines of the organisation we propose. We do not wish to make detailed recommendations as to the constitution of the Regional Advisory Councils themselves, but we suggest the following outline for the constitution of the Regional Academic Boards. Their membership might conveniently be divided into ex-officio, appointed and additional members. The ex-officio members should be the academic heads of Universities and Colleges, and the heads of certain departments within them. The appointed members, whose number might be limited to about one-half of the ex-officio members, should be teachers in the institutions, appointed by the Board at their discretion for a limited term, but eligible for re-appointment. Additional members should be any persons whom the Board may wish to co-opt from time to time. Their number should be limited, but should be large enough to include Chief Education Officers whose Authorities are principally concerned in the work of the Board. On the first constitution of the Boards, the component institutions should be designated by the Regional Advisory Council, who should also nominate the first convener of the Board. The Board thus initially constituted would designate the departments entitled to ex-officio representation, and elect the appointed and additional members; and would thereafter be free to designate additional institutions and departments, to choose its chairman and officers, to appoint such sub-committees as it thinks fit, and generally to plan its advisory work. The provision for additional members of Regional Academic Boards is not intended to provide for consultation with industry, though such members may well include persons with industrial experience. The Boards must plan their means of consultation with industry on much broader lines. We hope that Research Associations will be brought into the closest possible relations both with the Regional Academic Boards and with the National Council.

37. We tentatively suggest eight regions: London and the Home Counties, including the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, and probably East and West Sussex; the Southern and South-Western Counties, from Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire

[page 15]

westwards; East Anglia and the East Midlands; the West Midlands; Yorkshire; Lancashire and Cheshire; the four Northern Counties; and Wales. But we are anxious not to disturb existing organisations; our point is that the chief industrial areas of the country should be effectively covered by some form of regional advisory organisation, and that the bulk of the technical institutions of the country should be effectively included in this co-ordinating machinery.

38. As already indicated, we attach special importance to the creation of such an organisation for London and the Home Counties. That step is long overdue, and until it is taken it will be impossible adequately to consider the special problems of that area, including the application to it of our general recommendations as to Colleges of Technology. We welcome the steps recently taken to establish a conference of authorities in this area; but such a conference evidently cannot be effective until it makes provision for the representation in it of the University of London, of the Technical Colleges and of industry.

39. We are conscious of a certain unreality in representing a National Council for England and Wales alone as being an instrument for the national planning of technological education in response to the requirements of industry. On this point, we can only indicate the obvious importance of some arrangements for joint consultation between central bodies in England and Wales and in Scotland.

40. It is, we believe, to the new Academic Boards of Technology that the country must mainly look for advice on the steps necessary to meet the unsatisfied demand of industry on which we have insisted in paragraph 21 above: the demand for quality. This is a task which vitally concerns both Universities and Technical Colleges, and demands not only consultation between them, but better mutual arrangements for ensuring access by students to the facilities most suited to their ambitions and abilities. Before returning to the subject of Colleges of Technology, we wish to make some remarks and recommendations on this general question.


41. Failure to meet the demand of industry in the past has, no doubt, been due partly to deficiencies in courses of education and training, and partly to faults of industrial organisation. University undergraduate courses may have been both too short and too specialised, and University life too little residential; in courses for the Ordinary and Higher National Certificates there may have been too little of that early scientific grounding which is as necessary to the art, as it is to the science, of engineering or of any other branch of technology. In industry, young men anxious for responsibility may have been given too little opportunity for exercising it. While however we recognise that both educational institutions and industry may not have handled their material to the best advantage, we cannot resist the conclusion that the best material is not being offered to either in sufficient quantities. In a word, industry, and educational institutions training for industry, are not getting their fair share of the national ability.

42. For this, there are probably two main reasons: on the one hand full-time secondary education up to the age of 18 has tended to direct the attention of boys of first-rate ability away from "factory" employments; on the other hand such boys who leave school for industry at from 14 to 16 years of age have not been given sufficient opportunities to return later to University or other full-time education.

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43. On the first point, there is urgent need for a national campaign to increase the prestige of the technical professions and to counteract the impression that the road to responsible executive posts in industry does not lie through those professions. Such a campaign should, we think, be specially directed towards public boarding-schools, whose bias is often overwhelmingly against the technical professions, and for most of which the Universities of the industrial Midlands and North hardly exist as possible places of education for their scholars. But the same bias against factory employments exists also in the great majority of secondary schools. It is evidenced, for instance, by the marked increase of University students of Civil Engineering, at the expense of both the Mechanical and the Electrical branches. So long as careers are pre-determined at schools, the supply of information to schools is a vital need with which, we suggest, Regional Academic Boards should concern themselves closely. They should have regard to what is being done in this connexion by the Ministry of Labour and its Appointments department, and they should utilise such agencies as the Juvenile Employment Bureaux and the machinery built up in recent years by secondary schools. They should work in close touch also with University Appointments Boards. Industry itself should join in this supply of information. Industrialists who attach value to higher education have been too apt to expect that institutions of higher education will produce graduates for them unaided; they should assume a greater share of responsibility for recruiting from the schools apprentices capable of profiting from higher education, and for sending them to Universities or to Technical Colleges at an appropriate stage of their industrial training.

44. We recommend also a continuance, both for Universities and Technical Colleges, of the special State Bursary system, with improved methods of selection, and the extension of the benefits of this system to candidates from industry as well as from secondary schools. Indeed, we would represent strongly that the whole question of scholarships for students of technology needs thorough reconsideration. At present, the student entering full-time or semi-full-time education from industry, instead of up the normal ladder of full-time secondary education, tends to fall altogether outside the national scholarship system. Industry itself does something in this field, and might do more; but the State should do much more. Unless it does so, the whole idea of full-time or semi-full-time courses in Colleges of Technology must break down. We hope that the State, having discovered during the war that special bursaries and cadetships can attract a new supply of able students, will not neglect to apply that experience to the hardly less urgent problems of peace.

45. We hope that a campaign on these lines, with the active collaboration of industry, may arrest some of the present leakage of good brains from secondary schools at the age of 16; and the expansion of free secondary education envisaged in the new Education Act will, of course, do more. But many good brains will continue to leave full-time education for industry at that age, and it is right that they should do so. Such early practical experience is suited both to some branches of industry and to some types of natural ability. Indeed, the need for active recruitment into productive industry at this age may be as great as the need for recruitment into full-time higher education at a later age; especially in areas where secondary education has tended to be regarded rather as a way of escape from industrial apprenticeship than as an avenue to it. For the best of such early recruits, at least, there should be a recognised path back to full-time education through the part-time courses of Technical Colleges. For some, this path will lead to the new Colleges of Technology or to other Technical institutions; for some it should lead

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to the University. This raises the whole question of adjustment between Technical College and University courses, as parts of one coherent system of higher technological education. Their respective courses must not be distorted by a mere striving after equivalence; but the factors common to the two methods of approach must be recognised and made clear.

46. There are three stages at which transfer from Technical Colleges to Universities should be possible: matriculation, intermediate, and post-graduate. Matriculation raises few difficulties; and we need only recommend to the consideration of Universities the recognition of Technical College examinations, in whole or in part, for this purpose. We know and appreciate the desire of Universities to maintain the standard of their own matriculation examinations, and to reduce rather than to extend the practice of granting exemptions from them. But so long as such exemptions are recognised, we suggest that the claims of Technical College students deserve special consideration; and we therefore welcome the recent amendments of regulations for "industrial matriculation" which have been made by some Universities and University Joint Matriculation Boards.

47. At the intermediate stage it is highly desirable that a place should be made, within the course for the Ordinary National Certificate, for the fundamental sciences, so that an examination taken by a Technical College student at about the age of 19 could be recognised by Universities, like the Higher School Certificate, as equivalent to their own intermediate examinations. At present perhaps the weakest feature of the National Certificate system is the narrowness of the Ordinary course. As we have pointed out already in paragraph 25 above, this narrowness is largely the result of the dominance of evening classes; and, even so, the conditions of evening study result in the failure of a large proportion of the students to "stay the course". Wastage during the Ordinary course is very high indeed; and even with this wastage 40 per cent of the candidates for the Ordinary Certificates in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering fail to pass the examination. Moreover, even with these failures, about 50 per cent of those who proceed to the Higher Certificate course drop out of it in their first year; and even after this drastic selection, Universities have, perhaps, been justified in hesitating, until recently, to give general recognition to a National Certificate course as exempting from their intermediate examinations, though they have recognised it in individual cases. Academic curricula cannot be planned by a Departmental Committee; and we are doubtful whether to recommend a general upgrading of the Ordinary Certificate and the relegation of the weaker elements to a more elementary type of course, or a bifurcation in the course, leading to a qualification intermediate between Ordinary and Higher, or to an Ordinary "with distinction". Whether one of these alternatives is adopted or another variant of them, it is, we think, essential to any scheme of higher work in Technical Colleges that they should offer, at a fairly early age, a broad and thorough grounding in the fundamental sciences; and we gather that this is the growing view of the professional institutions, as evidenced by the recent revision of their own examination schemes.

48. We have been told that we cannot expect the path from Technical Colleges to Universities to be well-trodden at the undergraduate stage; and this may be true. In areas, however, where the path has already been regularly trodden by a few, it is highly valued; and its interruption by Ministry of Labour regulations in the war period, coming at a moment when the traffic on it was increasing, has been strongly felt both as a personal hardship and as a loss to the engineering industry. We cannot help suspecting that, in some areas at least, Universities have been content to recruit their departments of

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applied science too exclusively from full-time schools; and that however much this source of supply may be stimulated, they will need, for a good many years to come, to draw an increasing proportion of their best students from Technical Colleges. We have already indicated the importance of this consideration in any scheme of State scholarships. We believe, also, that in any well co-ordinated system of technological education there should be recognised modes of transfer for University students to Technical Colleges. We do not enlarge upon this point, only because such transfers do not seem likely to be hindered by Technical College regulations.

49. While we attach importance to transfer at this second stage, we attach more importance to mutual freedom of access to Universities and Technical Colleges at the third or post-graduate stage. Here, again, access from Universities to Technical Colleges raises no particular difficulties; but freedom of access by men trained at Technical Colleges to courses for the higher degrees of a University has been impeded in some Universities by the requirement of a University Bachelor's degree as a preliminary to admission to studies for a higher degree. Such regulations are now, we think, giving way to a recognition that admission to research studies should depend exclusively upon the candidate's ability to contribute to the discovery of new knowledge. There remains, however, the impediment that Universities very generally require longer "residence" for a higher degree from non-graduate candidates. We hope that each University will in future be prepared to recognise Technical College qualifications of degree standard on an equal footing with the first degrees of other Universities, for the purposes of the term of "residence" required from candidates holding such qualifications.

50. The free movement of post-graduate students, on a basis of equality, is essential to any coherent planning of technological research, and this is, perhaps, a convenient place in our Report for a brief indication of our views on such planning. Research is a necessary concomitant of all higher teaching; in that aspect, freedom is essential to it; and in that sense it cannot be planned. But in technology, such free research is not sufficient to provide for the continuous development of industry, if only because the equipment required is often beyond the reach of individual teaching institutions. For instance, a high-tension laboratory of medium size may be a necessary part of the equipment of every University Engineering Department and College of Engineering Technology; but research at the highest voltages must be concentrated in one or two institutions, deliberately selected for the purpose. The institutions thus selected as special research centres may be Universities, or Colleges of Technology or, in some cases, other Technical Colleges. It should not, however, be supposed that any special research centre can absorb all research affecting its particular field; in ceramics, for instance, Stoke may be the obvious centre both for teaching and research; but much fundamental research relevant to that field will continue to be done at Universities and other institutions, as well as in the laboratories of individual firms and Research Associations. What is required in each such field is a deliberate plan concerted with industry both at the national and the regional level, and making full use of Technical Colleges as well as of Universities.

51. A special problem, both of research and of teaching, arises in the development of certain branches of technology of great national importance, but requiring the training of only a relatively small number of technicians, so that the industries concerned tend to look to one or two such Colleges only to meet their needs. Training in some of these technologies may be carried to a very high level in certain Technical Colleges whose other work may be of a less advanced standard; horology, scientific instruments and

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rubber technology are examples of this. It may, therefore, sometimes be found desirable to select a single institution for specialisation in a particular branch of technology in which it will serve as a centre for the whole country; and in that case it may well be that the special department charged with this duty should be supported wholly out of national funds.


52. We have now to complete our recommendations on the special subject of the new Colleges of Technology. The chief question to be considered is that of the qualifications to be awarded by these Colleges to students who successfully complete their courses of full-time or semi-full-time study. From the strictly educational point of view this may seem to be a secondary question; but it bulks very large in all current discussion of the future of higher technological education and must, therefore, be carefully considered.

53. For the reasons indicated in paragraph 28, we recommend that the Colleges should, in principle, conduct their own examinations and award their own qualifications. But it has been represented to us that industry would be unable to attach a definite value to new qualifications awarded by a number of independent Colleges on a new type of course unless such qualifications were guaranteed by some national body as conforming with national standards. Assuming that some such body is required, the question remains what exactly should be its constitution and functions and what qualifications it should confer.

54. We are unanimous in recommending that any qualifications must be guaranteed as conforming with national standards. We think that they should be State awards and that the appropriate national body for this purpose will be the National Council of Technology proposed in paragraph 35, acting through an Academic Board representing the Colleges of Technology, but containing also independent members. We are, further, agreed that the Board should not act as an external examining body. It should not prescribe syllabuses or set examination papers, but should approve and moderate courses of study leading up to its awards, should suggest standards of staffing and equipment, and should ensure an adequate examination standard by selecting or approving the external examiners to be associated with the academic staff of a College in the conduct of final examinations.

55. We are agreed in thinking that the conferment of these functions on the National Council of Technology will strengthen that body in advising on the development of higher technological education in the coming years. It is extremely difficult to forecast the scale of the need for more highly trained men in industry in future or the new industrial developments which will demand courses of new types. It is important to have elasticity. We may have made far too modest an estimate of the demand in this Report; but if an organisation is set up through which the Technical Colleges can in future realise their ideals and build up their reputation, plans can be adjusted as the need arises. The surest way to raise the whole standard of technical education in this country is to devolve upon the Colleges of Technology, through some organisation such as we are proposing, the responsibility of setting their own standards and making their own plans.

56. We have not, however, been able to reach agreement regarding the title of the technological qualification which will correspond with the University first degree. Some of us feel that its equivalence of standard should be emphasised by a similarity of title, others that a different title is needed in

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order to emphasise the difference in content of the courses on which it is awarded. Paragraphs 57 to 61 set out the arguments which have been adduced by those who favour the first alternative; namely, the conferment of a degree, corresponding with a University first degree, which they suggest may appropriately be styled Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.). Paragraphs 62 to 65 present the views of those who favour a different title.

57. It has been emphasised in paragraphs 41 to 45 that industry and educational institutions training for industry are not getting their fair share of the national ability. If students of the required personal qualities and potential academic achievement leaving the Grammar Schools are to be attracted to Colleges of Technology, thus enabling them to provide industry with its needs, the title of the award they will gain after courses of study equivalent in time and in intellectual demand to University courses should be a degree. The tradition of the degree, whether it is the external degree of the University of London or the degree which is associated with a prescribed period of "residence" at a University, is so deeply implanted in the minds of Grammar School students, their parents, and, it may be added, the school authorities that there is very little hope of a diploma taking its place. Students will continue to seek a title which has national and international estimation and recognition, and which indicates that their technological qualification is equivalent to the award which their fellows studying Medicine, Law, Science, or the Humanities can acquire. It is suggested that these views are well supported by the fact referred to in paragraph 16(b) that relatively few full-time students have taken the course for Ordinary and Higher National Diplomas. This confirms that this type of award has not proved an attraction in the past.

58. Arising from the transfer of Junior Technical Schools to the secondary school system of the country there is developing a new type of secondary school, the Secondary Technical School, which it is hoped will be equal in status and public estimation to the Grammar Schools. An important contribution to industry's needs should come from students from the Secondary Technical Schools, who proceed to Colleges of Technology. Indeed, this new avenue to higher education is an essential part of the plans necessary for supplying to industry in future a steady flow of recruits of high quality. The success of this important experiment in secondary education will be very seriously handicapped if there is the impression that the ultimate award which students who follow this avenue can obtain is inferior in public estimation to the award which will normally be given to a student proceeding to a University.

59. There is, further, the real danger that the award of a diploma by Colleges of Technology will stamp the Colleges themselves as institutions inferior; to Universities and will prevent their establishing a reputation nationally and internationally as institutions of status equivalent to Universities.

60. Many of the industrialists we have met, together with representatives of educational interests and administrators, have emphasised the need for an award which will have a status of general validity, and they have reminded us that the award, whatever its title, should have international currency. They have pointed out that in the years after this war young men trained in technology in this country will proceed abroad to the Dominions and to other parts of the Empire, as well as to foreign countries, and that their qualifications will need to be readily recognisable and assessable. We must also look forward to young men from other countries coming to our own Universities and Colleges of Technology for their training, and they, too, will wish to acquire a qualification which will have national status and international

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currency. For these reasons it is felt that no award other than that of a degree would meet this demand.

61. As the award of the B.Tech. would refer to a number of technological studies not at the moment covered by any degree system, it is desirable that the National Council of Technology should be empowered to confer degrees in approved Colleges of Technology.

62. In contrast with these views other members of the Committee hold that to make the technological qualification a degree would obscure its most essential feature, namely, that it connotes a training different from what is given in Universities, though not inferior in status. They argue that our main reason for recommending full-time courses of a kind that (in this country) will be new, is the need of industry for a type of entrant that has not hitherto been available, a man whose technical training has been deeper, though less wide, than that of the University graduate; and that to give to this new product a label indistinguishable from the old would reduce the force and obscure the objective of our most important recommendation. Precisely those reasons which in paragraph 57 have been advanced in favour of a similar qualification, that the tradition of the degree is deeply implanted in the minds of students, who will continue to seek a title which indicates that their technological qualification is equivalent to the award which their fellows studying Medicine, Law, Science, or the Humanities can acquire, in their view indicate that the new qualification, unless its title is made distinctive, will come to be regarded merely as a substitute for University degrees, made available to students who for any reason have failed to gain admission to a University. In that event all students will continue to aspire to Universities, and the new technological courses will come to be regarded as a "second best".

63. Equally with the colleagues from whom they differ, they realise that the new courses will not attract students of high ability unless they culminate in a qualification having national and international estimation and recognition. But they cannot accept the conclusion that no award other than that of a degree would meet this demand, and they do not believe that a label like "B.Tech." (indistinguishable by laymen from the "B.Sc.(Tech.)" which is awarded by certain Universities) is the only means by which the status of the new qualification can be emphasised: in fact, for reasons which have been given, they think that such a label may defeat its purpose. They recognise that "Associateships" and "Diplomas" have in the past connoted widely varying standards, but they believe that a Diploma in Technology (connoting a distinctive type of training) would soon win national and international acceptance, if such a Diploma were awarded under State authority by a national body such as we have unanimously recommended.

64. Industrialists have told us that in engaging a man of the quality we are considering they attach little importance to the title of his qualifications; what matters to them is the training he has had. If so, it should not take them long to appreciate the connotation of the new State Diploma in Technology. It is confidently expected that such a Diploma, the award of which does not conflict with any established academic practice, would have as good a prospect as a B.Tech. of establishing itself on a parity with a University first degree: and would secure equal recognition by industry, by the chief professional Institutions, by local authorities, by Government Departments and the Services, and by Universities as an appropriate starting point for studies leading to a higher degree.

65. On all these grounds a Diploma in preference to a degree is advocated by those members of the Committee who have drawn up the immediately preceding paragraphs.

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66. This concludes our discussion of the point on which we differ. We now proceed with recommendations on which both parties are agreed. Whatever be the title of the qualification granted on completion of the new full-time courses in technology, it will connote, as we have stated in paragraph 28, a training comparable with the courses which lead to University first degrees. We are all agreed in thinking that a second and higher qualification will be needed, connoting in technology attainments comparable with those of a University Ph.D.; that is to say, two or three years' post-graduate study, culminating in a piece of original research done under supervision. On the ground that it will (for the time being) correspond with the University Ph.D., we have thought that it might have the title Doctor of Technology (Tech. D.).

67. It may be that in future this higher qualification will come to connote something other than specialised research, for there have been indications lately of a readiness of English to move in the direction of American institutions, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which have adopted in regard to higher studies a standpoint somewhat different from what is customary in this country. In English Universities, Ph.D.s are usually awarded on a thesis prepared by the candidate: a viva is customary, but the questions put to the candidate relate to the field in which his problem lies. In the United States, although a thesis is usually required, the work for this is not expected to occupy more than half the student's time: the rest he utilises in attendance at postgraduate lectures, meant to avoid the dangers of excessive specialisation. Leaving that problem to be solved if and when the need arises, we think that the Tech.D. should be instituted now, to meet the needs of post-graduate students who may wish to prosecute technological research at one of the selected Colleges.

68. But we have said that we think it essential that systematic teaching in technology should be developed at the post-graduate level, and it should not take long to institute, at the selected Colleges, courses in specialised branches of technology, extending over one or more years after graduation, and not necessarily involving individual research. We do not think it necessary to provide for such studies any award except appropriate certificates.

69. Our Chairman wishes to state separately his views on the matters discussed in this Section (VI). A Note by him is therefore printed at the end of our Report.


70. In conclusion, we desire to make the following recommendations on two special points which have been brought to our attention.

71. The chief of these is the question of training in what may be conveniently called Management Studies. We have been impressed by the statement made by several of our witnesses, that the highly trained technician is often ignorant of the principles of industrial organisation and management and that he often shows no inclination to accept administrative responsibility. Admittedly there is much in this field that can be learnt only from experience; but there is a body of knowledge awareness of which may greatly facilitate the process of learning. This body of knowledge should be made available both at the undergraduate and at the post-graduate stage.

72. At the undergraduate stage we do not suggest any elaborate study of such subjects as scientific management, industrial psychology, costing systems, methods of wage payments; but we are convinced that ignorance of the

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main findings of these studies is a real handicap to men who would otherwise be highly qualified for administrative work. The practical difficulties are real, and we fully recognise them. The body of knowledge which we have in mind can be taught only by those who have a thorough practical and theoretical grasp of it; and the present literature of the subject in this country is generally of a poor quality, lacking the intellectual content of a sound mental discipline. But these difficulties cannot justify the almost complete avoidance, in the academic courses of technicians, of subjects the ignorance of which is a severe handicap to them in later business life. It is an extravagant waste of talent to forgo this large potential source of able administrators.

73. Our first recommendation, therefore, is that all students of technology, whether at Universities or Colleges of Technology, should be introduced to these subjects during the final year or two years of their undergraduate course. Probably no more than an introduction can be fitted into the curriculum at this stage; but the experience of Universities where such introductory courses have already been provided, indicates that they are of very real value. We hope, also, that such courses will be supplemented by instruction given to undergraduates in industry itself during their periods of vacation works training.

74. This, however, will not be enough, and our second recommendation is that at least one institution should be selected as a centre for post-graduate study of industrial administration. It should be the function of this centre to set standards in the teaching of the subject, to systematise it as a mental discipline, to conduct the necessary research, to develop the literature of the subject, and to train teachers of it.

75. In using the word "post-graduate" for the work to be done by this centre, we do not mean to imply that its students will necessarily be recruited direct from men who have just graduated. On the contrary, as indicated in paragraph 11, we expect that its students will often, if not usually, be graduates who have had a substantial period of industrial experience. This, however, will depend on arrangements with industry which will have to be worked out as the centre develops.

76. We add a third recommendation. Management studies should form a part of the courses, not only of Universities and Colleges of Technology, but also of all Technical Colleges teaching for the National Certificates and Diplomas; and they should also form the subject of short or refresher courses organised jointly by teaching institutions and industry. A number of such courses are now being occasionally held, but their provision should be systematised, and we hope that special attention will be devoted to this subject by the Academic Board of Technology in each region.

77. The other matter to which we desire to draw attention is the special needs of teachers of technological subjects in Universities and Technical Colleges. Such teachers are faced with the special problem of keeping up to date in the industrial technique of their particular subject. The only really satisfactory way of doing this is for the teacher to return to industry for substantial periods. While this is possible under present conditions of teaching service, it is not easy; and the extent to which the practice is followed is slight.

78. This is a matter which might well be dealt with by the Regional Academic Boards in collaboration with the industries in the region. The National Council of Technology could carry the matter a stage farther by an arrangement of exchanges with teaching institutions abroad. The possibility of teachers. obtaining experience in industry abroad should also be considered. All such exchanges are of the utmost value in keeping the teacher fresh and up to date in his subject.

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79. Something might also be done for teachers in the way of refresher courses of an academic character. The rate of advancement of knowledge in all branches of science and technology tends to increase; in most institutions teaching programmes are very heavy, and teachers have the greatest difficulty in keeping up to date in the most recent developments of their particular subjects. Universities and Colleges of Technology could be of great assistance to technical teachers in this respect by arranging for refresher courses.

80. One final point is that industry should be prepared to release senior members of staff to give advanced courses of lectures during the day. Some technological subjects are best taught by practising specialists and only by the release of such persons can the most efficient instruction be obtained. The practice is not uncommon on the Continent and we urge that industry should follow this example in spite of the inconveniences which may be involved. We would urge, also, the extension of a practice, already tried, of holding summer schools in industrial works.

81. We are greatly indebted to our Secretary, Mr. A. R. M. Maxwell-Hyslop, for the efficiency with which he has discharged his duties under the heavy pressure of other work; and we should like to record our warm thanks both to him and to our Assistant Secretary, Mr. F. J. Edkins, who has ably seconded him during the greater part of our deliberations.


July 19th, 1945.

A.R. MAXWELL-HYSLOP (Secretary).
F.J. EDKINS (Assistant Secretary).

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1. The Committee, unanimous in all its other recommendations, has been unable to reach agreement on one relatively minor point: the nature of the qualifications to be conferred on "graduating" students of the new Colleges of Technology. This disagreement is important only because, if our other recommendations are accepted, the issue we have left unsettled will be inherited by the proposed National Council of Technology as a troublesome legacy which will disturb their deliberations and delay the energetic action expected from them and from the Regional Advisory Councils and Academic Boards. The issue must, therefore, be settled by a Government decision.

I feel that neither of the conflicting proposals which are set out in Section VI of our Report will offer Government a sufficient basis for such a decision and that it therefore becomes the duty of the Chairman to give the Minister such independent advice as he can.

2. To begin with, I wish to put our disagreement in its proper perspective. It is not a disagreement between the University members of the Committee and other members; it is not a conflict of "interests"; and I hope that the discussion of this point by the public will be equally impartial. The truth is, I think, that the problem of qualifications is insoluble within the limits we have set ourselves in our Report; and, in so far as I have advised my colleagues so to limit themselves, I am responsible for their failure to find an agreed solution. Our Report, as a whole, is an attempt to cure immediate evils and secure immediate action. Our aim has been to lay the foundations for a single national policy of technological education within which Universities, Technical Colleges and the local authorities responsible for technical education may begin at once to work together. We have deliberately refrained from trying to predict the ultimate development of this co-operation, lest such speculations should arouse controversy and delay action. But the issue what qualifications are to be conferred on students of the new Colleges of Technology really raises the larger issue, what is to be the ultimate future of these Colleges. Since that issue has been thus raised, it must be faced and clarified.

3. If higher technological education is to be developed on the scale and with the intensity which we have been convinced are necessary to the well-being of the nation, it is natural to propose that such higher studies, wherever pursued, should lead to a Bachelor's degree. For, obviously, the aim of such a policy must be to ensure that such studies will be pursued only in institutions fully competent to conduct them. But experience shows that such competence, expressed in terms of the power to confer degrees, can be attained only by a deliberate effort with a definite aim.

4. In all civilised countries the power to confer degrees is the distinguishing mark of a University. In this country the power can be exercised only if it is granted by an act of Government, and Government has jealously restricted such grants. Government policy has been based on the principle that a University should be a fully self-governing community of teachers and students, working together in one place, with substantial endowments of its own, mature enough to set its own standards of teaching and strong enough to resist outside pressures, public or private, political or economic.

5. The consistency of this policy has been emphasised, rather than modified, by the single exception made to it in the grant to the University of London of external degree-giving powers, an early experiment in the extension of University education beyond the limits of Oxford and Cambridge, which

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Government was careful not to repeat when creating a new University system for the English provinces and for Wales. All experience tends to show that Governments cannot safely entrust any large degree of independent control over educational standards at the University level to a body which is not self-controlled by the direct teaching responsibilities of its members towards the students whose courses they regulate.

6. A Government can have only one University policy at a time. The policy thus consistently followed in the United Kingdom has been inherited by the Dominions and has earned for British University degrees the high reputation which they enjoy both in British territory and abroad. The reputation of United Kingdom degrees would not long survive the suspicion that future grants of University powers in this country were to be governed by a dual standard - one for University Colleges which have to serve a long apprenticeship until they attain the requisite degree of maturity and independence, and another for municipal Colleges which do not claim maturity and do not even aspire to independence.

7. There is no escape from this issue in a proposal to grant University powers, not to the Colleges individually nor to an external examining body, but collectively to a "moderating" body, mainly representative of the Colleges. If the intention is to develop the Colleges into University institutions, there need, perhaps, be no great objection to temporary arrangements, however anomalous, designed to alleviate the hardships of their apprenticeship, as the hardships of University Colleges are alleviated by the anomaly of the external degrees of the University of London. If, on the other hand, it is intended that they shall remain municipal Colleges, with only such autonomy as is compatible with financial control by the representatives of the ratepayers, the privilege of thus exercising collectively University powers which cannot be entrusted to them individually could not be confined to them alone. The same privilege would have to be offered at least to University Colleges and to such institutions as the Royal Colleges of Art and Music and the Architectural Association; and I do not see how it could be logically withheld from institutions of "Further Education" generally. Indeed, the triads of Technical College, College of Art and College of Commerce maintained by some of the larger municipalities might claim to be specially entitled to such a privilege - and the Scottish Central Institutions would have an even stronger claim.

8. This issue is difficult enough, without being complicated by further refinements. I do not share the view of those who feel it necessary to emphasise the essential differences between courses at Universities and Colleges of Technology, or who object to the grant of University powers to "single-faculty" institutions. University institutions primarily devoted to technological studies should, indeed, provide for their students a wide range of such studies and should also provide teaching in the pure sciences and in such "arts" subjects as history, English, modern languages and economics; but it does not follow that they need be qualified to grant a B.A. or a B.Sc. degree. The degree of B.Tech. seems to me to be perfectly appropriate to Colleges of Technology which are otherwise qualified for the grant of University powers. The real question is: whether it is to be the policy of Government that they should become so qualified.

9. I have myself no doubt how this question should be answered. Not every College of Technology will be able to aspire to University status; but it should be the policy of Government to treat them as a group and to develop from among them some major University institutions. Some, situated in University cities, may become the Faculties of Technology of the neighbouring University - a relationship which (save in exceptional cases) might be unhealthy

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for both parties if artificially created now, but would be perfectly appropriate when a new College has worked out its standards of technological education, and can therefore enter into equal partnership with a University on the basis of a mutual acceptance of each other's teaching. Others, geographically too remote from the nearest University to make a real union possible, may qualify for independent University powers. Others, again, may content themselves with a status similar to that of the Royal College of Art, whose A.R.C.A. has a commanding reputation in its own field. Subject to the unanimous recommendations of the Committee in paragraph 30 of our Report, this policy need not involve any brusque disturbance of the existing relations between any of the Colleges and their providing local authorities; and I think it important to avoid the disturbance which would result from a premature adoption of the B.Tech. If I may venture a suggestion which involves the Royal permission, I should prefer that, on the analogy of the institutions derived from the Exhibition of 1851, all the Colleges should be given the title of the "Royal Colleges of Technology" and that, for the present, each should be given power, subject to the moderation of the Academic Board of the National Council of Technology, to confer, at the graduating stage, an Associateship of the Royal Colleges of Technology and, at the post-graduate stage, a Fellowship.

10. I believe that the declaration of such a policy would do more than any premature imitation of University degrees to concentrate the attention of those responsible for the management and the technical efficiency of industry on a new experiment in education designed to meet their needs; I believe that the advice which they can give to their apprentices will be more influential than parental preferences in directing a satisfactory flow of students into the Colleges of Technology; and I believe that no policy would be more likely to enlist both their active co-operation and their financial generosity, than one deliberately aimed at the progressive development of a future system of fully self-governing University Institutes of Technology.

E. P.

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Universities of:

King's College, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
Sunderland Technical College.
King's College.
Queen Mary College.
University College.
Imperial College of Science and Technology.
Battersea Polytechnic.
Northampton Polytechnic. I Woolwich Polytechnic.
West Ham Municipal College.
Manchester with the Manchester College of Technology.
University of Wales:
Cardiff University College.
Swansea University College.
Bangor University College.
University College of Nottingham.
University College of Southampton.

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Paragraphs 1-6.


1. Opening Statement. Need for a standing organisation.

2. General evidence of deficiencies in technological education.

3. Need for comprehensive plan of recruitment and training.

4. Individual and joint responsibilities of Universities and Technical Colleges.

5-6. Need for simpler and more systematic contacts between industry and education.


Paragraphs 7-21

7-11. Broad classification of technically trained staff required in Engineering industry and of responsibilities of Universities and Technical Colleges.

12. Estimated annual output of Engineers within the scope of the Report required during next decade. Existing provision for Engineering education.

13-16. Enumeration of Engineering degree courses in Universities and Technical Colleges.

17. Summary of pre-war output of Engineers.

18. Summary of war-time (1943) output of Engineers.

19-21. Estimate of required output for the next decade.


Paragraphs 22-32

22. Industrial requirements not fully met by existing courses.

23-24. Distinction in principle and practice between University and Technical College education.

25. Criticism of the application of this distinction to Technical College courses. Excessive reliance on evening work.

26-27. Need for new courses at the higher level in Technical Colleges, involving substantial periods of continuous study. Estimated number of students for whom the courses should be provided.

28-29. Organisation of the new courses and selection of the institutions providing them.

30. Constitution of the new Colleges of Technology.

31. Needs of London, and of technologies other than engineering, for regional and national organisation.

32. Such an organisation should cover the whole field of Technical College education and should recognise the importance of the work of the other Colleges.

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Paragraphs 33-40

33. Regional Advisory Councils. Particular importance of University representation and consultation at the academic level.

34. Regional Academic Boards of Technology.

35. National Council of Technology.

36. Suggestions for the constitution of Regional Academic Boards.

37. Suggestions for eight Regions.

38. Especial importance of Regional organisation for Greater London.

39. Consultation with Scotland.

40. Responsibility of Academic Boards for better recruitment and training.


Paragraphs 41-51

41-42. Previous deficiencies in recruitment and training.

43. Need for co-operative effort to attract students by schools, Universities, Government agencies and industry.

44. State Bursaries and Scholarships.

45. Recruitment of students from industry into full-time education. Access to Universities from Technical Colleges.

46. Access at the matriculation stage.

47-48. Access at the "intermediate" stage.

49. Mutual access between Universities and Technical Colleges at the post-graduate stage.

50. Remarks on research.

51. The problem of highly specialised technologies.


Paragraphs 52-69

52-55. Agreed principles as to nature and method of award, and maintenance of standards. Responsibilities of the National Council of Technology.

56. Title of qualification. Division of opinion.

57-61. Arguments in favour of a Bachelor's Degree.

62-65. Arguments in favour of a State Diploma.

66-67. Agreement on the need for a higher research qualification analogous to the Ph.D.

68. Certificate for post-graduate study, not connoting individual research.

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Paragraphs 70-80

70-75. Need for training in Industrial Management.

76-80. Need for special arrangements with industry to enable teachers of technology to keep their knowledge up to date.