University and Educational Intelligence

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    OXFORD.—In a Convocation, held on Tuesday last, the University, or at least a section of it, displayed itself in an unfavourable light. The Convocation House was crowded, not because of the Statute on Research Degrees, which came before the House, and passed its final stage without opposition, but because of the proposal, which seemed to be a modest one, that Anthropology should be included among the subjects of the Final School of Natural Science, not as an extra, but as an equivalent subject.This proposal was from the first strongly opposed by a few members of Congregation, but passed the two readings in that body by substantial majorities. The opponents of the subject, however, were not content to accept the results of these votes, and issued an urgent whip to members of Convocation, with the result that the statute was rejected by 68 votes against 60. Presumably the philosophers, historians, and divines who succeeded in throwing out the statute at its final stage are pleased with their performance. To the outside world, which is less than ever convinced that education is comprised within the limits of the subjects of the School of Literæ Humaniores, their action will be but another instance of the in-competency of a section of the classical world to understand what is going on around them. The circular which was issued by the Opponents of the statute was so artfully worded as to rouse theological suspicions. Reference was made to the undesirability, of the comparative study of religions, and it was obvious that a considerable proportion of those who attended to vote against the measure, had come in obedience to a summons to resist the enemy, and were in no way qualified to form a judgment on educational matters. The larger proportion, however, consisted of those classical teachers whose belief it is that science may safely be ignored in a nineteenth century education, and that a “good general education” means only a training in the Greek and Latin languages, with a smattering of ancient history and philosophy. The result of the vote was a great disappointment to those who had hoped that the work of Prof. Tylor, Prof. Arthur Thomson, and Mr. H. Balfour, would find its fruition in a small but earnest school of anthropologists in Oxford.

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    University and Educational Intelligence. Nature 52, 188–189 (1895) doi:10.1038/052188a0

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