Research in Technical Colleges


    A CIRCULAR (NO. 94, dated April 8, 1946) on “Research in Technical Colleges” has been issued by the Board of Education ; this emphasizes that the main function of technical colleges is the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, especially knowledge of value to industry and those engaged in industry, and the importance and educational value of research cannot be overstressed. Taking Great Britain as a whole, however, the total contribution in research from technical colleges has been comparatively small. The attitude of many local education authorities towards research in technical colleges appears to be somewhat negative, and the time has come to recognize that it should be regarded as a normal and important function of such colleges. In making provision for research facilities, the circular suggests that local education authorities should have regard to the suitability of a teacher, temperamentally and intellectually, for undertaking research work. If he is suitable, the teacher should be given facilities to undertake the type of research in which he is interested, including adequate equipment and laboratory assistance. The most important and suitable type of research for such teachers is applied research undertaken at the direct or indirect suggestion of industry and commerce. Routine testing should only be done when industrial facilities are not available. The results of research should be published as soon as possible after completion, subject, where appropriate, to an agreed delay to allow the firm paying for the work to have priority in applying the results, and subject also where necessary to consideration of patent possibilities. Where fees are to be paid from outside sources, an equitable arrangement should be agreed upon beforehand as to the allocation to be made between the teacher concerned and the college authorities.

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    Research in Technical Colleges. Nature 157, 544 (1946) doi:10.1038/157544b0

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