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Modern Needs in Universities1

Nature volume 74, pages 648649 (25 October 1906) | Download Citation

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UNIVERSITIES in America and Canada are paying more and more attention to our own language and classics, and less and less to Latin and Greek. Not that the latter are excluded, but they no longer outrank other branches of study. Their doors are open to the new forces of the day, and they have at their heads a body of remarkably able and zealous men who not only keep the universities foremost as progressive educative agencies, but whose potent voices are heard upon public questions, as leaders of the higher ideals in politics and national affairs. Much can also be said of those occupying similar positions in Scotland. St. Andrews has just erected a new chemical laboratory for research, Dundee is about to erect such schools as we are to-day to open for Edinburgh. We all know where Glasgow stands in modern branches of education. Aberdeen has just been supplied with new buildings efficiently equipped for the study of science and medicine. No less than eleven new chambers have been assigned to modern studies, to meet pressing demands. The University of London recently separated economics and engineer- ing from arts, and established separate faculties. It is also announced that owing to the unrivalled facilities found in the metropolis, it has to be prepared for the advent of new schools of practical study or research. In the new Universities of Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Sheffield, modern studies are to be paramount. They are to resemble the American type. Harvard University has just been left 800,000l. sterling for an institute of technology, but as one of the foremost of such schools is in Boston, she has proposed union with that, and offered if needed new buildings, as part of the University. McGill University, Montreal, has just had handed over to her the agricultural college built by Sir Wm. Macdonald at a cost of 600,000l. Thus the millions are now being devoted to science and practical studies, theology and classics being in the opinion of donors already amply pro- vided for. This betokens a steady march forward from the policy of the past, not that it is desirable to exclude any of the former university courses, but there should be added others needed to guide and advance the new knowledge which is creating new conditions.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/074648a0

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