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degrees are not understood in America, where, as in Germany, higher study leads direct to the doctorate. And besides, what American graduate students need is advanced lectures and the Seminar, where they can rub shoulders with other students and be personally stimulated by the professor or teacher. It is not mere advice as to books and reading that they want, but personal contact with the master. This they have at home, and in Germany. English professors are often either occupied with trying to lecture down to the undergraduate, or else engaged in their own work, and accustomed to regard teaching as an interruption. Unless we supplement the offer of degrees by the organisation of more advanced study, the only men who are likely to come to us from America are those who come for social rather than educational purposes.
At Boston, on the Queen's birthday, I dined with a society consisting of Canadians working as instructors or as graduate students at Harvard. In number they were about forty, a very strong and promising set of men, who were all English subjects, yet who looked to Boston as the metropolis of education. When I expressed an earnest wish that hereafter Canadian graduates might sometimes complete their studies at Oxford and Cambridge rather than on New England soil, my words were cheered to the echo. To scarcely any of those young men, probably, had a graduate course in England suggested itself as a possibility. Yet in these days, when England and her colonies are drawing nearer together, ought they not also to associate in university study? Is not the comparative isolation of Oxford and Cambridge a deplorable dereliction of the duty which the universities owe to the empire? It is too much to expect that many young Australians and Canadians can come to us for the regular undergraduate course. But we might easily, if we chose, attract some of the most brilliant of colonial graduates for a briefer term of study. Undoubtedly, however, this cannot be done save by some trouble and some changes. It is a mistake to suppose that graduate study can merely be fitted on to our existing scheme.
The best hope of those who would fain see Oxford and Cambridge adopt imperial responsibilities lies in the observation of history. Thirty years ago, university reformers like Matthew Arnold and Mark Pattison thought that the State would step in to control the higher education of England; that the universities had no power of expansion. But since those days we have learned another lesson. The two
universities bave worked out a vast scheme for the examination of schools; they have carried university extension into all the large towns of England; they have partially taken charge (too rashly, I fear) of the education of women. In quite recent days they have captured the profession of the Civil Service of England and India. At present it remains to be seen whether they will proceed further with this expansion or whether they will prefer to become fashionable finishing schools for the well-to-do classes. In face of the new universities of the north and west, and the promised teaching university in London, Oxford and Cambridge must either go forward or else fall behind.
I found it to be in America the universal opinion that if the English universities organised graduate courses, and awarded the doctorate at the end of them, there would be a flow to England of young graduates from the United States and the English colonies. The opportunity is unquestionably present; it is for us either to use or to neglect it. Of course the first duty of Oxford and Cambridge is to England; but only Little Englanders would underrate the advantages of a closer federation of English-speaking universities. At the present time Harvard exercises great influence throughout the north and west of America by sheer intellectual force; it seems not impossible that Oxford and Cambridge might if they chose become the two hemispheres of the brain of the empire.
While in this particular matter a visit to America suggests that changes are advisable in Oxford and Cambridge, he would be an unworthy son of the English universities who did not recognise th at in many things we are the better off. When highly educated Americans visit Oxford or Cambridge they generally urge us not to change, but to preserve our peculiar institutions. Our ancient buildings, our noble colleges, our close ties to the past, our liberty in the pre sent, appear more admirable than ever when we come straight from a land of novelties and experiments. In many things we inherit good working compromises which newly founded universities could not accept, but which it would be very doubtful wisdom to give up. Especially this is true of the attitude of Oxford and Cambridge towards religion. The Bill for the Abolition of Tests removed all marked unfairness to those who were not members of the Establishment, but did not produce a theoretic equality among the adherents of the various sections of the Christian Church. And as the great majority of graduates who belong to any religious body are Episcopalians, a good working compromise is secured.
In America the religious conditions are quite different. For many years the distinctive doctrines of particular religious bodies have been dying down into a general level of broad evangelical Christianity. Hence, though most American universities have been founded in the interests of this or that religious body, it has been possible at nearly all to arrange religious services which are acceptable to the great mass of the students. Of the older foundations Yale is Congregational, Princeton is Presbyterian; of the newer, Chicago is Baptist, Evanston Wesleyan, and so forth. And in such cases some attendance at divine service is required of students. But the services are such as could scarcely raise scruples in any one professing Christianity. Anything like religious persecution is quite foreign to
So everyone in the university, except the president, is usually quite free to hold any religious views he pleases. Christian associations exist at all universities ; they are encouraged by the authorities, and largely used by the students.
Thus an undenominational Christianity furnishes in America a working religious compromise, just as the Anglican Church, with its traditional moderation, does among ourselves. The alternative is secularism, which has been adopted by some of the newer universities, but which does not suit the genius of the Anglo-Saxon race. A recrudescence of doctrinal intolerance might force the secularist solution on the universities of either England or America ; but in America matters seem to be in a position of fairly stable equilibrium.
Another matter in which acquaintance with American universities leads only to a frank recognition of their necessary divergence from ours is their government. Oxford and Cambridge are perhaps the most complete democracies in existence. The Congregation at Oxford and the Senate at Cambridge, comprising all the resident teachers, have a power which is almost unlimited in matters of finance, of organisation, and of ordinance. They can do almost anything except where restrained by the wills of deceased benefactors. In American universities power is less evenly divided. Some matters are decided at a general meeting of the faculty. In each university there is an external board of trustees or overseers, to which grave questions are referred. The head professor in each particular branch of study exercises over his subordinates an authority which is extensive. And the president is often the real repository of power in the organisation. It is the most marked feature of American life, whether political, commercial, or educational, that power in every institution seems to gravitate into the hands of one man. Every one knows that in ancient days democracy led to tyranny. In America democracy has led to the rule of the boss, who is a tyrant of a kind, basing his authority, not on an armed guard, but on the power of the purse and on superior knowledge and skill. By their presidents universities are made or unmade, and as long as the institution is prosperous (which it can scarcely fail to be in America), the president can ordinarily carry out his will as regards the direction of study, the appointment of teachers, and in fact in all matters of finance and organisation. The Vice-Chancellor at Oxford or Cambridge is merely a chairman who gives a casting vote; the president of an American university, like the President at Washington or the president of a railway company, is a real ruler, who can make peace or war, and appoint those of whom he approves to almost any position of influence. In warfare, as Macaulay so clearly showed, a second-rate general can better conduct a campaign than the wisest consulting board. And as the fierce competition of the modern world is a
'The Senate at Cambridge includes also non-resident Masters of Arts; but these seldom come up to vote.
perpetual warfare, it must be allowed that the boss system is very well adapted to secure success in all fields of activity. The clumsy machinery of English universities could not work for a year apart from the restraints of tradition and the presence of a spirit of moderation and conciliation. It possesses no means whatever for restraining an energetic and determined minority. But an American university, like an American railroad, can fight and make terms, can crush foes and develop rapidly in any necessary direction. However, Oxford and Cambridge men will be more ready to acknowledge the advantage which American universities thus possess, than to try to acquire it themselves.
In the matter of university education for women, the experience of America should be especially valuable. Owing to a variety of reasons, the desire of higher education has spread like wildfire amon American women. In the roomy west, where careers of all sorts abound, and where the imperative calls of practical life can scarcely be resisted by any man of energy, there is a great field open to educated
The Bar, the Church, medicine, and other professions are open to them; and in fact it would be difficult to find any walk in life quite safe from their intrusion. Never, since the matriarchal scheme of society fell into decay, had women such a field for their energies.
A very badly paid profession in America is that of the teacher. And in all countries the life of the teacher is full of drudgery. Thus we cannot be surprised that in most parts of the United States men of ability have seldom become schoolmasters, while women have crowded into the pursuit. If we except a few cities such as Boston, we shall find the schools of America, from the smallest preparatory academies to the high schools, mainly in the hands of women.
In some states ninety per cent. of the teachers are women. At Chicago in 1892, the number of male teachers was 219, the number of female teachers was 3081. In all schools, excepting in certain parts of the east and south, boys and girls are commonly taught together up to the university age. And the number of girls in the higher classes of these schools exceeds the number of boys almost in the proportion of two to one.
In this state of affairs, so characteristic of a new country, and so radically different from what we are accustomed to in Europe, it would seem quite natural that boys and girls who had been educated together up to eighteen should go on together to the universities. If Eton and Harrow were mixed schools, mainly taught by women, it would seem strange that Oxford and Cambridge should claim to belong to one sex only. Yet as a matter of fact the co-educating university in America meets with obstinate opposition.
The universities founded by the states of central and western America, such as those of Michigan, Wisconsin, and California, admit women and men as students on the same terms. But the older universities of the east, such as Harvard and Princeton, do not admit women to full membership, and are strongly opposed to the mixing of the sexes in undergraduate classes. And of late years there have arisen in the New England states several large women's colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, Bryn Mawr, and Smith-which educate women separately.
Any one can study in America the two sets of institutions, the coeducating university, and the university meant for one sex only, as they exist side by side. It would be a mistake to suppose, however, that the admission of women as ordinary students of a university settles the problem so far as they are concerned. Of course they would be eligible for all fellowships and prizes : that goes without saying. But there remains a further question how far they shall be admitted into the teaching staff and the governing council. When I reached the University of Michigan, I was rather surprised to find that, although co-education had been the rule there since 1870, yet the woman question was still a burning one. I commend this fact to the graduates of Oxford and Cambridge. The women at Michigan are dissatisfied that they are not more largely represented on the teaching staff, and there is the old demand for justice and equality. If only nature had abstained from original injustice and instituted equality when the female sex was organised these questions might have admitted of a readier solution.
My own inquiries, which were, I fear, persistent and detailed, led me to believe that the future is not with the mixed universities. Among the professors in such universities there is widely spread a deep feeling of dissatisfaction with the system. They complain that the mixed classes want homogeneity and vitality. And in the classes themselves a curious drift may be observed, a few men or women in a class mainly composed of the other sex tending to become fewer or disappear. And human nature being what it is, it is inevitable that the relations between fellow-students of opposite sexes should either become hostile or else too intimate. Either the men will regard the women as unsexed rivals, or else they will waste time in running after them. The one extreme prevails at Cornell, where men and women meet only in class, and scarcely speak to one another; the other extreme prevails at Chicago, where the boys and girls wander about in pairs. It is worth observing in this connection that mixed education is thirty years old at Cornell, and quite new at Chicago, so that in this matter experience does not remove difficulties. A sceptic might doubt whether much of feminine society would help to bring the college career to a satisfactory end. Grave scandals, one must allow, appear to be almost impossible in America, but the experience of boat-race week in our English universities seems to show that philandering and study are not compatible.
In 1893 Dr. Angell, President of the University of Michigan, was