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non-resident: and the majority of persons on the 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 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. To several of them Exhibitions or Scholarships are attached, which are held in trust by the University or other bodies.
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 is at present one (Charsley'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the regulation which required members of the University to be members of a College or Hall, Public or Private, was repealed.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. No public provision is made for their instruction, other than that which is open to all members of the University without distinction: but in matters of discipline they are under the control of a board entitled the' Delegacy of Students not attached to any College or Hall.'
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 of 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 which are recognized 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. 102), 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. 169). 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.
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: (1) as a member of a College, or Hall, or New Foundation; (2) or as a student of the University 'unattached to any College or Hall.'
In whatever capacity he is admitted he must previously have satisfied certain requirements.
§ 1. Requirements of a College or Hall.
These are usually 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 pass a certain examination; (3) he must pay certain fees.
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 (1) the exact names and age of the Candidate, (2) the date at which he wishes to commence 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 usually find it to his advantage, especially if he be a Candidate for Honours, to arrange to commence 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 Lent 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 commence 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 previous to the day which is fixed for the Examination. In case the number 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.
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 vacant rooms 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; and the College admits to reside in lodgings as many as reach the required standard in the Examination, if their parents or guardians are willing that they should be admitted on those terms.
At Lincoln letters addressed to the Rector on the subject of Admission should have the word * Admission' inscribed on the envelope. If the number of candidates who pass a satisfactory Examination exceed the number of vacancies, rooms are offered in the order of merit in the Examination, and those who do not obtain rooms can reside in lodgings.
At Corpus applications are received until the day of the Examination. In addition to the ordinary Matriculation Examinations, a certain number of vacancies are filled up at the annual Scholarship Examination.
At Pembroke, no name is received which has already been entered at another College.
At the Halls previous notice, although always desirable, is seldom necessary.
2. Examination. — The Examination is usually of such a character as to satisfy the authorities of the College or Hall that the candidate is likely to pass the Examinations which the University requires for its Degrees. And since the Examination called 'Responsions' (p. 11o) is an indispensable preliminary to all Degrees (except Degrees in Music), the subjects and standard of the College Examinations before admission are usually those of Responsions. Some Colleges, however, require a candidate to show that he is likely not only to pass the University Examinations, but also to obtain Honours in at least some one subject.
The following are the special regulations of the several Colleges and Halls:—
At University the ordinary Examination is usually held in the Term previous to that of residence.