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in non-technical subjects. This, then, is one of the valuable functions which the Extension system still performs.
The second function to which I refer is of a different nature. In many an English town there are educational agencies of various kinds which arose quite independently of each other. But in several places the desire has been felt to co-ordinate such agencies, and to weld them together, so as to form a single institution. Thus in three towns-Reading, Exeter, and Colchester—a new type of Local College has arisen. In each of these cases the initiative has been taken by the representatives of University Extension. The process of co-ordinating the various local resources for education has been conducted under the direction of the Universities, acting through the Extension machinery. There are signs that such a result, so successfully obtained in the three towns above-named, will ere long be accomplished in other towns also. In this field, then, a most valuable work remains to be done by the University Extension system.
of the A new
In conclusion, I would venture to say that the rendered to England by the missionary enterprise Universities has been both intellectual and social. educational stimulus has been given to the country. Different classes of the community have been brought into sympathetic relations by fellowship in the elevating pleasures of study. And while the Universities have conferred benefits, they have also received benefits. This is strongly felt by many of our best University men who have been leaders and workers in the movement. At the centres of University Extension they have learned lessons not less valuable than those which they have imparted. The Universities themselves have acquired a new hold on the esteem, we might even say on the affection, of the nation at large. Nor are the Universities mere abstract names to the students in various towns where their lecturers teach. Their ancient buildings and their gardens are now familiar to thousands who, in former days, would never have seen them
Every year since 1888, when the first Summer Meeting was held at Oxford, large numbers of students are invited from all parts of the country to pass three or four weeks at one or other of the old Universities, where their time is divided between study and recreation. Coming from the busy centres of industry and commerce, they are brought under the subtle influences of that genius loci which haunts our venerable seats of learning, and thus form definite local associations with the Alma Mater already known to them in the persons of her emissaries. The large attendance at these Summer Meetings, the interest which they excite, and the pleasures which they give, are among the signs that our Universities were well inspired in entering upon a movement which has already had such good results, and which, as we believe, has still a work of great usefulness to do.
THE HIGHER EDUCATION OF
MRS HENRY SIDGWICK.
[The lecture on the development of the Higher Education of Women in England during the century, which I was unable to give at the Summer Meeting in August, was not only never written, but I had not got so far even as to collect all the material I hoped to obtain for the purpose. Moreover for various reasons I am unable to develop the subject as I should like now. All I can do is to put down a few facts and considerations which may help to fill the gap there would otherwise be in the account of the educational work of the century. E. M. S.]
It would not of course be true to say that in the earlier part of the century there was no secondary or higher education possible for women. There were some private schools with high ideals well carried out, there were some girls who were well educated at home by their fathers, and there were some women, Mrs Somerville, for instance, who contrived notwithstanding difficulties to obtain higher education. Moreover we find Mrs Barbauld and others encouraging girls to devote themselves to more advanced studies—such as Hebrew-after their schoolroom days were over. The general level of educa
tion was nevertheless deplorable, and those who really wished their girls to have a good secondary education found it extremely difficult to provide it on account of the scarcity of teachers of their own sex who had any intellectual training whatever. It was this professional demand for educated governesses which led to the founding of Queen's College, Harley Street, under the auspices of the Governesses' Benevolent Institution in 1848, and of Bedford College in 1849. These were the beginnings of any systematic provision of Higher Education for women. The popular view at that time of women's intellectual incapacity for receiving it, which long neglect had rendered plausible, may be gauged by the oftenquoted remark of Professor F. D. Maurice, in an inaugural lecture respecting Queen's College :
"We have set down mathematics in our course of studies, knowing that we might thereby encounter the charge of giving a little learning, which is dangerous, but being ready to meet that charge in this case as in others. We are aware that our pupils are not likely to advance far in mathematics, but we believe that if they learn really what they do learn they will not have got what is dangerous, but what is safe."
The next step attempted was due to the desire of women to equip themselves for another profession. In 1856, Miss J. M. White endeavoured to obtain admission to the medical examinations of the University of London, an attempt which was repeated by Mrs Garrett Anderson in 1862. These efforts failed, and it was not till 1878 that the University of London admitted women to its degree examinations and degrees. Now at the end of the century-in the newly-constituted teaching University for London, women are on an equality with men, and the University includes two colleges for women, Bedford College and the Royal Holloway College (founded in 1887), as schools of the University, besides the London School of Medicine for Women (founded in 1875), and besides University College, which admits women to its classes.
The movement for the provision of better secondary and higher education for women was part of a general educational awakening in the country, and a powerful stimulus was given to it by the Schools Inquiry Commission, which sat from 1864 to the end of 1867, and reported in Dec. 1867. The Assistant Commissioners, who had examined and reported on the condition of secondary education in various districts, gave a deplorable account of the insufficiency of the girls' schools and of the immense difficulty of finding any adequately-educated female teachers for them, and this was confirmed by the evidence of Miss Beale, Miss Buss, Miss Davies, Miss Clough and others.
The Commission recommended the establishment of further colleges for women, and in particular supported the proposal then recently promulgated by the founders of Girton College for the establishment of a new college, "designed to hold in relation to Girls' schools and home training a position analogous to that occupied by the Universities towards the public schools for boys." This College began its existence at Hitchin in 1869 and worked from the first for the examinations of the University of Cambridge, as also did Newnham College, of which we may take either the establishment of lectures for women in Cambridge in 1870, or the opening by Miss Clough of a house for students in Regent Street in 1871, as the beginning. The Honour degree examinations of the University were formally opened to students of Girton and Newnham Colleges in 1881. In the meanwhile Somerville College and Lady Margaret Hall were founded at Oxford in 1879; and some of the examinations of Oxford University were first opened in 1884, and others from time to time afterwards as required. The Victoria University was opened in 1880; the Scottish Universities admitted women in 1892, and the University of Durham in 1895. The new University of Wales has from the first admitted women on equal terms with men; and the Royal University of Ireland, which is an examining body, is, with its affiliated Colleges, similarly open to them.