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books of almost every College are ' Commoners' (Commensales), who are admitted upon payment to share in the educational and social advantages of the College, but who, strictly speaking, are not members of it at all.
The Halls, i.e. the Public Halls of the University, differ from the Colleges chiefly in being neither incorporated nor endowed. They have hitherto preserved their original character as institutions in which students live together under the charge of a Principal, who is responsible for both their discipline and their instruction. But by Statutes framed by the University of Oxford Commissioners, which became law in 1882, St. Alban Hall is now completely united to Merton College: New Inn Hall will be completely united to Balliol College and St. Mary Hall to Oriel College on the next vacancy in the office of Principal of each of those Halls: and St. Edmund Hall, the only one then remaining, will be partially united to Queen's College on the next vacancy in the office of Principal of that Hall.
For more than two centuries previous to 1855 no person could be a member of the University unless he were also a member of a College or Hall: but since that year the facilities of obtaining admission have been widely extended, and persons may now be admitted to share in all the privileges of the University in one of three other capacities.
1. Under a Statute passed, in pursuance of an Act of Parliament, in 1854, any Master of Arts may, subject to certain conditions, obtain a licence to open his house as a Private Hall, in which he can receive students to whom he acts as Tutor. Of such Private Halls there are at present two (Charsley's Hall and Turrell's Hall).
2. Under a Statute passed in 1868, the regulation which required members of the University to be members of a College or Hall, Public or Private, was repealed. Any person may now become a member of the University without becoming a member of a College or Hall, provided that he satisfies certain disciplinary requirements. Such students are free, within certain limits, to choose their own lodging, and to fix their own rate of living. In matters of discipline they are under the control of a board entitled the ' Delegacy of Non-Collegiate Students.'
3. Under a Statute passed in 1871, New Foundations for the purpose of academical study and education may be admitted, under certain conditions, to enjoy the privileges, except as regards the academical status of their Head, which are possessed by the existing Colleges and Public Halls within the University. Of such New Foundations there is at present one (Keble College): it differs from the older Colleges chiefly in having as its governing body a Council composed of persons who are not necessarily members of the University or engaged in academical pursuits.
The opportunities of obtaining both teaching and pecuniary help are so numerous, and the courses of study recognised by the University in its Examinations are so various, that it is impossible to give any brief general statement of the Academical Curriculum. It may, however, be useful to mention here that a student of average ability can obtain the degree of B.A. in a period of about two years and eight months (see p. 121), and that he can do so, with economy, as a resident member of a College or Hall, at a cost not exceeding £300 (see p. 226). The following pages have been arranged so as to enable each student to gather for himself such information, both as to his entrance into and his conduct while resident at the University, as he may require for his own special needs.
OF ADMISSION, RESIDENCE, AND DISCIPLINE.
I. OP ADMISSION".
It has been already pointed out that there is a broad distinction between the University on the one hand, and the Colleges and Halls on the other. It has also been pointed out that the regulation which required every member of the University to be also a member of a College or Hall no longer exists. A student may thus be admitted as a member of the University in one of two capacities: (i) as a member of a College, or Hall, or New Foundation; (2) or as a Non-Collegiate student of the University.
In whatever capacity he is admitted he must previously have satisfied certain requirements.
§ 1. Requirements of a College or Hall.
The ordinary requirements are of three kinds: (1) a candidate must obtain permission to have his name entered on the books of the College or Hall; (2) he must, with the exceptions specified below, pass a certain examination; (3) he must pay certain fees. Some of these requirements are relaxed, or are inapplicable, in the case of selected candidates for the Civil Service of India (see p. 223), of students of Affiliated Colleges (see p. 225), and of those who merely wish to obtain a degree in Music (see p. 125).
1. Applications For Admission.—The difficulty of satisfying the first of these requirements has been considerably , lessened by the repeal of the statute which required every Undergraduate member of a College or Hall to reside, for three years at least, within its walls. The number of rooms available for Undergraduates being limited, the number of admissions was limited also: and a candidate had little chance of obtaining admission to one of the more distinguished or more popular Colleges, unless notice of his intention to become a
candidate for admission had been given several years previous to his actual residence. But although, in most cases, it is still desirable that such notice should be given as early as possible, yet a candidate who possesses the necessary literary qualifications has practically no difficulty in obtaining admission, even to a distinguished College, at short notice. He cannot, however, in that case be sure of obtaining rooms within the College walls, since the vacant rooms, the number of which is almost always fewer than that of successful candidates for admission, are usually offered to such candidates either in the order in which their names have been previously entered on the books, or in the order of merit at the examination.
As soon, therefore, as a student has determined to enter the University as a member of a College or Hall, he should apply to the Head of the College or Hall upon which his choice has fallen. Such an application should specify (i) the exact names and age of the candidate, (2) the date at which he wishes to begin residence, (3) the name and address of his parent or guardian. He will then, if he is accepted as a candidate, receive an intimation of the date at which he is expected to present himself for examination. He will find it to his advantage, if he be a candidate for Honours, to arrange to begin residence in Michaelmas Term.
If in the interval between the application for admission and the date of the examination any such change takes place in the plans of a candidate as involves the removal of his name from the List of Applicants, the Head of the College or Hall should be immediately informed of it.
At the following Colleges there are special regulations which either modify or supplement the above general regulations, viz.:—
At University, a certain number of vacancies are filled up by open competition at the Annual Scholarship Examination in Hilary Term: such candidates may enter their names up to the day of Examination. Other candidates must apply in the usual way to the Master, and should do so, if possible, not later than the Term preceding that in which they desire to come into residence.
At Balliol, a candidate for admission is required to signify to the Master, at the time of application, whether he wishes to reside within the College walls or in lodgings out of College: he must have attained his fifteenth birthday.
At Merton, the Warden will receive the names of all candidates for admission to the College which are sent to him with satisfactory testimonials. In case the number of those who reach the required standard , exceeds the number of rooms vacant, rooms will be assigned in the order of merit in the Examination, and those who do not obtain rooms can reside in lodgings until the next Term.
At Queen's, a candidate should signify to the Provost, at the time of application, whether he wishes to reside in or out of College.
At New College, application should be made to the Warden at the latest a fortnight before the beginning of the Examination. A proportion of the vacancies is always reserved for those who pass the best Examination, whether their names have been on the Warden's list before that date or not. For the remainder a preference is given to those who have applied first. No one is obliged to reside in College unless he desires it.
At Lincoln, candidates for admission must apply by letter to the Rector, giving names in full and date of birth, and stating the Term in which they wish to come into residence. Letters addressed to the Rector on the subject should have ' Admission' inscribed on the envelope.
At Corpus, applications are received until the day of the Examination. In addition to the ordinary Matriculation Examination in June, a certain number of vacancies are filled up at the annual Scholarship Examination. All applications for admission should be addressed to The President, C.C.C., Oxford; and 'Matriculation' should be written on the envelope.
At Pembroke, no name is received which already stands for acceptance at another College. •
At Keble, names are received only for Michaelmas and Hilary Terms.
At Hertford, candidates for admission must make application in writing to the Principal, and must in all cases produce satisfactory testimonials as to character and diligence. Rooms in College are assigned first to Scholars and Exhibitioners in the order of their election, and then to Commoners in the order in which their names have been received as candidates for admission.
At the Halls, previous notice, although always desirable, is seldom necessary.
2. Examination. — Candidates are ordinarily required to pass . an examination conducted by the College authorities. The nature of this examination varies according as a College does or does not require its students to read for Honours: in all cases a candidate is required to satisfy the College that he is likely to pass 'Responsions' (p. 129) within a reasonable period, but in some cases there is the further requirement that he must show special proficiency in one or other of the subjects which are