Letter | Published:

The Value of the “External” Degrees of the University of London

Nature volume 88, pages 445446 (01 February 1912) | Download Citation



IT is often the case that a system, whether of Government or of social custom, passes muster until its shortcomings are brought to light by some specific instance of hardship or injustice. The reform introduced in the constitution and government of the University of London, due to the report of the Commissioners of 1898, was devised to remedy alleged shortcomings in the system of awarding degrees on examinations alone; and the “internal” side of the University was then constituted, in which the teachers were given considerable (but in the opinion of the writer, insufficient) control over teaching and examinations. In spite of the fact that purely external examinations (i.e. examinations in which the teacher takes no part) were unknown, save in London, in China (the system has since that time been altered there), and in New Zealand and in India (the latter two countries having copied the system in vogue in the University of London), it was resolved that this “external” system should be continued; it has ever since formed one of the divisions of the University.

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  1. University College, Gower Street, London, W.C.

    • W. RAMSAY


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