The Cambridge Diploma in Agriculture

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    THE question of agricultural education at Cambridge—of which the latest development is the establishment of a Diploma in Agriculture—is comparatively recent. The movement began some three years ago (in July, 1890) with a letter addressed by the President of the Board of Agriculture to the Duke of Devonshire in his capacity of Chancellor of the University. This led to the appointment of a University syndicate (i.e. committee), who framed a carefully weighed scheme of agricultural education and examination, the funds for which were to be supplied partly by the University and partly by the Cambridgeshire County Council. The scheme was thrown out—on financial grounds—by the Senate, and here it seemed likely that agricultural education would come to a standstill, had it not been for the action of the County Councils of the Eastern Counties,1 who, with the help of certain University professors, organised the Cambridge and Counties Agricultural Education Committee, an arrangement by which the counties supply the funds, while the University members supply the teaching. Under this scheme agricultural students are now receiving at Cambridge instruction in a number of subjects bearing directly on agriculture. The students are not necessarily members of the University, nor is agriculture a recognised department of University study; but it has now been practically sanctioned by the appointment of a University syndicate, whose duty it is to superintend the examinations on which the new diploma is to be granted. This procedure has a precedent in the successfully established diploma in State Medicine, and cannot fail to exert—both as a check and a stimulus—a wholesome effect on the unofficial agricultural department.

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