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University Education in Nottingham

Nature volume 162, pages 240241 (14 August 1948) | Download Citation



ON July 9, 1948, the King in Council conferred full university status upon University College, Nottingham, so that the efforts of more than seventy years were crowned with success. In 1875 Mr. Richard Enfield asked the Nottingham Corporation to erect buildings to accommodate the Cambridge University extension lectures then being delivered in the city, and to add a library and a chemical laboratory. An anonymous donor offered £10,000 for this purpose. The Corporation adopted the scheme in an improved form, to include also a natural history museum and provision for the teaching of several branches of science, which up to then had been carried on by the Mechanics' Institute. The foundation stone was laid in 1877, and the College opened in 1881. At first there were only four professors, the Rev. J. F. Blake (natural sciences), Dr. F. Clowes (chemistry and metallurgy), Dr. J. A. Fleming (physics, mathematics and mechanics), and the Rev. J. E. Symes (English), with four lecturers, two demonstrators, and fifteen part-time teachers of science. Dr. Fleming (later Sir Ambrose Fleming, the inventor of the thermionic valve) left after one year, and was succeeded by Mr. William Garnett. At first there was no principal ; but Dr. Clowes acted in this capacity from 1887 until 1890, and Mr. Symes from 1890 until 1911, both in addition to their professorial duties. A professor of engineering was appointed in 1884. In the following year the College started to train teachers. In 1893 a new wing was opened for the engineering and technical students, designed by the versatile Dr. Frank Granger, who later became professor of classics and philosophy. In 1898, Mr. Ernest Weekley, afterwards well known for his books on philology, became professor of French, and Dr. F. S. Kipping, from whose researches on the organic compounds of silicon the new silicone plastic industry has developed, became professor of chemistry. The culmination of this period of development was the Charter of Incorporation (as a University College) conferred by the Privy Council in 1903.

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